Vitamin D Improves Cognition, But More May Not Necessarily Be Better

article cognition supplements

  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