According to a research carried out by Dr Marian Evatt of Emory University School of Medicine in the US on links between Vitamin D and Parkinson's disease, people with lower levels of Vitamin D are more likely to have Parkinson’s disease. The study also said that the area of brain most affected by Parkinson’s is highly sensitive to vitamin D.
The study measured vitamin D levels in almost 300 people aged around 65, who either had Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease or were generally healthy. More than half of patients with Parkinson’s had low levels of vitamin D, as did 41 percent of those with Alzheimer’s disease. The findings add to the evidence that low vitamin D is associated with Parkinson’s. However, this study is unable on its own to confirm whether a lack of vitamin D is the cause or consequence of having the disease. The result of this study should be interpreted as preliminary without further research to corroborate its finding.
Parkinson’s disease affects nerve cells in several part of the brain, particularly those that use the chemical messenger dopamine to control the movements. Previous studies have shown that the part of the brain affected most by Parkinson’s, the substantia nigra, has high level of Vitamin D receptors. This suggests vitamin D may be important for normal functioning of these cells.
Most Americans get the majority of their vitamin D from exposure to sunlight or by dietary supplements like milk and packaged cereals, which are a minor source. In addition, only few foods in nature contain substantial amounts of vitamin D, such as salmon and tuna. The body’s ability to produce vitamin D using UV-B radiation from the sun decreases with an age, making older individuals at a risk of vitamin D deficiency.
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