Vitamin D is a dual nutrient: it is both a vitamin and a hormone the human body can create from sun exposure. It is also vital for bone health and immunity and–according to new research–brain health. (Vancouverites especially should pay attention to these findings, considering the past few weeks’ rainfall!)
The findings of the study were presented this week at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in Nashville. The researchers studied 96 MRI brain scans of patients who had suffered ischemic stroke. The results were shocking:
Patients with low levels of vitamin D (30ng/mL in blood levels) showed nearly twice (double!) the amount of dead cell tissues resulting from their stroke than patients with adequate supply. Vitamin D levels affect further recovery as well: the researchers found that for every 10ng/mL drop, healthy recuperation odds over three months fell by approximately half, regardless of age.
“…the results do provide the impetus for further rigorous investigations into the association of Vitamin D status and stroke severity,” says Dr. Nils Henninger, a lead author of the study. “If our findings are replicated, the next logical step may be whether supplementation can protect patients at high risk for stroke.”
Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your own Vitamin D levels.