Parkinson’s Disease Linked With Low Levels of Vitamin D

A study of newly diagnosed patients with Parkinson’s disease found high rates of vitamin D insufficiency, but vitamin D levels did not continue to decline as the disease progressed, WebMD reported.Researchers from Emory University found that 70 percent of patients recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease had low blood levels of vitamin D.  Another 26 percent had vitamin D deficiency.

Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that affects 1 million older Americans.  The disease leads to tremors and problems with balance and coordination.

The study joins prior research that indicates there may be a link between low vitamin D levels and Parkinson’s disease, but it is still unclear whether vitamin D insufficiency raises the risk of Parkinson’s or if having high levels of the vitamin is protective.

“There is certainly an association, but we can’t say if it is causal,” said study researcher Marian Evatt, MD, of Emory University School of Medicine and the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

People typically get the majority of their vitamin D intake from exposure to sunlight.  Other sources of vitamin D include salmon, tuna, fortified milk and other dairy products.

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