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Mini-Review Article

Vitamin D as a Modulator of Neuroinflammation: Implications for Brain Health

[ Vol. 30 , Issue. 5 ]


Sebastián García Menéndez and Walter Manucha*   Pages 323 - 332 ( 10 )


Neuroinflammation represents a critical immune response within the brain, playing a pivotal role in defense against injury and infection. However, when this response becomes chronic, it can contribute to the development of various neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. This bibliographic review delves into the role of vitamin D in modulating neuroinflammation and its implications for brain health, particularly in the context of neurological and psychiatric disorders. While vitamin D is traditionally associated with calcium homeostasis and bone health, it also exerts immunomodulatory and neuroprotective effects within the central nervous system. Through comprehensive analysis of preclinical and clinical studies, we uncover how vitamin D, acting through its receptors in glial cells, may influence the production of proinflammatory cytokines and antioxidants, potentially mitigating the cascade of events leading to neuronal damage. Clinical research has identified vitamin D deficiency as a common thread in the increased risks of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, and depression, among others. Furthermore, preclinical models suggest vitamin D's regulatory capacity over inflammatory mediators, its protective role against neuronal apoptosis, and its contribution to neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity. These insights underscore the potential of vitamin D supplementation not only in slowing the progression of neurodegenerative diseases but also in improving the quality of life for patients suffering from psychiatric conditions. Future clinical studies are essential to validate these findings and further our understanding of vitamin D's capacity to prevent or alleviate symptoms, opening new avenues for therapeutic strategies against neuroinflammation-related pathologies. Neuroinflammation is a crucial immune response in the brain against injuries or infections, but its persistence can lead to diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, and depression. Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) emerges as a regulator of neuroinflammation, present in brain cells such as astrocytes and microglia, modulating immune function. Vitamin D's mechanisms of action include cytokine modulation and regulation of nuclear and mitochondrial genes. It adjusts inflammatory mediators and antioxidants, resulting in neuroprotective effects. Additionally, vitamin D impacts neurotransmitter synthesis and brain plasticity. This positions vitamin D as a potential adjunct in treating diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Lastly, its role in intestinal microbiota and serotonin synthesis contributes to psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia and depression. Thus, vitamin D presents a novel therapeutic approach for neuroinflammatory, neurodegenerative, and neuropsychiatric diseases.


Vitamin D, neuroinflammation, immune modulation, neurodegeneration, psychiatric pathologies, behavior disorders.


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