Does Vitamin D Play a Role in Depression? A Review of Clinical, Epidemiological and Biological Studies
Current Nutrition & Food Science, VOLUME: 10. ISSUE: 1, Pages 16-28 (13) DOI: 10.2174/15734013113096660010 -
Goran Hogberg, Per Bech, Tore Hallstrom and Maria Petersson
BUP Huddinge, Paradistorg 4, 141 46 Huddinge, Sweden.
There is a growing interest in the possible associations between vitamin D and depression. In this mini-review we present diagnostic criteria of different depression scales, with special focus on somatic complaints, possible links between depression and vitamin D and an overview of studies on vitamin D levels / vitamin D supplementation in depressed patients. We observed that complaints of a somatic character, potentially linked to vitamin D deficiency, are important parts of the diagnostic assessment in depression.
Depressed patients often had low levels of vitamin D, and seven out of nine large (n>1000) observational studies showed an association between vitamin D levels and depression.
Five studies of vitamin D supplementation in depressed patients with vitamin D deficiency showed significant reductions in depressive symptoms post-supplementation.
However, only two of these studies were randomized controlled trials, and one of them had only 15 subjects.
We recommend that depressed patients should generally be screened for vitamin D deficiency. Aside an increased risk of impaired bone health, individual patients may have symptoms of depression related to potentially deficient vitamin D levels. However, further randomized controlled studies of the effects of vitamin D supplementation in depressed patients are needed.
Download the PDF from VitaminDWiki. has a great many charts and tables
See also VitaminDWiki
- Depression category listing with many associated searches
The TOP (most read) articles in Depression and Vitamin D are listed here:
- More vitamin D needed, unsure level needed and for how long (depression in this case) – Review Aug 2021
- Mental disorders fought by Omega-3 etc. - meta-meta-analysis Oct 2019
- Depression in Nepalese 3.5 X more likely if low vitamin D – Sept 2018
- Vitamin D treatment of diabetes (50,000 IU every 2 weeks) augmented by probiotic – RCT June 2018
- Omega-3 and Vitamin D each treat many mental health problems - April 2018
- Happy Nurses Project gave Omega-3 for 3 months – reduced depression, insomnia, anxiety, etc for a year – RCT July 2018
- Women had better sexual desire, orgasm and satisfaction after Vitamin D supplementation – Feb 2018
- Magnesium in Healthcare (Rickets, Stones, Pregnancy, Depression, etc.) with level of evidence – Sept 2017
- Vitamin D for depression and PCOS: killing two birds with one stone ( should be 60 birds) – July 2015
- ALL of the top 10 health problems of women are associated with low vitamin D
- Tricyclic antidepressants reduce the active but not the normally measured form of vitamin D in seniors – April 2014
- Anti-depression medication about as good as big increase in vitamin D – meta-analysis of flawless data April 2014
- Inflammation causes Depression, perhaps this is why vitamin D helps with depression – Sept 2013
- Reduced depression with single 300,000 IU injection of vitamin D – RCT June 2013
- Fewest Google searches for Mental Health when there is lots of vitamin D from the sun – May 2013
- Every school shooter had used antidepression drugs, but how many were low on vitamin D
- Mental health problems cut in half when have adequate level of vitamin D – Jan 2013
- Hypothesis: Some Mental Illness could be treated or prevented with vitamin D
- Much less depression if higher than 43 ng of vitamin D – Oct 2012
- Major depression associated with low vitamin D and low bone density – July 2012
- Pregnant blacks 50 pcnt more likely to be depressed if 3 ng less vitamin D – July 2012
- Depression not reduced with 5700 IU vitamin D average in 6 months – July 2012