Getting more of the ‘sunshine vitamin’ may make you brighter later in life, a study suggests.
Middle-aged and older men with high levels of vitamin D in their blood were mentally quicker than their peers, researchers report. The team, from the University of Manchester, said taking supplements could boost brain function as you age and shore up protection against dementia. However, they warn against spending extra time in the sun, which can raise the risk of skin cancer.
‘At the population level, we are talking about large numbers of people. If there is a link it could potentially have a significant effect,’ said Professor David Lee, who led the study. ‘It is so easy to rectify with supplementation.’
Vitamin D, produced by the body when skin is exposed to sunlight, is also found in certain foods such as oily fish. It helps cells absorb the essential mineral calcium and is important for bone health. Cancer, artery disease and tuberculosis have also recently been added to the list of conditions warded off by the vitamin.