Vitamin D, cognitive function, and mental health

E. P. Cherniack, B. R. Troen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Although it has long thought to be primarily involved in calcium regulation and bone metabolism, vitamin D is now believed to play an important role in the process of neural development, and insufficiency of vitamin D has been associated with pathology of cognition and mental illness. Vitamin D receptors are located in the brain, and vitamin D may protect neurons and promote neural growth. Some studies have suggested associations between basic and executive cognitive function, depressive symptoms, and serum vitamin D levels. However, causation has not been proved, and well-designed randomized, controlled clinical trials using sufficient doses of vitamin D to alleviate manifestations of mental and cognitive illness still need to be performed. It seems prudent for many reasons to detect and correct vitamin D insufficiency in all patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLifetime Nutritional Influences on Cognition, Behaviour and Psychiatric Illness
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9781845697525
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Cognition
  • Mental illness
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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