A study published in the American Academy of Neurology has found that Vitamin D deficiency in older people may double the risk of them developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The study, the largest of its kind, looked at blood levels of vitamin D in 1,658 people over the age of 65 who were dementia-free. After an average of 6 years the follow-up showed that people with low levels of vitamin D had a 53% increased risk of developing dementia and those who were severely deficient had a 125% increased risk. The association was twice as strong as the researchers had initially anticipated. Those with lower levels of vitamin D were nearly 70% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and those who had severe deficiency were over 120% more likely to develop the disease. The study’s author, Professor David Llewellyn, said, “our findings are very encouraging, and even if a small number of people could benefit, this would have enormous public health implications given the devastating and costly nature of dementia.” He believes there now should be clinical trials to establish whether eating foods such as hemp oils or taking vitamin D can delay or even prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.