If you want to live your life long and full, you need to take care of your brain because as long as your brain is healthy, your body is healthy. Vitamins and minerals are essential micronutrients that help your brain function properly. Vitamin deficiencies can lead to severe neurodegenerative disorders.
Importance Of Adequate Vitamin Status:
A sufficient supply of vitamins can actually “make things happen” in your brain, including improved cognition functions and proper working of brain cells.
Vitamins, especially vitamin B, D, and K, prevent memory loss, reduce the risk of stroke, improve blood pressure and cognitive function, and protect your brain cells from radical damage (1).
Vitamin Deficiencies: More Common Than Generally Thought:
Your brain health relies on vitamins to improve brain health and cognitive function. Vitamin deficiencies have been linked with many psychiatric illnesses. They increase the risk of mental illness and exacerbate the symptoms of many disorders with compromised patient recovery.
For example, vitamin B deficiency has been linked with depressive symptoms, dementia, and cognitive impairment (2).
Vitamin B-12: Effect Of Vegetarian Diets On Brain Health If Not Supplemented:
People who consume vegetarian diets do not get enough vitamin B12, which is essential for boosting brain function. According to a study, women on vegetarian diets are at particular risk of having iron and vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin D And The Brain:
An essential micronutrient that protects neurons and reduces inflammation in the brain cells is vitamin D. The enzymes in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid are activated or deactivated by vitamin D for nerve growth and neurotransmitter growth.
Vitamin D, being a multi-potent nutrient, protects the brain cells and works through various mechanisms, including calcium balance in the brain (3).
Vitamin Deficiencies Result In Depression And Parkinson’s Disease:
An increased risk of depression has been associated with low levels of vitamin B12 and folate. Vitamin D deficiency also causes depression. One study reported supplementation with vitamin D could improve the symptoms of depression (4).
Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked with the onset of Parkinson’s disease. According to a study, patients with Parkinson’s disease had lower levels of serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D. Also, prevalent Parkinson’s disease patients were reported to have cognitive impairment and increased disease severity linked with vitamin D deficiency (5).
- Maqbool MA, Aslam M, Akbar W, Iqbal Z. Biological importance of vitamins for human health: A review. 2018 May 25;2.
- Black MM. Micronutrient Deficiencies and Cognitive Functioning,. J Nutr. 2003 Nov;133(11 Suppl 2):3927S-3931S.
- Anjum I, Jeffery SS, Fayyaz M, Samoo Z, Anjum S. The Role of Vitamin D in Brain Health: A Mini Literature Review. Cureus. 10(7):e2960.
- Rao TSS, Asha MR, Ramesh BN, Rao KSJ. Understanding nutrition, depression, and mental illnesses. Indian J Psychiatry. 2008;50(2):77–82.
- The Role of Vitamin D in Disease Progression in Early Parkinson’s Disease – PubMed [Internet]. [cited 2021 Jul 20]. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28984616/