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Vitamin D for Brain Fog Can Reduce Symptoms! Here's How

brain fog brain health Mar 27, 2023
Hand holding a vitamin D pill up to the sky with the sun shining behind it.

As a memory health coach for women, one of the most common issues I see is a lack of mental clarity and focus for women over 40. This can be due to many factors, including nutritional and vitamin deficiencies that can lead to sluggish thinking and low energy.

Today we’ll discuss Vitamin D, or the sunshine vitamin, and its role in supporting clear thinking.

Dealing with brain fog can be difficult to navigate and extremely frustrating, but there is hope. In this article, I’m going to share:

  • the experience of brain fog symptoms for women
  • the vitamin D brain fog connection
  • how to get vitamin D from natural sources
  • the impact of deficiencies
  • supplementation of vitamin D as a part of your clear-thinking protocol

Before we dive in, let’s briefly define brain fog.

What is brain fog?

Brain fog is the sensation of sluggish thinking, lack of focus and sloth-like cognitive processing. It can quite literally feel like a thick fog has settled in over your brain and slowed everything down.

Common symptoms of brain fog include:

  • Lethargy or chronic fatigue
  • Poor concentration
  • Irritability
  • Poor memory or memory loss
  • Delayed thinking and processing time
  • Difficulty word finding
  • Anxiety

Symptoms can be mild or so severe that they leave you wondering if you have early onset Alzheimer's disease. The entire experience of brain fog can be extremely frustrating, difficult to navigate and lonely at times.

Why does brain fog happen?

Brain fog can settle in for many reasons, especially in women over the age of 40. Common causes of brain fog include:

  • Nutritional and vitamin deficiencies, poor diet
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Chronic stress
  • Sleep disorder or chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Depression or other mood disorders

What can you do to solve brain fog?

First and foremost, talk to your healthcare provider.

Symptoms of brain fog and mental fatigue are real and should be addressed. Your doctor can order labs to test for deficiencies and other medical conditions. Be prepared to advocate for yourself if you’re told otherwise.

When it comes to women’s health, invisible challenges such as brain fog have historically been normalized or brushed under the rug. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you’re faced with a doctor who isn’t listening to you or find another doctor.

Solving brain fog is 100% possible. Factors to consider include having a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, exposure to natural sunshine and exercise. These factors all contribute to clear thinking, better focus, and a strong memory.

Vitamin D and Brain Function

Vitamin D plays an essential role for cognitive function. Its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties support your immune system, your muscle function, and your brain cell activity. It’s also vital for building and maintaining healthy bones.

Vitamin D Effects on Brain Health

The powerful anti-inflammatory effects of Vitamin D can help keep your blood vessels in good condition and make sure your brain gets plenty of nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood.

Vitamin D plays a role in your mood.

Low vitamin D levels are associated with increased depressive symptoms. Ensuring that you have enough vitamin D and getting more time out in nature can help regulate your mood and improve your mental health which plays an important role in your thinking.

Vitamin D can improve alertness.

Think of how you feel when you’re trapped inside all day versus stepping out and feeling the sunshine touch your skin. Just being outdoors can boost your mood and energy, it can also help you get the vitamin D you need to improve alertness.

Vitamin D can enhance memory function.

Your attention is required in order to create and store memories, as is restorative sleep. Enhancing alertness can improve your presence and your capacity to remember information. Additionally, some research indicates a connection between low levels of vitamin D and cognitive impairment or your Alzheimer's and dementia risk.

The Low Vitamin D Brain Fog Connection in Women

Research shows that low levels of vitamin D are associated with cognitive decline. Additionally, low vitamin D is associated with symptoms of depression which can also impact cognitive function and brain fog.

Alternatively, studies demonstrate that getting adequate D can help alleviate brain fog. This small study on postmenopausal women with low levels of vitamin D indicated that study participants who supplemented with 2000 IU of vitamin D a day for 1 year performed better on visual learning and working memory tests than those who had 600 IU doses.

Supplementing vitamin D may improve mood, memory, and concentration and help to alleviate frustrating brain fog symptoms.

What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency?

It’s easy to assume that since you can absorb vitamin D from sunshine that you’re getting enough just by walking outside, however, you can become deficient for different reasons, including:

  • Not getting enough exposure to sunlight
  • Not consuming enough vitamin D in your diet
  • Malabsorption of vitamin D
  • Kidney problems
  • Taking medicines that interfere with your body’s ability to absorb or convert vitamin D

Additionally, many health conditions can place you at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency. Older women tend to be at higher risk for low levels. Your doctor can order a blood test to determine if you’re deficient.

Sources of Vitamin D

You can get vitamin D in your system in three ways: sunshine, diet, and supplementation.

Vitamin D Foods

Here is a list of foods that naturally have some vitamin D:

  • Fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines (which is also a rich source of healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids!)
  • Mushrooms
  • Egg yolks
  • Canned tuna
  • Herring
  • Swiss cheese

Additionally, some foods are fortified to contain more vitamin D, including:

  • Milk
  • Orange juice
  • Yogurts
  • Breakfast cereals

These fortified foods will have vitamin D on the nutritional label. Of course, consuming fortified breakfast cereal (which is often also high in sugar) can be less helpful in resolving your brain fog than choosing whole-foods rich in other vitamins and minerals that are good for your brain, such as salmon.

Here’s a list of the Top 10 Worst Foods for Your Memory and Brain Health!

How Much Vitamin D?

According to the National Institute of Health, the amount of vitamin D you need daily depend on your age. The recommended amounts for adults are as follows:

  • Adults 19-70 years: 600 IU
  • Adults 71 years and older: 800 IU
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women: 600 IU

Older adults are at higher risk than young adults for vitamin D deficiency. It’s important to check with your health care provider about how much you need.

Vitamin D Supplements

Many multivitamins contain vitamin D. Taking a high-quality multivitamin can be one of the best ways to get the nutrients you need to combat brain fog.

The Best Brain Health Supplement (& Supplement for Brain Fog) on the Market in 2023

The #1 brain health multivitamin I recommend as a memory health coach is Relevate by Neuroreserve. It’s the only supplement on the market that is based off of the optimal diets for brain health: the Mediterranean and MIND diets. (Read more about the MIND diet here).

Relevate contains vitamin D along with omega-3s, b vitamins including B3 and B12 and magnesium, all of which are essential components to a brain healthy diet – and equally as important when battling brain fog.

If you want to try Relevate, code “FRANCINE” can save you 15% off your order.

Supplementing for Vitamin D Deficiencies

If you have a deficiency in vitamin D, as determined by your doctor, supplementing vitamin D independently can ensure you reach optimal levels. Your healthcare provider will determine how much you need to take daily to meet your needs.

Looking for more ways to help brain fog?

Vitamin D is only one part of the equation. In this article, I share a list of The 6 Best Vitamins and Supplements for Brain Fog.

I also want to stress the importance of optimizing your lifestyle to support your brain health, especially after age 40. Don’t wait for the wake-up call to start working on your memory and cognitive health.

Start now. Your ability to overcome brain fog and think clearly again will depend on your diet, exercise habits, stress management and what strategies you’re using to boost your focus and recall.

As a memory health coach for women, I can help you relieve memory problems and the anxiety that comes with them. Click here to learn more about the Memory Confidence Method and if it’s a good fit, schedule your free consultation call to get start. I’d love to help you think clearly again.


As we’ve discussed, vitamin D is essential in keeping your brain sharp.

If you’re experiencing brain fog, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re getting enough nutrients to support clear thinking. It could make all the difference in thinking clearly again.

Don’t forget to read The 6 Best Vitamins and Supplements for Brain Fog

*The information in the article is not medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare provider on any specific concerns or conditions. This post contains affiliate links. As an affiliate, I may earn a commission from purchases found through my blog articles at no additional charge to you. 

Questions? Contact Francine Here

Meet the Coach

Hey there! I'm Francine, a speech-language pathologist turned memory health coach with a passion for helping you overcome your memory problems.

In my practice, I help women just like you trade memory problems for confidence and clarity everyday so you can think clearly and remember easily, without constant self-doubt weighing you down. 

If you're struggling with poor recall and foggy thinking, you're in the right place and I want to help you!


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