Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with incidents of MS, a neuro de-generative disease, Alzheimer’s and the development of cancer. A new study by the University of Kentucky suggests that a diet low in vitamin D causes damage to the brain.
The study was published in the journal of Free Radical Biology and Medicine and revealed that rats who were fed a diet low in vitamin D for several months developed damage to the brain. It was also revealed that many different brain proteins were damaged, with a significant decrease in cognitive performance on tests of learning and memory.
“Given that vitamin D deficiency is especially widespread among the elderly, we investigated how during aging from middle-age to old-age how low vitamin D affected the oxidative status of the brain,” said lead author on the paper Allan Butterfield, professor in the UK Department of Chemistry, director of the Center of Membrane Sciences, faculty of Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, and director of the Free Radical Biology in Cancer Core of the Markey Cancer Center. “Adequate vitamin D serum levels are necessary to prevent free radical damage in brain and subsequent deleterious consequences.”
Jeriel T.R. Keeney, Sarah Förster, Rukhsana Sultana, Lawrence D. Brewer, Caitlin S. Latimer, Jian Cai, Jon B. Klein, Nada M. Porter, D. Allan Butterfield. Dietary vitamin D deficiency in rats from middle to old age leads to elevated tyrosine nitration and proteomics changes in levels of key proteins in brain: Implications for low vitamin D-dependent age-related cognitive decline. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 2013; 65: 324 DOI: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2013.07.019