Low Vitamin D May Double Risk of Dementia

As with so many other perplexing questions about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, researchers are unsure why there seems to be a link between low vitamin D levels and a higher risk of developing these brain diseases. Now one of the largest studies yet finds that link is even more worrisome: Too little of the vitamin may, in fact, double the risk of developing the devastating conditions. The new research, which followed nearly 1,700 adults over the age of 65 for …

Bone Up on Bone Health In May

May is National Osteoporosis Month – a good time to assess your risk of breaking a bone and figure out the best way for you to avoid osteoporosis down the road. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), where I am honored to serve as Bone Health Ambassador, 52 million Americans have osteoporosis. And thanks to population dynamics, the numbers rise each year: By 2020, half of all Americans over age 50 are expected to be affected. >> Sign up for …

Winter Weary? 6 Ways to Cheer Up

Sick of winter yet? The harsh winter has left schools and governments closed, thousands without power and even the usually sunny South at an icy standstill. It’s also caused a cabin fever outbreak of record proportions. Not only are we bored and craving sun; being stuck inside alone can be bad for our health. A University of Chicago study found that feelings of loneliness and isolation can lead to increased stress, higher blood pressure and other health problems. >> Sign up …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun … 1. Scientists have built the world’s first bionic man. (Learn more at Today.com) 2. The U.S. Postal Service won’t issue stamps it’s already printed to promote the government’s “Let’s Move” campaign because some depict kids doing things that may not be safe. (Learn more at New York Times) 3. An Oxford University researcher who led a study of kissing is “still not exactly sure why it is so widespread or what purpose it serves.” (Learn more …

New Study: Vitamin D Pills Don’t Strengthen Healthy Bones

Almost half of American adults take extra vitamin D to help strengthen their bones. But a new study published online today in the Lancet concludes that for healthy older adults, taking those pills to prevent osteoporosis is simply a waste of money. Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter “Most healthy adults do not need vitamin D supplements,” said study leader Ian Reid, M.D., from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Reid’s conclusion is based on a review of all …

Vitamin D Pills: Many Labels Can’t Be Trusted

If you need to take a vitamin D supplement, be aware you may be getting far less or far more than the label shows, a new study shows. Researchers found that off-the-shelf pills from 12 different manufacturers plus two from specialty compounding pharmacies contained from a minuscule 9 percent to a whopping 146 percent of the amount listed on the label (which ranged from 1,000 to 10,000 international units [IU]). Not only was there variation among different brands and manufacturers, …