Vitamin D supplement’s effects on depression

Vitamin D supplement’s effects on depression

If you or someone you love has ever battled depression, vitamin D supplements may have been a recommendation to try.

Unfortunately, a new study debunks the belief that vitamin D supplement pills will reduce the effects of depression. Researchers found that there is no link between vitamin D supplements and the reduction of depression and its symptoms.

The study, published in the journal, Psychosomatic Medicine, conducted at Columbia University Medical Center, tested 3,191 people. The team of researchers headed by Dr. Jonathan A. Schaffer, compared people with depression who regularly took vitamin D supplements with those who did not take the supplements.

The results showed that in the patients diagnosed with clinical depression, who also were taking a standard anti-depressant medication, showed a reduction of depression symptoms taking the vitamin D. But for the average person, the vitamin had no effect at all.

“Although tempting, adding vitamin D supplements to the armamentarium of remedies for depression appears premature based on the evidence available at this time,” said Dr. Shaffer in a news release.

He says that further investigation could provide more evidence that vitamin D could help battle depression.

While vitamin D might not directly help depression symptoms, studies show that it can help improve breast cancer survival rates and reduce risk for heart attack, cancer and stroke.

A study published earlier this year in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology concluded that vitamin D supplements are unlikely to provide these benefits. These findings are contrary to long-term beliefs of the benefits of vitamin D supplements.

Michelle Remkus, registered dietitian at Advocate Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center in Downers Grove, Ill., says that vitamin D is, however, beneficial in bone health.

“It aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus into your bones, which keeps them healthy and strong,” she says.

Remkus adds that “although vitamin D is nicknamed the “Sunshine Vitamin,” it’s not because it cheers you up or prevents depression, rather it’s because your body uses sunlight to make vitamin D.”

She says that the best way to get a healthy and natural dose of vitamin D is “10 minutes in the sunshine.”

Remkus advises to consult with your physician before beginning any vitamin supplement regimen.

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One Comment

  1. What SUN ? Chicago has little sun in winter

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.