In response to a study published online in Neurology, “Vitamin D and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease,” the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association representing the dietary supplement industry, issued the following statement:
Statement by Andrea Wong, Ph.D., vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN:
“Science has demonstrated that adequate levels of vitamin D contribute to good health, and this new study reinforces that by indicating that vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
“Decades of research have shown that vitamin D, in combination with calcium, plays an important role in bone health and, in more recent years, additional benefits for this vitamin have come to light, including the results from this latest study.
“Further, according to research, vitamin D has been identified as a nutrient of public health concern in the government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as it is one of the nutrients for which people fall short. Taking vitamin D supplements is a safe and appropriate way to achieve healthy levels, especially as vitamin D is not easily obtained through food alone, and relying on sunlight, another resource for obtaining this vitamin, presents some concerns.
“Optimal nutrition is just one of the many healthy habits that people need in order to help prevent disease, and vitamin D is a key element to attaining optimal nutrition. It is exciting that this study’s findings supported the hypothesis that vitamin D ‘may be neuroprotective;’ however, it is important to continue investigating this association, and manage expectations for vitamin D’s isolated role in preventing complicated diseases, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.”