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Turning Sunshine into Performance

Turning Sunshine into Performance

vitamin d exposure By Ilene

Does vitamin D have anything to do with investing and stock and options trading? Maybe. Preliminary research suggests that lack of vitamin D is associated with impaired mental abilities. And this may indicate that obtaining sufficient levels of vitamin D may improve cognitive performance

Researchers stopped short of advising more sunshine, or fruit-flavored gummy D supplements (yum!), to improve one's cognitive function. But further research is warranted.

In addition, and perhaps most importantly, many children appear to be deficient in vitamin D (see below) so it may be worth investing in some of those gummy Ds. 

Does Vitamin D Improve Brain Function?
New studies show low vitamin D levels may impair cognitive function

By Diane Welland, in Scientific American  

The push to prevent skin cancer may have come with unintended consequences—impaired brain function because of a deficiency of vitamin D...

“We know there are receptors for vitamin D throughout the central nervous system and in the hippocampus,” said Robert J. Przybelski,... “We also know vitamin D activates and deactivates enzymes in the brain and the cerebrospinal fluid that are involved in neurotransmitter synthesis and nerve growth.” In addition, animal and laboratory studies suggest vitamin D protects neurons and reduces inflammation.

Two new European studies looking at vitamin D and cognitive function have taken us one step further...

The scientists found that the lower the subjects’ vitamin D levels, the more negatively impacted was their perform­ance on a battery of mental tests...

A second study, led by scientists at the University of Manchester in England... looked at vitamin D levels and cognitive performance in more than 3,100 men aged 40 to 79 in eight different countries across Europe. The data show that those people with lower vitamin D levels exhibited slower information-processing speed...

Although we now know that low levels of vitamin D are associated with cognitive impairment, we do not know if high or optimum levels will lessen cognitive losses. It is also unclear if giving vitamin D to those who lack it will help them regain some of these high-level functions...

See Also:

Vitamin D for Quicker Thinking?
Men With Low Blood Levels of Vitamin D Fare Worse on Test Requiring Speedy Thinking

By Miranda Hitti, WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

The study, published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, included more than 3,100 men 40 and older in eight European cities:..

Men in their 60s and 70s with low levels of vitamin D were the most likely participants to have low scores on the visual scanning and processing test...

In the journal, Lee and colleagues call for further studies to test whether vitamin D supplements might help minimize age-related declines in specific mental skills.

Vitamin D Deficiency: Children Need Vitamin D

The Ledger

This nation has many costly health care problems, but vitamin D deficiency shouldn't be one of them.

A new analysis focusing on U.S. children ages 1 through 11 says about a fifth of youngsters that age aren't getting the minimally required level of vitamin D. Many more may fall short of the optimal dose.

The deficiency puts those children - disproportionately African-American - at risk of ailments such as rickets, a disease that can cause a weakening of growing bones and cartilage.

The potential for damage from vitamin-D deficiency in young children is so clear that the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that youngsters get a 400-unit, daily supplement...

Some evidence indicates that teens and adults may need much more vitamin D, well beyond what would be consumed in a good diet. This too suggests that daily supplements would be helpful.


Association of vitamin D deficiency with cognitive impairment in older women. Cross-sectional study. Annweiler C,, Neurology. Sept., 2009.

Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels Among US Children Aged 1 to 11 Years: Do Children Need More Vitamin D?, Jonathan M. Mansbach, et. al., Pediatrics. Nov., 2009.

Defining Vitamin D Deficiency in Children: Beyond 25-OH Vitamin D Serum Concentrations, Frank R. Greer, Pediatrics. Nov., 2009

Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, Lee, D. May 20, 2009; advance online edition.