“Enthusiasm for taking vitamin D to promote brain health has taken a knock after 2 studies in the same population have found no association between vitamin D levels and cognition or cerebrovascular pathology…“Our results dampen the enthusiasm for vitamin D being a panacea for brain health. We are urging caution before everyone gets carried away with taking vitamin D, and we cannot recommend at this time that people take it to protect against cognitive decline,” Erin Michos, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, who was an author on both studies, commented to Medscape Medical News.
“It is not completely benign,” she added. “It can cause side effects at high doses. It is not a good idea to take supplements if you don’t need to.”
Study: Vitamin D and Subclinical Cerebrovascular Disease (JAMA Neurology). From the abstract:
- Importance: Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and incident stroke. Little is known about the association between vitamin D and subclinical cerebrovascular disease.
- Conclusions and Relevance: A single measure of 25(OH)D was not cross-sectionally associated with WMH grade or prevalent subclinical infarcts and was not prospectively associated with WMH progression or subclinical brain infarcts seen on serial cerebral MRIs obtained approximately 10 years apart. These findings do not support optimizing vitamin D levels for brain health.