ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Hip Replacement Boosts Mobility at Any Age
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
Human Ancestors Put Best Foot Forward 1.5M Years Ago
CANCER
Green Tea May Help Prevent Oral Cancer
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
CAREGIVING
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
Coordination Has Led to Quicker Heart Treatment
Transition From Home to Hospital Rarely Seamless
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
DIABETES
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
DIET, NUTRITION
Compound in Red Wine Fights Ravages of Age
Adults Need To Get Thier Food Facts Straight
Eating Less May Slow Aging Process
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Artificial Light Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk
Air Pollution May Cause Appendicitis: Study Reveals
Skin Woes Take Toll on U.S. Combat Troops
EYE CARE, VISION
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
FITNESS
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Maximize Your Run
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
8 Drugs Doctors Would Never Take
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
A Little Chocolate May Do the Heart Good
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Coconut Oil May Help Fight Childhood Pneumonia
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Teen Stress May Have Roots in First Three Years of Life
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
SENIORS
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
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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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