Vitamin D May Help Clear Deadly Amyloid Plaque from the Brain
Scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Australia are giving us new motivation to enjoy the summer sun. According to their research, the vitamin D produced by sun exposure may boost memory and reduce the build up of brain plaque thought to be responsible for Alzheimer’s disease.
Their research suggests that restoring vitamin D may provide a cognitive benefit to those with low vitamin D status, and have a protective effect for those with concerns of dementia. However, the researchers weren’t completely surprised. Their results only cemented what other studies had previously suggested, especially when it comes to vitamin D’s ability to usher dangerous plaque from the brain to the liver for disposal.
Previous research published in the journal, Fluids and Barriers of the CNS, provides crucial evidence that vitamin D influences transporter proteins that help clear the naturally occurring proteins from the brain.
Vitamin D has been found to profoundly alter the development and progression of many diseases including cancer, heart disease and diabetes. We can now add Alzheimer’s disease to the list. Obtaining vitamin D from natural sunlight or supplementation should be considered mandatory for all health-minded people wishing to lower chronic disease risk.
Vitamin D Helps Clear Deadly Amyloid Protein Plaques in the Brain
Researchers constructing this study used mice genetically predisposed to develop dementia, and the animals were injected with vitamin D. It was determined that amyloid beta accumulation was selectively inhibited and special transporter proteins cleared the damaging amyloid before it could accumulate. The brain has developed an intricate array of special transporter proteins known as LRP-1 and P-gp that have been shown to usher amyloid protein across the blood-brain barrier before causing damage.
The lead research author, Professor Tetsuya Terasaki from Tohoku University in Japan commented, “Vitamin D appears to increase transport of amyloid beta across the blood brain barrier (BBB) by regulating protein expression, via the vitamin D receptor, and also by regulating cell signaling via the MEK pathway. These results lead the way towards new therapeutic targets in the search for prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.”
Check Vitamin D Blood Levels to Lower Alzheimer’s Dementia Risk
The research team believes that vitamin D helps to transport amyloid beta protein structures across the delicate blood-brain barrier so the clusters can be released into the cerebral spinal fluid for eventual disposal. The function of this mechanism is known to decline in aging humans and animals, allowing buildup of the sticky protein clusters around the neuronal synapses. Scientists have observed that vitamin D levels are typically low in aging adults when diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and can now make the connection between blood saturation levels and the disease.
The study authors do not provide a vitamin D reference level that produced the results in this study. Many prior studies have demonstrated that the optimal blood level of the prohormone is between 50 ng/ml and 80 ng/ml to dramatically lower the risk from many cancer lines. Most health conscious adults will need to supplement with an oil-based vitamin D supplement to achieve this goal and attain protection from this deadly form of dementia.
John Phillip is a diet, health and nutrition researcher and writer with a passion for understanding weight loss challenges and encouraging health modification through natural diet, lifestyle and targeted supplementation. John’s passion is to research and write about the cutting edge alternative health technologies that affect our lives.
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