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Spend 10 mins in the sun every morning to sharpen your memory

Sunlight is the best sources of vitamin D. @Shutterstock

Various studies have suggested that low levels of vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, may cause faster memory loss.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : December 4, 2020 9:22 AM IST

As you age, your memory or recall capacity would gradually decline. While subtle changes in memory is a normal part of the aging process. Some people may experience memory decline sooner than anticipated. There are many things that could cause problems with memory such as a medication side effect or an underlying health problem or vitamin deficiency. Various studies have suggested that low levels of vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, may cause faster memory loss in older adults.

Vitamin D is well known for promoting bone health and regulating vital calcium levels, but this fat-soluble nutrient does more than that. Vitamin D is essential for a number of functions throughout the body, including the workings of the brain.

According to researchers, there are receptors for vitamin D throughout the central nervous system and in the hippocampus. Vitamin D activates and deactivates enzymes in the brain that are involved in neurotransmitter synthesis and nerve growth. In addition, it protects neurons and reduces inflammation, enabling healthy brain functioning.

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Vitamin D deficiency and memory decline

Low vitamin D levels in older adults may cause them to lose their memories and thinking abilities faster, suggested a 2015 study published in JAMA Neurology.

Another study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease in 2016 also revealed an association between severe vitamin D deficiency and visual memory decline.

An international research team, led by David Llewellyn of the University of Exeter Medical School, also found that seniors who were severely deficient in vitamin D were more than twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's and dementia than those who had adequate levels.

An estimated 40-75% of all adults are said to be vitamin D deficient. This may be because they are not getting enough exposure to the sunlight, the best sources of vitamin D. In order to maintain an adequate vitamin D level in your body, experts recommend exposing yourself to early morning sunlight for 10 to 15 minutes daily without sunscreen.

You can also increase intake of foods that contain vitamin D like beef liver, cod liver oil, salmon, sardines, swordfish, tuna, and foods fortified with vitamin D such as yogurt, milk, and orange juice.

Tips to improve your memory

There are many simple ways to boost your brain power and improve your memory. We have listed 5 best tips for you.

Get Adequate Sleep

Your brain sorts and stores memories during sleep. Therefore, getting good quality sleep is important for better cognitive function, including your memory. Establish a good sleep pattern to help you sleep better.

Exercise Daily

Exercise helps increase the volume of the brain's hippocampus, the structure involved in verbal memory and learning. Also, exercising improve circulation to the brain, as well as reduces risk of diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which can lead to memory loss.

Reduce Stress

When you're stressed, your body releases stress hormone cortisol. Higher levels of cortisol have been linked to impaired memory and brain shrinkage. If you're experiencing stress, try to find ways to lessen your stress and calm your mind and body.

Play Brain Games

Challenge your brain with different tasks and information to maintain and improve your cognitive abilities. Playing brain games is a great way to challenge your brain. It helps activate synapses in the brain, improve concentration and recalling ability.

Laugh More

It is true, laughter is the best medicine in the world. Laughter triggers the release endorphins in the brain, the body's natural feel-good chemicals. This causes changes in the brain wave activity that positively affect memory and recall. Plus, laughter helps reduce stress that can affect your memory.

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