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Vitamin D in schizophrenia and depression: a clinical review

  • John Lally (a1) and Fiona Gaughran (a2)

Evidence from preclinical and clinical studies supports a role for vitamin D deficiency in many mental disorders. In this review, we discuss the role of vitamin D in the aetiology and treatment of schizophrenia and depression and their physical health comorbidities. Although observational studies support a potential association between vitamin D and schizophrenia and depression, sufficient high-quality evidence from clinical trials does not yet exist to establish a place for vitamin D supplementation in optimising clinical response or promoting physical health. Completed randomised controlled trials are needed to provide insights into the efficacy and safety of vitamin D in the management of mental disorders.


After reading this article you will be able to:

  • outline the epidemiology of vitamin D deficiency in schizophrenia
  • describe the associations of vitamin D with schizophrenia and depression
  • know how to assess, and consider treatment for, vitamin D deficiency.


F.G. has received support or honoraria for CME, advisory work and lectures from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Janssen, Lundbeck, Otsuka, Roche and Sunovion, and has a family member with professional links to Lilly and GSK, including shares. She is in part funded by the National Institute for Health Research's (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London and the South London Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research & Care Funding scheme, and by the Maudsley Charity. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.

Corresponding author
Correspondence Dr John Lally, PO63, Department of Psychosis Studies, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK. Email:
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Vitamin D in schizophrenia and depression: a clinical review

  • John Lally (a1) and Fiona Gaughran (a2)
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