Vitamin D, Dementia, and Parkinson Disease – A September to Remember

Vitamin D plays an important role in the formation, function, and protection of the nervous system. Extremely low vitamin D levels are associated with depressed mood, chronic pain from osteomalacia, lower seizure thresholds, and dementia. In the September blog we present more observational data from large cohorts confirming some of these relationships.

It is important to understand the take home message of The Vitamin D Cure (last chapter). Vitamin D is not the answer to all health problems. It is a reflection of an unhealthy lifestyle. The book addresses this lifestyle by focusing on increased sun exposure, supplementation of vitamin D and some other targeted nutrients, dramatic dietary changes, and daily exercise to optimize vitamin D function and lower the risk of all the diseases associated with its deficiency. I cannot emphasize enough, the importance of embracing the entire package of change.

When I wake up at 6 am I do a 30 minute workout. This includes 15 pull ups (whole body), therapeutic band upper body work out, 40 pushups, 100 balance-extension lunges on each leg, recumbent air cycling with leg weights, 40 sit ups, 40 back ups (back extensions lying face down), and stretches. I drink a small pot of Japanese green tea, and then it’s off to work. NO breakfast or lunch 4 days a week. I work straight through the day with no breaks. I drink 2-3 glasses of water through the day. Three days a week I come home from the office and change into my running gear and run 2-3 miles. After my run I have a large meal of lean animal/marine protein and lots of green veggies. Typically I have 1-2 glasses of wine with this and 2 glasses of water. I take my supplements with this meal. My supplements include vitamin D, omega 3, magnesium, niacin, and probiotics.

My grandfather had dementia late in life. My grandmother died at 67 from a heart attack and my father has cardiovascular disease with only a low HDL as a risk factor. I am creating a lifestyle that I believe will prevent the outcomes I see in my family. I am sharing my personal lifestyle with the public because I think that all of us can benefit from these changes. I celebrated my birthday last month and I hope to celebrate many more, without cardiovascular disease and with a brain that works as it was designed to. I offer you the same lifestyle in The Vitamin D Cure.

Recipe of the Month
Remember our recipes are courtesy of Chef Kelly (kellychez@gmail.com). If you have recipes you would like to share or convert to follow the rules of The Vitamin D Cure send them to contact  @ thevitamindcure.com .

Salmon Citrus Salad

Serves 4

12 ounce salmon fillet with skin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 cups canned chickpeas
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
3 cups sliced cucumber
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
2 T. chopped basil
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tbs. white wine vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tsp. brown sugar or a tablespoon of local honey
1 tsp. dijon
1 tsp. fresh orange zest
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper
4 cups mixed greens (collards, kale, spinach and/or romaine)

Preheat broiler. Place salmon skin-side down on a nonstick broiler pan. Sprinkle with pepper. Place 4 inches from heat and broil 6-8 or until fish just flakes when tested with a fork. Drizzle lemon juice over salmon.

Meanwhile, combine beans, tomatoes, cucumber, scallions, basil and dressing in a large bowl; toss to coat.

Combine orange juice through garlic in a jar and shake until combined; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Next, cut salmon into 1-inch chunks and add to the bowl; toss gently to combine.

Transfer mixture to 4 individual plates, placing on top of mixed greens.

Vitamin D in the News

Serum vitamin D and the risk of Parkinson disease. Arch Neurol. 2010 Jul;67(7):808-11.

This study was based on the Mini-Finland Health Survey, which was conducted from 1978 to 1980, with Parkinson disease occurrence follow-up through the end of 2007. During the 29-year follow-up period, 50 Parkinson disease cases occurred. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level was determined from frozen samples stored at baseline. 3173 men and women, aged 50 to 79 years and free of Parkinson disease at baseline were included. RESULTS: There was a 67% reduction in risk for Parkinson disease with the highest vitamin D levels compared to the lowest after adjustment for sex, age, marital status, education, alcohol consumption, leisure-time physical activity, smoking, body mass index, and month of blood draw (≤ 11.2 ng/mL vs. ≥22.8 ng/mL in men. ≤10 ng/mL vs. ≥20 ng/mL in women).

Vitamin D and risk of cognitive decline in elderly persons. Arch Intern Med. 2010 Jul 12;170(13):1135-41. Public Health and Epidemiology Group, Peninsula Medical School, University of Exeter, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Exeter EX2 5DW, England.

The InCHIANTI population-based study conducted in Italy between 1998 and 2006 with follow-up assessments every 3 years looked at 858 adults 65 years or older who completed interviews, cognitive assessments, and medical examinations and provided blood samples. Cognitive decline was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), and substantial decline was defined as 3 or more points. The Trail-Making Tests A and B were also used. RESULTS: The multivariate adjusted relative risk (95% confidence interval [CI]) of substantial cognitive decline on the MMSE in participants who were severely serum 25(OH)D deficient (levels /=75 nmol/L) was 1.60 (95% CI, 1.19-2.00). Multivariate adjusted random-effects models demonstrated that the scores of participants who were severely 25(OH)D deficient declined by an additional 0.3 MMSE points per year more than those with sufficient levels of 25(OH)D. The relative risk for substantial decline on Trail-Making Test B was 1.31 (95% CI, 1.03-1.51) among those who were severely 25(OH)D deficient compared with those with sufficient levels of 25(OH)D. No significant association was observed for Trail-Making Test A. CONCLUSION: Low levels of vitamin D were associated with substantial cognitive decline in the elderly population studied over a 6-year period, which raises important new possibilities for treatment and prevention.

Vitamin D Success Story
Please share your successes at success@thevitamindcure.com or online at Amazon. Your success story has a powerful impact on motivating others to change their lifestyle.

The Vitamin D Cure will soon appear in the Korean language published by William Books. The book will be marketed to Korean physicians.