With thanks to Mercola.com and Science Direct:

Vitamin D research is the new buzz in scientific research, apparently having a role in preventing influenza, heart attacks and now its role in brain function is being studied:

Accumulating data have provided evidence that vitamin D is involved in brain function. Vitamin D can inhibit the synthesis of inducible nitric oxide synthase and increase glutathione levels, suggesting a role for the hormone in brain detoxification.

The study shows that vitamin D helps remove mercury from your body safely by radically increasing the amount of intracellular glutathione. Neuroprotective and immunomodulatory effects of this hormone have also been described in several experimental models, indicating the potential value of vitamin D in helping neurodegenerative and neuroimmune diseases.

In addition, vitamin D induces glioma cell death, making the hormone of potential interest in the management of brain tumors. These results reveal previously unsuspected roles for vitamin D in brain function and suggest possible areas of future research.

The expression of vitamin D-metabolizing enzymes and vitamin D receptors in neural tissues, in addition to novel evidence for neuroprotective and neuroimmune effects of 1a,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, support pivotal functions for this hormone in both central and peripheral nervous system.

Accumulating data have provided evidence that 1α,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25-(OH)2D3] is involved in brain function. Thus, the nuclear receptor for 1,25-(OH)2D3 has been localized in neurons and glial cells. Genes encoding the enzymes involved in the metabolism of this hormone are also expressed in brain cells.

The reported biological effects of 1,25-(OH)2D3 in the nervous system include the biosynthesis of neurotrophic factors and at least one enzyme involved in neurotransmitter synthesis. 1,25-(OH)2D3 can also inhibit the synthesis of inducible nitric oxide synthase and increase glutathione levels, suggesting a role for the hormone in brain detoxification pathways.

Neuroprotective and immunomodulatory effects of this hormone have been described in several experimental models, indicating the potential value of 1,25-(OH)2D3 pharmacological analogs in neurodegenerative and neuroimmune diseases.

In addition, 1,25-(OH)2D3 induces glioma cell death, making the hormone of potential interest in the management of brain tumors. These results reveal previously unsuspected roles for 1,25-(OH)2D3 in brain function and suggest possible areas of future research.

Important cod liver oil update