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Vitamin D has become a subject of intense study as scientists find more and more diseases that high levels of vitamin D seem to protect against. Easily obtained by exposure to the sun and also available in some foods, insufficient amounts of the nutrient have been linked to major diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease as well as a host of other conditions.
In a recent study from UCLA and UC Riverside, researchers found that vitamin D, combined with curcumin - a chemical found in the spice turmeric, may help protect against the plaques that cause Alzheimer's disease.
"We hope that vitamin D3 and curcumin, both naturally occurring nutrients, may offer new preventive and treatment possibilities for Alzheimer's disease," said Dr Milan Fiala, the author of the study.
Vitamin D3 is the form of the vitamin produced in the body by exposure to sunlight.
A recent study appearing in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that vitamin D levels in the U.S. population have decreased since 1988. Vitamin D testing is readily available, and becoming more common as awareness of the nutrient's benefits spread.
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