Study: Vitamin D Fends Off Parkinson’s Disease

Here’s one more reason to soak up the sun. Researchers have found that low levels of Vitamin D, whose best source are the ultraviolet rays of the sun, are linked to higher risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease.

Researchers, in a 29-year study, followed more than 3,000 Parkinson’s-free people in Finland, where sunlight exposure is limited. At the end of the study, researchers found that those with the highest levels of vitamin D had 67 percent lower risk of developing Parkinson’s compared to those with the lowest levels of the nutrient.

The researchers have yet to pin point exactly how vitamin D helps lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder that affects the nervous system and leads to impairment of motor skills and speech, among others, although vitamin D “has been shown to exert a protective effect on the brain through antioxidant activities, regulation of calcium levels, detoxification, modulation of the immune system and enhanced conduction of electricity through neurons.”

Researchers said further studies are needed to explain vitamin D’s link to Parkinson’s, especially since the current study was conducted on “a population with continuously low vitamin D status.”