ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
Birds Don't Miss a Beat
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
A Winning Strategy to Beat Spring Sporting Injuries
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
CANCER
Immune Therapy May Aid Kids With Neuroblastoma
Study Cites Gains in Gall Bladder Cancer Treatment
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
CAREGIVING
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
Transition From Home to Hospital Rarely Seamless
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Smog Tougher on the Obese
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Climate Change Linked to Longer Pollen Seasons
Improved Fungicides May Be Easier on Environment
Greener Neighborhoods Mean Slimmer Children
EYE CARE, VISION
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
Certain Diabetes Drugs May Pose Eye Risk
FITNESS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Swine Flu May Pose Problems for Pregnant Women
Study Supports Swine Flu's Pandemic Potential
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
Chinese Red Yeast Rice May Prevent Heart Attack
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
Family Medicine Cabinet Top Source Of Kid's Poisonings
Babies Cared For In Others Homes Might Become Heavy Toddlers
MEN'S HEALTH
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
Any Old Cane Won't Do
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
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Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay

FRIDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- High levels of vitamin D might help keep the brain healthy as people age, new research suggests.

For the study, which included more than 3,000 European men aged 40 to 79, the researchers assessed the men's memory and how quickly they processed information. They also examined other factors that affect mental agility, such as physical activity levels and mood. Blood samples were taken to measure the men's circulating levels of vitamin D, which the body produces through exposure to sunlight and obtains through dietary sources.

The study authors found that high circulating vitamin D levels were associated with high scores on memory and information-processing tests, while low vitamin D levels were associated with poor scores. The findings appear online in advance of publication in the print issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

The exact link between circulating vitamin D levels and mental agility isn't clear, but it's possible that vitamin D increases certain hormonal activity or protects neurons and chemical-signaling pathways, according to the researchers.

"Previous studies exploring the relationship between vitamin D and cognitive performance in adults have produced inconsistent findings, but we observed a significant, independent association between a slower information processing speed and lower levels of vitamin D," said study author David M. Lee, of the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, in a news release from the university.

"The main strengths of our study are that it is based on a large population sample and took into account potential interfering factors, such as depression, season and levels of physical activity," Lee added. "Interestingly, the association between increased vitamin D and faster information processing was more significant in men aged over 60 years, although the biological reasons for this remain unclear."

If vitamin D supplements can help reduce the effects of aging on the brain, the health implications could be significant because many people, particularly the elderly, are vitamin D-deficient, the researchers pointed out.

More information

The American Psychological Association explains memory changes in older adults.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: University of Manchester, news release, May 20, 2009

Last Updated: May 22, 2009

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