ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
Acupuncture Eases Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Returning to the Road Tricky After Injury
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
CANCER
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Smoking Exposure Now Linked to Colon, Breast Cancers
CAREGIVING
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome as Deadly as Ever
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Hispanic Children More Likely to Have Hearing Loss
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
DIABETES
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Myrrh May Lower High Cholesterol
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Successful Weight Loss Shows Unique Brain Patterns
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
City Kids Find the Breathin' Is Easier Elsewhere
Common Pesticide Tied to Development Delays in Kids
EYE CARE, VISION
Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
FITNESS
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Be Healthy, Spend Less
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
Stressed and Exhausted: An Introduction to Adrenal Fatigue
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Ginkgo Won't Prevent Heart Attack, Stroke in Elderly
Risk Factor for Stroke More Common Among Whites
Omega-3, Some Omega-6 Fatty Acids Boost Cardiovascular Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
Folic Acid Reduces Infant Heart Defects
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
Drink Away Dementia?
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
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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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