Vitamin D supplementation may be beneficial in depression

April 7, 2014
Vitamin D supplementation may be beneficial in depression

(HealthDay)—Vitamin D supplementation has no overall effect on depressive symptoms, but may have a significant effect for those with clinically significant depression, according to a review published online March 14 in Psychosomatic Medicine.

Jonathan A. Shaffer, Ph.D., from the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to identify randomized trials that compared the effect of vitamin D supplementation with a control condition on depression or . Seven trials, involving 3,191 participants, were included in the analyses.

The researchers found that despite considerable heterogeneity there was no overall effect for vitamin D supplementation on depressive symptoms (standardized mean difference [SMD], −0.14; P = 0.16). For participants with clinically significant depressive symptoms or , vitamin D supplementation had a moderate, statistically significant effect (two studies: SMD, −0.60; P = 0.046), while the effect was small and nonsignificant for those without clinically significant depression (five studies: SMD, −0.04; P = 0.61). The risk of bias was unclear or high in most trials.

"Vitamin D supplementation may be effective for reducing depressive symptoms in patients with clinically significant depression; however, further high quality research is needed," the authors write.

Explore further: Lack of nutrients and metabolic syndrome linked to different subtypes of depression

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