Lack of Vitamin D Seriously Impacts Brain
While it’s no secret that a lack of vitamin D, caused by insufficient exposure to sunlight, affects the brain in many negative ways, a team of neuroscientists believe they may have finally uncovered why.
Dr. Thomas Burne of the University of Queensland found that, when he deprived healthy rats of vitamin D their perineuronal nets (often called the “scaffolding of the brain”) were significantly affected – “declining by as much as half in the essential hippocampus region,” according to IFLScience.com.
Papers recently published in Brain Structure and Function and Trends in Neuroscience outlined research conducted by Burne and his colleagues which indicated “vitamin D may offer protection against enzymes that cut into the scaffolding.” This scaffolding is particularly important in the hippocampus when it comes to memory formation.
Not only that, but the team also found that the right side of the hippocampus was more affected than the left, which Burne claims may explain long-standing work he has been a part of that links low vitamin D before birth to schizophrenia.
Burne told IFLScience.com that the relationship between vitamin D and brain health is a complicated one. “If you take anyone with almost any disease, they will generally have lower vitamin D than healthy control,” Burne said. “So it looks like deficiency is a consequence of getting ill.”
Read more on IFLScience.com.