Here’s a list of studies about vitamin D and brain health:

Effect of Vitamin D Replacement on Cognition in Multiple Sclerosis Patients (2017)

Conclusion: Three months of high-dose vitamin D3 supplementation (10,000 IU / day) was found to be effective in improving memory in multiple sclerosis patients.


Does High Dose Vitamin D Supplementation Enhance Cognition? A Randomized Trial in Healthy Adults (2017)

Conclusion: Supplementing with 4,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day was found to be effective for improving non-verbal memory in adults – especially in deficient subjects.


Association of Metabolic Syndrome and 25-Hydroxyvitamin D with Cognitive Impairment Among Elderly Koreans (2016)

Conclusion: In a study of 2,940 elderly Koreans, those suffering from cognitive impairment had lower vitamin D levels compared to those with higher vitamin D levels.


Vitamin D Insufficiency and Cognitive Impairment in Asians: A Multi-Ethnic Population-Based Study and Meta-Analysis (2016)

Conclusion: In a study of 2,273 elderly Singaporean Asians, those with higher vitamin D levels achieved better scores on cognitive tests compared to those with lower vitamin D levels.


A Study of Cognitive Functions in Female Elderly Patients with Osteoporosis: A Multi-Center Cross-Sectional Study (2016)

Conclusion: In a study of 277 postmenopausal women, those with osteoporosis were found to have worse cognitive function. Osteoporosis is a symptom of long-term vitamin D deficiency.


Higher Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Lower Plasma Glucose Are Associated with Larger Gray Matter Volume but Not with White Matter or Total Brain Volume in Dutch Community-Dwelling Older Adults (2015)

Conclusion: A study of 217 elderly Dutch people found that those with higher vitamin D levels also had higher grey matter volume in their brains.


Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Predicts Cognitive Performance in Adults (2015)

Conclusion: In a study of 254 Lebanese adults in the Beirut area, those with higher vitamin D levels performed better on cognitive performance tests compared to those with lower vitamin D levels.


Vitamin D and Cognitive Function: The Tromsø Study (2015)

Conclusion: In a Norwegian cross-sectional study of thousands of people, those with higher vitamin D levels were found to have better cognitive function compared to those with lower vitamin D levels.


Vitamin D Deficiency Disrupts Neuronal Integrity in Cognitively Impaired Patients (2015)

Conclusion: In a study of 109 memory-impaired patients, those with higher vitamin D levels were found to have better neuronal integrity.


The Impact of Maternal Vitamin D Status on Offspring Brain Development and Function: a Systematic Review (2015)

Conclusion: Big overview of all the research showing how crucial vitamin D is during fetal development for proper brain development and how vitamin D-deficiency in utero has been linked to multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, diabetes, autism, depression, impaired speech and language development, and behavioral impairments including problems with anxiety, learning, memory, and impulse control.


Maternal Vitamin D Deficiency Alters Fetal Brain Development in the BALB/c Mouse  (2015)

Conclusion: Like many other similar studies, vitamin D-deficiency was shown to impair fetal neurodevelopment in mice.


Vitamin D Prevents Cognitive Decline and Enhances Hippocampal Synaptic Function in Aging Rats (2014)

Conclusion: Rats given higher doses of vitamin D performed better in cognitive tests compared to rats given lower doses of vitamin D.


Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Cognitive Decline: A Longitudinal Study Among Non-Demented Older Adults (2014)

Conclusion: A multi-year study of 527 non-demented elderly people found that those with lower vitamin D levels also demonstrated worse cognitive function compared to those with higher vitamin D levels.


Relationship Between 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Cognitive Function in Older Adults: The Health, Aging and Body Composition Study (2014)

Conclusion: In a 4-year study of 2,777 elderly people found that those with lower vitamin D levels had worse cognitive function and experienced a greater decline in cognitive function over the 4 years compared to those with higher vitamin D levels.


Vitamin D and the Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer Disease (2014)

Conclusion: In an 8-year study of 1,658 elderly people, there was an increased rate of alzheimer’s disease and dementia among those with lower vitamin D levels compared to those with higher vitamin D levels.


Vitamin D Deficiency, Cognitive Impairment and Dementia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (2012)

Conclusion: “Meta-analysis of 5 cross-sectional and 2 longitudinal studies comprising 7,688 participants showed an increased risk of cognitive impairment in those with low vitamin D compared with normal vitamin D “


Vitamin D, Cognition, and Dementia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (2012)

Conclusion: Meta-analysis of 8 different studies evaluating vitamin D levels, cognitive function, and mental health. The researchers found that those with lower vitamin D levels had worse cognitive function and a higher incidence of Alzheimer disease.


Vitamin D and Cognitive Impairment in the Elderly U.S. Population (2011)

Conclusion: A study of 3,325 elderly Americans found that those with lower vitamin D levels performed worse on cognitive tests compared to those with higher vitamin D levels.


The Effects of Vitamin D on Brain Development and Adult Brain Function (2011)

Conclusion: Overview of role of vitamin D in brain development.


Serum Vitamin D Deficiency as a Predictor of Incident Non-Alzheimer Dementias: A 7-Year Longitudinal Study (2011)

Conclusion: Forty healthy elderly women were divided into two groups based on their vitamin D levels, a lower vitamin D level group and a higher vitamin D level group. The women were followed up with 7 years later and screen for non-Alzheimer dementia. The women who had lower vitamin D levels at the beginning of the study 7 years prior had a higher incidence rate of non-Alzheimer dementia. “Baseline vitamin D deficiency predicted the onset of NAD within 7 years among older women.”


Association Between Low Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Depression in a Large Sample of Healthy Adults: The Cooper Center Longitudinal Study (2011)

Conclusion: Longitudinal study evaluated the vitamin D levels and depression incidence of 12,594 participants. Researchers found that those with lower vitamin D levels had higher rates of depression. “We found that low vitamin D levels are associated with depressive symptoms, especially in persons with a history of depression.”


Association Between 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels and Cognitive Performance in Middle-Aged and Older European Men (2009)

Conclusion: In a cross-sectional study of 3,133 middle-aged and elderly European men from 8 different locations, those with higher vitamin D levels performed better on cognitive tests compared to those with lower vitamin D levels.


Vitamin D and Neurocognitive Dysfunction: Preventing “D”ecline? (2008)

Note: This article provides an overview of how vitamin D plays a role in brain health during old age and can help prevent dementia and alzheimer’s.


Developmental Vitamin D Deficiency Alters Brain Protein Expression in the Adult Rat: Implications for Neuropsychiatric Disorders (2007)

Conclusion: This study found that rat pups born from vitamin D-deficient mothers suffered from dysregulation of 36 different brain proteins.


Maternal Vitamin D Depletion Alters Neurogenesis in the Developing Rat Brain (2007)

Conclusion: Read the title


Is Vitamin D Important for Preserving Cognition? A Positive Correlation of Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentration with Cognitive Function. (2007)

Conclusion: This study of 32 elderly people found that those with higher vitamin D levels performed better on a cognitive test than those with lower levels.


Vitamin D Deficiency is Associated with Low Mood and Worse Cognitive Performance in Older Adults (2006)

Conclusion: A study of 80 older adults found that 58% had inadequate vitamin D levels and those with lower levels had worse scores on depression and cognitive function tests.


Vitamin D Deficiency Is Associated With Low Mood and Worse Cognitive Performance in Older Adults (2006)

Conclusion: 40 elderly people with alzheimer’s disease and 40 non-demented elderly people who were participating in studies at the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center were evaluated. Their vitamin D levels, physical performance, and cognitive/mental health were measured with a variety of mental health tests. The vitamin D results were not good. The average level of the entire group was only 18.5 ng/ml and 58% had “abnormally low” vitamin D levels. Those who were vitamin D-deficient were found to have a higher prevalence of mood disorders and scored worse on the Short Blessed Test (SBT) and the Clinical Dementia Rating test (CRD).


Distribution of the Vitamin D Receptor and 1α-hydroxylase in Human Brain (2005)

Conclusion: The human brain contains a lot of vitamin D receptors.


Developmental Vitamin D3 Deficiency Alters the Adult Rat Brain. (2005)

Conclusion: This study found that rat pups who suffer stunted brain development from fetal vitamin D-deficiency continue to exhibit this stunted brain development into adult age.


Vitamin D Supplementation Improves Neuromuscular Function in Older People who Fall (2004)

Conclusion: In this randomized, placebo-controlled experiment, 139 elderly patients with a history of falls were given either a 600,000 IU megadose of vitamin D2 or a placebo. At baseline and 6 months later they were evaluated for postural sway, reaction time, physical performance, and leg strength. At 6 months, the supplemented group had higher vitamin D levels and demonstrated superior reaction time and functional performance compared to the placebo group – who actually exhibited deteriorating physical performance. It’s important to note that almost all studies comparing vitamin D2 and D3 have found D2 to be only about 25% as potent as D3 and a dose of 600,000 IU per 6 months averages out to only about 3,500 IU per day, which is unlikely enough for elderly people to get their levels into an optimal range. “Vitamin D supplementation, in fallers with vitamin D insufficiency, has a significant beneficial effect on functional performance, reaction time and balance, but not muscle strength. This suggests that vitamin D supplementation improves neuromuscular or neuroprotective function, which may in part explain the mechanism whereby vitamin D reduces falls and fractures.”


Vitamin D3 and Brain Development (2003)

Conclusion: This is an overview of a study in which the brains of rat pups born from vitamin D-depleted mothers and vitamin D-sufficient mothers were compared. The vitamin D-depleted rat pups developed “substantially” different brains compared to those with decent vitamin D levels. The depleted pups had brain hemispheres that were longer, but thinner. They also had thinner neocortexes, different rates of brain cell mitosis and apoptosis, radically different ventricular volume, and differences in neurohormone expression.


1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 Induces Nerve Growth Factor, Promotes Neurite Outgrowth and Inhibits Mitosis in Embryonic Rat Hippocampal Neurons (2003)

Conclusion: Read the title


Effect of Sunlight and Season on Serotonin Turnover in the Brain (2002)

Conclusion: A study of 101 healthy men found that their serotonin levels were lowest during winter, when there’s less sunlight, but serotonin production in the brain “rose rapidly” as the amount of bright sunlight increased.


New Clues About Vitamin D Functions in the Nervous System (2002)

Conclusion: Overview of the important vitamin D plays in brain and nervous system health.


Vitamin D: The Neglected Neurosteroid? (2001)

Note: Brief overview explaining some of vitamin D’s role in the nervous system.


1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 Regulates the Synthesis of γ-Glutamyl Transpeptidase and Glutathione Levels in Rat Primary Astrocytes (1999)

Note: This study found that vitamin D plays an important role in regulating central nervous detoxification pathways.


Mild Mental Retardation in Black and White Children in Metropolitan Atlanta: A Case-Control Study (1995)

Conclusion: This study of 893 children in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. (330 mildly retarded kids and 563 normal controls) found that the rate of mental retardation in black children is nearly double that of white children. Although this study did not explore vitamin D as a factor, it is proven and well-documented that vitamin D is a crucial factor in brain development in utero and during childhood and there is also an overwhelming amount of evidence that blacks disproportionately suffer from vitamin D-deficiency and vitamin D-deficiency-related diseases and disorders due to the high amount of melanin in their skin partially or totally preventing cutaneous vitamin D synthesis from sunlight. It is also well-documented that people with mental disabilities and mental disorders tend to have lower vitamin D levels or have been born from and breastfed by mothers with poor vitamin D levels, and that vitamin D plays a very large role in producing optimal cognitive performance throughout life.
Also see: Health Studies Regarding Skin Color, Vitamin D, and Racial Health Disparities


Alleviation of Migraines with Therapeutic Vitamin D and Calcium (1994)

Conclusion: “Two postmenopausal migraineurs who developed frequent and excruciating migraine headaches (one following estrogen replacement therapy and the other following a stroke) were treated with combination vitamin D and calcium. Therapeutic replacement with vitamin D and calcium resulted in a dramatic reduction in the frequency and duration of their migraine headaches.”



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