Vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in numerous health conditions in recent years, including depressed mood and major depressive disorder.
Recent observational studies provide some support for an association of vitamin D levels with depression, but the data do not indicate whether vitamin D deficiency causes depression or vice versa. These studies also do not examine whether vitamin D supplementation improves depression.
A systematic review of clinical trials that have examined the effect of vitamin D supplementation on depression found that few well-conducted trials of vitamin D supplementation for depression have been published and that the majority of these show little to no effect of vitamin D on depression.
The review, by Jonathan A. Shaffer, PhD, assistant professor of medical sciences at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), and colleagues at CUMC's Center for Cardiovascular Behavioral Health, was published recently in the online edition of Psychosomatic Medicine.
The review found that only seven trials with a total of approximately 3200 participants compared the effect of vitamin D supplementation on depression with no vitamin D supplementation. Nearly all of these trials were characterized by methodological limitations, and all but two involved participants without clinically significant depression at the start of the study. The overall improvement in depression across all trials was small and not clinically meaningful.
However, additional analyses of the clinical data by Dr. Schaffer hinted that vitamin D supplements may help patients with clinically significant depression, particularly when combined with traditional antidepressant medication. New well-designed trials that test the effect of vitamin D supplements in these patients are needed to determine if there is any clinical benefit.
The authors note that supplementation with vitamin D also may be effective only for those with vitamin D deficiency. They also recommend that future studies consider how vitamin D dosing and mode of delivery contribute to its effects on depression.
"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. He hopes that the current review will guide researchers to design new trials that can answer the question more definitively.
The title of the paper is "Vitamin D Supplementation for Depressive Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials." The other contributors are Donald Edmondson, Lauren Taggart Wasson, Louise Falzon, and Kirsten Homma (CUMC); Nchedcochukwu Ezeokoli (Stanford University); Peter Li (New York University); and Karina W. Davidson (CUMC).
This study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (K23-HL112850, R01 HL117832, and P01 HL088117) and the American Heart Association (12CRP8870004).
The authors declare no financial or other conflicts of interests.
Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast. For more information, visit cumc.columbia.edu or columbiadoctors.org.
Karin Eskenazi | EurekAlert!
3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
22.05.2018 | Life Sciences
22.05.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News