Limited Association Between Depression and Vitamin D Deficiency

Researchers found no improvement in depression scores associated with vitamin D supplementation.

The relationship between vitamin D3 supplementation in younger patients with depression and vitamin D insufficiency remains unclear, according to study results presented at ENDO 2017: the 99th Annual Meeting & Expo, April 1-4, in Orlando, Florida.

Because there is little systematic data to clarify the association between vitamin D deficiency and depression in younger populations, Vinod Yalamanchili, MD, from the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center in Wyoming, and colleagues performed a randomized double-blind placebo study in 198 young women (119 of whom were white and 79 of whom were black) with a mean age of 36.7 and vitamin D insufficiency (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [250HD]≤20 ng/dl [50 nmol/liter]).

The subjects were randomly assigned  to daily placebo or 400, 800, 1600, or 2400 IU of vitamin D3 plus added calcium supplements to maintain a total daily calcium intake between 1000 and 1200 mg.

The researchers also used the Geriatric Depression Scale-Long Form 30 (GDS-LF30) to collect data on depressive symptoms at baseline and at study’s end, which were 5.3 (standard deviation [SD] ±5.3) and 3.9 (SD ±4.1), respectively. The scores saw little change due to the different doses of vitamin D. Serum 250HD levels at baseline did not correlate significantly with GDS scores, and different doses of vitamin D brought no change to GDS scores (P = 0.453), at the 12-month level (P = 0.301). The significant statistical relationship was between GDS at baseline and the 12-month level (P <0.0001).

“In our study, treatment with incremental doses of vitamin D3 400 IU/d through 2400 IU/d in vitamin D insufficient younger women did not improve depression scores,” Yalamanchili stated. “In a previous 3-year study of 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D and 1-year study of 25 dihydroxyvitamin D in elderly women there was no effect of treatment on GDS. It remains to be studied whether there is any effect of vitamin D3 supplementation in patients who have vitamin D insufficiency and depression.”

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Yalamanchili V, Gallagher JC. Effect of vitamin D supplementation on depression scores in younger caucasian and African-American women. Abstract SUN 345. Presented at: ENDO 2017; April 1-4, 2017; Orlando, Florida.

This article originally appeared on Psychiatry Advisor