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. 2014;34:117-41.
doi: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-071813-105557.

Vitamin D as a Neurosteroid Affecting the Developing and Adult Brain


Vitamin D as a Neurosteroid Affecting the Developing and Adult Brain

Natalie J Groves et al. Annu Rev Nutr. .


Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent throughout the world, and growing evidence supports a requirement for optimal vitamin D levels for the healthy developing and adult brain. Vitamin D has important roles in proliferation and differentiation, calcium signaling within the brain, and neurotrophic and neuroprotective actions; it may also alter neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. Recent experimental studies highlight the impact that vitamin D deficiency has on brain function in health and disease. In addition, results from recent animal studies suggest that vitamin D deficiency during adulthood may exacerbate underlying brain disorders and/or worsen recovery from brain stressors. An increasing number of epidemiological studies indicate that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a wide range of neuropsychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Vitamin D supplementation is readily available and affordable, and this review highlights the need for further research.

Keywords: animal models; behavior; brain development; neurochemistry; vitamin D.

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