Research suggests a high level of vitamin D in the bloodstream can boost memory and protect against dementia.
The study, published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, found middle-aged and older men with higher levels of the vitamin have better cognitive function than those with lower amounts.
Researchers from Manchester’s School of Translation Medicine examined 3,133 men aged 40 to 79 at eight test centres across Europe.
The results show that the men who had a better memory and were quicker to process information had higher levels of vitamin D.
Men with 35 nanomoles per litre or less of vitamin D in their blood performed poorly.
The paper’s lead author, Dr David Lee, said: ‘We observed a significant, independent association between a slower information processing speed and lower levels of vitamin D.
‘The main strengths of our study are that it is based on a large population sample and took into account potential interfering factors, such as depression, season and levels of physical activity.’
The Alzheimer’s Research Trust has welcomed the study, saying the results show the positive effect that vitamin D can have on the brain.