Eating oily fish which are high in vitamin D may help protect humans against cognitive decline and other memory problems, scientists have said.
A team of European researchers has demonstrated that higher levels of vitamin D are associated with improved cognitive function in middle-aged and older men.
The study compared the cognitive performance of more than 3,000 men aged 40 to 79 years, and found that those with higher levels of vitamin D performed consistently better in a test that assesses an individuals attention and speed of information processing.
The experiment took into account factors such as depression, season and levels of physical activity.
“Previous studies exploring the relationship produced inconsistent findings, but we observed a significant, independent association between a slower information processing speed and lower levels of vitamin D,” says lead author Dr. David Lee from the University of Manchester School of Translational Medicine.
Vitamin D is primarily synthesized in the skin following sun exposure, but may also be obtained from dairy products and nutritional supplements.