Vitamin D and depression have been linked in a new study, which found that undesirably low levels of the former may be linked with the latter.
Low Vitamin D levels have, of late, been linked to all sorts of chronic health issues — such as weight gain in older women, systematic immaturity in newborns, predisposition to pancreatic cancer, reduced longevity, and increased risk of stroke. (However, there was some concern after a study linked Vitamin D and calcium supplements with heart risk and neutral effect on fracture risk recently.)
The results of a very small Vitamin D and depression study were presented recently at the 94th Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society in Houston, and the findings suggest further, larger scale study on Vitamin D and depression could be of benefit.
All three women were treated with Vitamin D for between eight and 12 weeks to boost levels of the vitamin in their blood. During the course of treatment, their blood levels increased to between 32 and 38 ng/mL, during which time all three reported noticeable reduction of depression symptoms.
Researcher Sonal Pathak, MD is an endocrinologist at Bay Health Endocrinology in Dover, Delaware. Pathak explains that as of now, there is no solid evidence of a Vitamin D and depression link — she says:
“There is no solid proof that vitamin D deficiency causes depression… Large studies are clearly needed.”
Endocrinologist Erin LeBlanc, MD says that the findings suggest further study on Vitamin D and depression would be beneficial:
“This is an interesting study… It does show that vitamin D and its effects on things besides bone should be studied more.”
Vitamin D is known to have an impact on certain areas of the brain that regulate emotion.