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THE EFFECT OF VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENTATION ON COGNITION IN A ROBUSTLY AGING POPULATION: DOUBLE-BLIND, RANDOMIZED PILOT STUDY

Rosario Sakamoto, Barbara J Cherry , Stephanie Vaughn

Objectives: Explore the effects of vitamin D supplementation on global cognition, executive function and episodic memory among older community dwellers. Design: Parallel group, double-blind pretest-posttest placebo-controlled randomized pilot study. Setting/Participants: Robustly aging older community dwellers: Osher Lifelong Institute members of the California State University, Fullerton. Sample size: 61, 12 with intervention. Intervention: Vitamin D3 5000 IU administered orally daily for six months. Baseline serum 25OHD and post six-month supplementation measured likewise, cognitive testing done. Measurements: Chemiluminescence LIASON® assay was used for determination of serum 25OHD levels. Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) assessed global cognition, executive function with Letter-Number Sequencing and Stroop Color-Word tests, episodic memory with immediate and delayed Logical Memory tests. Randomization/Blinding: The twelve participants were randomly assigned to treatment or placebo groups (7 with active pills, 5 with placebo). Both participants and clinic nurses were blinded to results of randomization. Results: The demographics revealed the following: Age 60 – 88 years, mean =70 years, BMI mean = 26, with more females (78%) than males (22%). Individuals were predominantly White (62%), highly educated with post-college education (56%), and physically, moderately active. Serum vitamin D levels increased significantly from baseline mean 24ng/ml (60nmol/L) to 60ng/ml (150nmol/L). Six months’ vitamin D supplementation showed significant improvement in global cognition for the treatment versus placebo groups, p = 0.04, with a trend for improvement in Stroop measures, p’s = .097; .093. No adverse events or side effects, high compliance with taking pills and well tolerated. Conclusion: Healthy older individuals who had intact cognition, supplemented with a high dose of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) and followed for six months showed improvement on the global mental status and trended towards improvement in executive function. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) 5000 IU daily increases serum vitamin D levels that reduced vitamin D deficiency, and may improve global cognition but not executive function or memory.

CITATION:
Rosario Sakamoto ; Barbara J Cherry ; Stephanie Vaughn (2019): The Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Cognition in a Robustly Aging Population: Double-Blind, Randomized Pilot Study. Care Weekly. http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/cw.2019.1

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