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Vitamin D and Calcium Taken Together Offer No Help for Dementia

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- The latest research into one possible treatment for dementia in women proved to be somewhat disappointing, but experts think it still might hold some promise.
 
Past research has suggested that vitamin D might protect against memory loss and decline in the aging brain. A study in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society looked at 2,000 women whose average age was 71. In all, they took 400 international units of vitamin D and 1,000 milligrams of calcium together every day for an average of eight years.
 
But the women developed cognitive impairments -- everything from memory trouble to serious dementia -- at the same rate as a comparison group given placebo pills.  They found that vitamin D and calcium supplements taken together in low doses offered no protection against dementia.
 
Still, the authors say they learned how calcium and vitamin D might have conflicting effects. That points researchers toward a more definitive study, testing higher levels of vitamin D alone, with higher hopes it will do some good.

"I think the definitive study will just look at the effects of vitamin D," said lead study author Rebecca Rossom, from HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research, a nonprofit arm of a health maintenance organization based in Minnesota.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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