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.
- Mental illness
- Vitamin D
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)