Vitamin D Improves Cognition, But More May Not Necessarily Be Better
March 8, 2023
Vitamin D has been shown to improve cognitive performance. However, research has either been short term or observational, until recently.
In 2020 researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation, looking at domain-specific cognitive measures in postmenopausal women.
The women were not on estrogen therapy, which is known to affect working memory.
Vitamin D3 supplementation was randomly assigned for 12 months, in a double-blinded manner, at 600, 2000, or 4000 IU per day.
Participants taking 2000 IU/day performed better in learning and memory tests, compared to the other doses.
However, the 4000 IU/day group had a slower reaction time compared to the 600 IU/day group.
The data in this study suggest vitamin D has differential effects on domain-specific cognitive measures, and that a higher dose may negatively affect reaction time.
While more research is needed to draw solid conclusions about the effect of different vitamin D dosages on cognitive domains, low vitamin D levels are known to be associated with executive dysfunction, especially mental shifting, information updating and processing speed.
This research indicates that increasing vitamin D, if deficient, is generally a good idea.
PMID: 30951148, PMID: 23948884