Published on February 23, 2021
61% lower risk of Parkinson’s Disease found among individuals whose vitamin D level was 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/L) or higher
Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disease that causes symptoms of motor dysfunction such as resting tremors, slowed movement (bradykinesia), impaired posture and balance, and rigidity, as well as other symptoms that include sleep disturbance, cognitive impairment, olfactory disorders, speech and writing changes, and fatigue. Symptoms usually begin in mid to late life; risk increases with age, and is higher among men compared to women.
While there is no cure for Parkinson’s, there are certain medications, therapies, procedures, and lifestyle changes that can help to control symptoms.
Could Vitamin D Help Decrease the Risk of Parkinson’s?
Several, but not all, studies have observed an inverse relationship between vitamin D levels and the risk and severity of Parkinson’s. To help clarify the relationship between vitamin D levels and Parkinson’s Disease risk, Zhou et al. performed a meta-analysis that included data from 8 studies. The authors also looked to see if vitamin D supplementation after diagnosis of Parkinson’s was helpful in improving motor function.
Vitamin D Levels Found to be Significantly Related to Parkinson’s Risk
When the risk of Parkinson’s was compared to vitamin D serum levels, those whose level was below 30 ng/ml (75 nmol/L) had more than a 1.5 fold significantly increased risk of Parkinson’s compared to those with levels of 30 ng/ml or higher (p<0.001). When considering a cut off of 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/L), those with a vitamin D level of less than 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/L) had an almost 2.5 fold increased risk of Parkinson’s compared to those with levels of 20 ng/ml or higher (p<0.001). This translates into a 61% lower risk of Parkinson’s Disease for individuals whose vitamin D level was 20 ng/ml or higher, compared to those with lower levels.
While vitamin D supplementation did increase overall vitamin D levels, this analysis found no significant effect of supplementation on symptoms of motor function.
Make Sure Your Vitamin D Levels Are Not Too Low!
With almost 90% of the general population having vitamin D levels below the recommended 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L), it is obvious that most people need more vitamin D. While most of us cannot achieve a vitamin D level of 40-60 ng/ml from sun alone, either due to our lifestyle, where we live, or other circumstances, we can certainly reach those levels with the right amount of supplementation.
By joining the GrassrootsHealth projects, you are not only contributing valuable information to our study, but you are also gaining knowledge about how you could improve your own health through measuring and tracking your nutrient status, and educating yourself on how to improve it. Do you know what your status of vitamin D, omega-3s, and other essential nutrients is? Could your levels be improved? Test now to find out!
How Can You Use this Information for YOUR Health?
Having and maintaining healthy vitamin D and other nutrient levels can help improve your health now and for your future. Measuring is the only way to make sure you are getting enough!
STEP 1 Order your at-home blood spot test kit to measure vitamin D and other nutrients of concern to you, such as omega-3s, magnesium, essential and toxic elements (zinc, copper, selenium, lead, cadmium, mercury); include hsCRP as a marker of inflammation or HbA1c for blood sugar health
STEP 2 Answer the online questionnaire as part of the GrassrootsHealth study
STEP 3 Using our educational materials and tools (such as our dose calculators), assess your results to determine if you are in your desired target range or if actions should be taken to get there
STEP 4 After 3-6 months of implementing your changes, re-test to see if you have achieved your target level(s)