Food and Behaviour Research

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Vitamin D and Age-Related Health Outcomes: Movement, Mood, and Memory

Houston DK (2015) Curr Nutr Rep.  2015 Jun 1 4(2)  185-200 doi: 10.1007/s13668-015-0124-8; Epub 2015 May 8

Web URL: View this and related abstract via PubMed here. Free full text is available online.


It has long been recognized that vitamin D plays an important role in calcium homeostasis and musculoskeletal health. More recent evidence supports a role of vitamin D in physical and cognitive function and depressive symptoms through direct effects on skeletal muscle and the brain as well as indirectly through its reported roles in chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, conditions that frequently lead to declines in physical and cognitive function and depressed mood.

The purpose of this review is to summarize the prospective cohort and randomized controlled trial evidence for vitamin D on physical and cognitive function and depressed mood in older adults. Results from both prospective cohort studies and randomized controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation are mixed. Thus, controversy remains over the optimal vitamin D concentration for physical and cognitive function and depressed mood and whether vitamin D supplementation is beneficial for these outcomes.