07/08/2014 10:57 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Vitamin D: Could Low Levels Lead To Dementia?

Good news for sun-worshipers - there's more proof that some sunshine is good for you.

Getty Images
Staff Photo by Derek Davis: Monday, Nov. 10, 2008. Vitamin D capsules. (Photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

The results of a new study show a deficiency in vitamin D (made in your skin when its exposed to ultraviolet light) can double the risk of dementia in older people.

Research published in Neurology says low levels of the vitamin are associated with the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Medical News Today reports the researchers tested 1,658 dementia-free people aged over 65.

Dr David Llewellyn from the University of Exeter Medical School led the study over six years. His team found that those deficient in the vitamin had a one in five chance of developing dementia.

"We actually found that the association was twice as strong as we anticipated," he said.

However, Dr Llewellyn has stated that further research needs to be carried out before preventative measures such as taking vitamin D supplements can be recommended.

"We need to be cautious at this early stage and our latest results do not demonstrate that low vitamin D levels cause dementia," he added.

"That 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."

Find out more about vitamin D here.

Want to eat your way to better skin? Try these vitamin-rich foods...

Supplements to stop sugar cravings and pre-wedding health prep

Vitamins: The best supplements for hair, skin and nails