Researchers are hoping to stave off one of the greatest pitfalls of aging - loss of brain function - with vitamin D.
Studies have recently discovered vitamin D improves memory in mice, and researchers are hoping it will translate into humans.
The world-first study is looking at how the vitamin can improve brain function in older people.
It will be one of the first projects at the new South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute building on Adelaide’s North Terrace.
“We're interested in also even effects on depressive symptoms and attentiveness and even fatigue,” research scientist Dr Louise Bennett said.
Trials with mice have already shown remarkable results.
“They had better long term memory and they had better awareness,” Dr Bennett said.
Researchers hope it will translate to humans and will use the study to try to increase vitamin D in participants by using sources found in food, rather than exposure to harmful UV rays.
“Obviously getting your vitamin d in the diet is more convenient sometimes than going out in the sun,” Dr Bennett said.
It's estimated around 30 per cent of Australians are vitamin D deficient, but in the elderly, that number jumps to 40 per cent.
Researchers are looking for people aged 65 to 90 to take part in the trial.