Vitamin D may treat symptoms of depression, analysis finds

Vitamin D supplements may ease symptoms of depression in adults, according to a recent meta-analysis of studies.

Researchers from Finland, Australia and the United States presented their findings in a peer-reviewed article published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition on July 11. They analyzed 41 studies looking at the effectiveness of vitamin D in adults when it came to treating depressive symptoms. .

Each of the studies involved randomized, placebo-controlled trials. The results showed that vitamin D supplements were more effective than a placebo in treating depressive symptoms in adults diagnosed with depression.

But in healthy people who haven’t been diagnosed with depression or any other psychiatric illness, the researchers found the supplements to be less effective than a placebo. Vitamin D supplements have also not been shown to be effective in adults over 65.

The supplements also seemed more effective when taken for less than 12 weeks. Additionally, doses of more than 100 micrograms per day produced a better effect, the researchers found.

However, lead author Tuomas Mikola from the University of Eastern Finland warned that there was a risk of bias among the studies involved in the analysis, as many did not provide descriptions of potential confounding variables. , such as ethnicity, diet, BMI, sun exposure and amount of exercise.

“Despite the broad scope of this meta-analysis, the certainty of the evidence remains low due to the heterogeneity of the populations studied and the risk of bias associated with a large number of studies,” he said in a statement. published on Friday. .

The authors say more research is needed to draw firm conclusions about the possibility of using vitamin D to treat depression.

“These findings will encourage further high-level clinical trials in patients with depression to better understand the possible role of vitamin D supplementation in the treatment of depression,” Mikola said.