ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Taking the Mystery Out of Hypnotherapy
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Gene Plays Key Role in Clubfoot
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Autumn Sees More Women With Bunion Problems
CANCER
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Omega-3 May Safely Treat Precancerous Bowel Polyps
CAREGIVING
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
DIET, NUTRITION
10 Beginner Tips for Fast Weight Loss, the Low-Carb Way!
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Leafy Greens Top Risky Food List
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
FDA Faulted for Stance on Chemical in Plastics
EYE CARE, VISION
Magnetic Pulses to Brain Improve Lazy Eye in Adults
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
FITNESS
Maximize Your Run
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Go To Work But Skip The Car
Want Sun Protection? Wear Red or Blue
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Implanted Defibrillators Boost Long-Term Survival
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Music May Temper Pain in Preemies
St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD
Fussy Babys Could Be Out Of Your Control
MEN'S HEALTH
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Optimism May Boost Immune System
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
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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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