October 13, 2008
Low Vitamin D Link With Parkinson's Disease

Hey, been too long since I told you all to try to get more vitamin D in your diet. Here's another reason: People with Parkinson's Disease have lower blood vitamin D.

A majority of Parkinson's disease patients had insufficient levels of vitamin D in a new study from Emory University School of Medicine.

The fraction of Parkinson's patients with vitamin D insufficiency, 55 percent, was significantly more than patients with Alzheimer's disease (41 percent) or healthy elderly people (36 percent).

The results are published in the October issue of Archives of Neurology.

The finding adds to evidence that low vitamin D is associated with Parkinson's, says first author Marian Evatt, MD, assistant professor of neurology at Emory.

Evatt is assistant director of the Movement Disorders Program at Wesley Woods Hospital. The senior author is endocrinologist Vin Tangpricha, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Emory and director of the Endocrine Clinical Research Unit.

Evatt says her team compared Parkinson's patients to Alzheimer's patients because they wanted to evaluate the possibility that neurodegenerative diseases in general lead to vitamin D insufficiency.

One could argue that Parkinson's sufferers are less likely to get outside than the normal healthy. But look at the difference as compared to Alzheimer's sufferers. Granted this result does not prove a direction for cause and effect. But it is suggestive.

The other thing noteworthy about this result is that even in the US Southeast, a warmer climate, 36% of the healthy elderly lack sufficient vitamin D.

She says her team saw their results as striking because their study group came from the Southeast, not a region with long gloomy winters, where vitamin D insufficiency is thought to be more of a problem.

In addition, the study found that the fraction of patients with the lowest levels of vitamin D, described as vitamin D deficiency, was higher (23 percent) in the Parkinson's group than the Alzheimer's group (16 percent) or the healthy group (10 percent).

Share |      Randall Parker, 2008 October 13 11:53 PM  Aging Diet Brain Studies


Comments
auntulna said at October 14, 2008 1:44 PM:

It would be nice to know the level of Vitamin D at onset of the disease. After you have it, your lifestyle gradually declines, meaning less time outdoors.

It would seem more likely that if there is a direct relationship, it is contributed to by years of deficiency.

Michael G.R. said at October 15, 2008 8:55 AM:

I also wrote something about Vit D on my site, and someone sent me a link to this:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080125223302.htm

Anyone knows more about it?

blue said at October 15, 2008 11:09 AM:

Randall,

Can you comment on the article that Michael linked to?

Tj Green said at October 15, 2008 4:18 PM:

We need something like;- " A gram a day of EPA keeps the dreaded blues away." How about;- The best things in life are free, so strip off and get your vitamin D?

Randall Parker said at October 15, 2008 10:14 PM:

blue,

The guy who wrote the paper that Michael G.R. provides a press release about is Trevor Marshall. Read about him. Read about the disagreements among people who find merit or are skeptical about his Marshall Protocol. Some claim he's not getting peer review publications of his claims and so his claims for his own therapy are shaky. Dunno. Was his BioEssays paper about vitamin D peer reviewed by relevant experts? I can't tell from the Wiley BioEssays web site.

Here's from the abstract of Marshall's BioEssays paper on vitamin D:

The FDA docket does not review one single paper detailing the transcriptional activity of vitamin D, even though, on average, one new paper a day is being published on that topic. Nor do they review whether widespread supplementation with vitamin D, an immunomodulatory secosteroid, might predispose the population to immune dysfunction.

Anyway, the guy is controversial. As for vitamin D predisposing a population to immune dysfunction: Multiple Sclerosis seems to happen more in US in areas where the sun shines less. Maybe D could lower lots of risks while raising some others? The immune system is complicated and that's at least possible.

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