Vitamin D May Cut Risk of Parkinson’s Disease
Important New Research Further Demonstrates The
Benefits of Vitamins For Cognitive and Mental Function
High blood levels of vitamin D may reduce the risk of developing
Parkinson’s disease by 67 per cent, compared with low levels of
the “sunshine vitamin” says a new study from Finland.
Researchers from the National Institute for Health and Welfare in
Helsinki analysed data from 3,173 Finnish men and women aged
between 50 and 79. Over an impressive 29 years of follow-up, the
researchers documented 50 cases of Parkinson’s disease. The
study is reported to be the first longitudinal analysis of vitamin D
status and the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Writing in the Archives of Neurology, the authors note that the
exact mechanism is unknown, but postulated that vitamin D may
be exerting a benefit through antioxidant activities, regulation of
calcium levels, detoxification, modulation of the immune system
and enhanced conduction of electricity through neurons.
“Our results are in line with the hypothesis that low vitamin D
status predicts the development of Parkinson disease,” write the
researchers. “Because of the small number of cases and the
possibility of residual confounding, large cohort studies are needed.
In intervention trials focusing on effects of vitamin D supplements,
the incidence of Parkinson disease merits follow up.”
The study has been described “the first promising human data to
suggest that inadequate vitamin D status is associated with the
risk of developing Parkinson’s disease” and “further work is needed
in both basic and clinical arenas to elucidate the exact role,
mechanisms and optimum concentration of vitamin D in Parkinson’s disease.” Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative condition affecting
movement and balance in more than one million Americans each
year, a figure expected to rise due to aging populations. The disease
affects nerve cells in several parts of the brain, particularly those that
use the chemical messenger dopamine to control movement.
Previous studies have shown that the part of the brain affected
most by Parkinson’s, the substantia nigra, contains high levels of
the vitamin D receptor, which suggests vitamin D may be important
for normal functions of these cells.
The new study involved the measurement of vitamin D levels in
over 3,000 people. The data showed that people with the lowest
levels of vitamin D were three times more likely to develop
Parkinson’s, compared to the group with the highest levels.
“In the interim, data from interventional studies of fractures and falls
appear to justify optimizing vitamin D levels to greater than 30 to
40 nanograms per millilitre,” they concluded.
Source: Archives of Neurology
Volume 67, Issue 7, Pages 795-797
“Beyond Vitamin Status – Is There a Role for Vitamin D
in Parkinson Disease?”
Executive Director, Acupuncture Physician
Dr. Riggin is FitFM - Family Wellness , is the Founder and Director of Healing Touch Oriental Medicine. As an inspiring health educator, in-demand speaker and doctor of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Dr. Mary has helped thousands of people completely turn their health around. Dr. Mary co-hosts and produces the wildly popular radio show "Food is the First Medicine" and her presentations and viewpoints on natural healthcarehave made her an in-demand and innovative expert in the natural health world.
Dr. Mary Riggin, produces and hosts Food is the First Medicine Talk Radio Show, and is a popular speaker. Since 1996 she has practiced natural medicine in the Tampa Bay area; her passion and purpose is to help as many people as possible. Listen to her weekly on TanTalk 1340AM in Tampa Bay, or online anytime, anywhere at www.foodismedicine.org.
She is former Vice Chair of the Florida State Board of Acupuncture and was appointed to this gubernatorial position by Governor Lawton Chiles and Governor Jeb Bush. She has been featured on various TV and radio shows and frequently teaches free classes at community and recreation centers throughout Pinellas County.
She is a published author and was featured in the book A Woman's Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and Alternative Healing, writes and publishes educational newsletters and brochures, and was elected to serve two consecutive terms as President of the Florida State Oriental Medical Association.
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