A new meta-analysis published in The American Journal of Public Health has found that people who have low levels of vitamin D in the blood are more likely to prematurely die than people who have normal levels.
The analysis looked at data from 32 studies and found that people who had levels of below 9 nano grams per milliliter of blood had almost twice the risk of dying prematurely, as compared with people with levels of 50 nano grams per milliliter. They did not observe additional benefits from levels above 50. The lead author of the study said there is no danger in taking in more vitamin D as long as the level stays below 200 nanograms per milliliter.
We recently reported that vitamin D3 has been shown to help the brain clear out amyloid plaques, which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
How to get Vitamin D from sunlight
One of the best ways to get vitamin D is from the sun. Since the advent of daily sunscreen use and a cultural move to working indoors most of the time, many people don’t get enough unfiltered sunlight on their skin each day and may suffer a deficiency in vitamin D. About 20 minutes per day in the sun, unfiltered by sunscreen, is the recommended amount of time to get a reasonable dose of vitamin D.
How to get Vitamin D from dietary sources
The best dietary sources of vitamin D are salmon, tuna, pork, eggs, and beef liver. Salmon and tuna are great dietary choices because they also have Omega-3 fatty acids, which can benefit the brain and body. Eggs from chickens that are truly free-range and eat bugs and a variety of other things have significantly more vitamin D than factory-farmed eggs. Most milk and cereals are fortified with vitamin D, which makes them another good choice for dietary vitamin D.
We have more information about the additional brain health benefits of eggs and of cold-water fish like salmon and tuna on our website. Using those links, you can also find brain healthy recipes featuring those ingredients.