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Low vitamin D and depression - Study and meta-analysis, April 2013

The association between low vitamin D and depressive disorders

Molecular Psychiatry , (9 April 2013) | doi:10.1038/mp.2013.36
Y Milaneschi, W Hoogendijk, P Lips, A C Heijboer, R Schoevers, A M van Hemert, A T F Beekman, J H Smit and B W J H Penninx

It has been hypothesized that hypovitaminosis D is associated with depression but epidemiological evidence is limited. We investigated the association between depressive disorders and related clinical characteristics with blood concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] in a large cohort.

The sample consisted of participants (aged 18–65 years) from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA) with a current (N=1102) or remitted (N=790) depressive disorder (major depressive disorder, dysthymia) defined according to DSM-IV criteria, and healthy controls (N=494).

Serum levels of 25(OH)D measured and analyzed in multivariate analyses adjusting for sociodemographics, sunlight, urbanization, lifestyle and health. Of the sample, 33.6% had deficient or insufficient serum 25(OH)D (<50 nmol l−1). As compared with controls, lower 25(OH)D levels were found in participants with current depression (P=0.001, Cohen’s d=0.21), particularly in those with the most severe symptoms (P=0.001, Cohen’s d=0.44).

In currently depressed persons, 25(OH)D was inversely associated with symptom severity (β=−0.19, s.e.=0.07, P=0.003) suggesting a dose-response gradient, and with risk (relative risk=0.90, 95% confidence interval=0.82–0.99, P=0.03) of having a depressive disorders at 2-year follow-up.

This large cohort study indicates that low levels of 25(OH)D were associated to the presence and severity of depressive disorder suggesting that hypovitaminosis D may represent an underlying biological vulnerability for depression. Future studies should elucidate whether the highly prevalent hypovitaminosis D could be cost-effectively treated as part of preventive or treatment interventions for depression.

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8% less likely to be depressed for 10ng higher level of vitamin D - Meta-analysis

Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin d levels and the risk of depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis
J Nutr Health Aging. 2013;17(5):447-55. doi: 10.1007/s12603-012-0418-0.
Ju SY, Lee YJ, Jeong SN.
S.-Y. Ju, Department of Family Medicine, Yeouido St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, College of Medicine, 62 Yeouido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, Korea, Zip code: 150-713, Tel: +82-2-1377-2247 / Fax; +82-2-1377-1712, E-mail: kolpos at daum.net.

Objective: No quantitative systematic review or meta-analysis of population-based epidemiological studies has been conducted to assess the association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels and the risk of dpression. This study aimed to summarize the current evidence from cross-sectional and prospective cohort studies that have evaluated the association between 25(OH)D levels and the risk of depression.

Methods: Relevant studies were identified by systematically searching the PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and PsycINFO databases through April 2012. Cross-sectional and cohort studies that reported adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association of interest were included. The reported risk estimates for 25(OH)D categories were recalculated, employing a comprehensive trend estimation from summarized dose-response data. A pooled OR was calculated separately for cross-sectional and cohort studies using random-effects models.

Results: In the meta-analysis, 25(OH)D levels were significantly inversely associated with depression in 5 of 11 case-control studies and 2 of 5 cohort studies.
The pooled estimate of the adjusted OR of depression in 11 cross-sectional studies (n = 43,137) was 0.96 (95% CI = 0.94-0.99, I2 = 63%) for a 10 ng/ml increase in 25(OH)D levels.
The 5 included cohort studies comprised 12,648 participants, primarily elderly individuals, whose serum 25(OH)D levels were measured, and 2,663 experienced depression events during follow-up.
The pooled adjusted OR of depression was 0.92 (95% CI = 0.87-0.98, I2 = 50%) for a 10 ng/ml increase in 25(OH)D levels.

Conclusions: Our results indicate an inverse association between serum 25(OH)D levels and the risk of depression.
Further studies are warranted to establish whether this association is causal.

PMID: 23636546

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See also VitaminDWiki

See also web

  1. Healthy Food Deficiency?
  2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Deficiency:
  3. Vitamin D Deficiency:
  4. B-Vitamins Deficiency:
  5. Zinc , Folate, Chromium, and Iron Deficiencies:
  6. Iodine Deficiency:
  7. Amino Acids Deficiency:

Note: contrary to the title, they only listed 7 items. Magnesium was added by a reader

Note: Magnesium deficiency is also associated with low vitamin D and poor mental health

Magnesium and Mental Health  see  is.gd/VDMag

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