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Depression is especially reduced by large intermittent doses of vitamin D – meta-analysis – April 2023

Efficacy and acceptability of vitamin D supplements for depressed patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Nutrition 2023 Jan 7;108:111968. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2022.111968 PDFis behind a paywall
Maytinee Srifuengfung 1, Somporn Srifuengfung 2, Chalermsri Pummangura 2, Keerati Pattanaseri 1, Awirut Oon-Arom 3, Manit Srisurapanont 4

Objectives: This systematic review and meta-analysis synthesized the evidence from randomized controlled trials comparing vitamin D and placebo in reducing depressive symptoms and contributing to all-cause dropout rates.

Methods: Inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials comparing reduced depression between depressed patients receiving vitamin D and those receiving placebo. We searched PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials through January 2022.

Results: Eighteen trials (1980 participants, median age 39 y) were included in the meta-analysis. Vitamin D supplements were significantly superior to placebo in reducing depression (standardized mean difference = -0.49; 95% confidence interval CI, -0.75 to -0.23; I2 = 81%). Depressed adults (standardized mean difference = -0.70; 95% CI, -1.09 to -0.31) responded to vitamin D significantly better than children and adolescents (standardized mean difference = 0.10; 95% CI -0.27 to 0.47).
Vitamin D administered as bolus doses (oral intermittent high doses or intramuscular single high dose) appeared to be more effective than that taken daily by the oral route (P < 0.01).
Patients with more severe depression tended to respond better than those with less severity (P = 0.053). We found no moderating effect of concurrent antidepressant use, presence of major depressive disorder diagnosis, physical comorbidity, sex, duration and doses of vitamin D supplement, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels at baseline, and changes in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in the vitamin D group. Dropout rates were indifferent between the groups (17 trials; risk ratio = 0.84; 95% CI, 0.6-1.16; I2 = 0).

Conclusions: Heterogeneous data suggested that vitamin D supplements are effective and safe for depressed patients.

16 Meta-analyses of Vitamin D and Depression in VitaminDWiki

VitaminDWiki – Depression summary contains

VitaminDwiki – Better than Daily contains

Non-daily (Bolus) is virtually always better: -Reasons include:

  1. Better compliance
    • Fewer opportunities to forget
    • Fewer times to have to take a pill - for those who dislike it
  2. High concentration resulting from infrequent dosing gets past some gene and gut limitations
    • Note: 24+ studies have found non-daily to be better than daily
      I am unaware of a single study that has found daily to be better than non-daily - Founder of VitaminDWiki Dec 2019
      A few studies have found that daily was just as good as weekly

VitaminDwiki – Diseases treated by high-dose Vitamin D - many studies