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Hypothesis Vitamin D supplements will reduce suicide – 2011

Vitamin D: a potential role in reducing suicide risk?

Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2011;23(3):157-65.
Tariq MM, Streeten EA, Smith HA, Sleemi A, Khabazghazvini B, Vaswani D, Postolache TT.
Mood and Anxiety Program, Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.

Suicide attempts are known to peak in the spring, overlapping with the time of year when 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels are at their nadir in the northern hemisphere because of negligible skin production of vitamin D owing to low levels of ultraviolet B radiation.

Low levels of 25(OH)D, the vitamin D metabolite used to diagnose vitamin D deficiency, have been associated with certain pro-suicidal factors such as

  • exacerbation of depression,
  • anxiety,
  • psychosis, and
  • certain medical conditions.

Therefore, we hypothesize that vitamin D deficiency could also be associated with increased risk of completed suicides.
Here, we briefly review the literature on vitamin D, its deficiency, and its reported association with certain risk factors for suicide.

PMID: 22191178

Studies such at This have been finding that the seasonality is going away in recent decades.
This may be similar to the difference of MS with latitude going away in the past 40 years
- - – due to air conditioning and ability to stay out of the sun in the Southern part of the US.
Note: saying that the seasonality of suicides is going away is not saying that they are decreasing.
Perhaps now that many people are vitamin D deficient most of the year the there is no longer a “low vitamin D season” = suicide season.

15 of the 33 reasons for vitamin D deficiency are new in the past 40 years

A previous study

Diversity and change in suicide seasonality over 125 years – Switzerland 2005

PDF is attached at the bottom of this page

The graph shows that seasonality has gone away (notice that the graph is normalized)


The table shows the actual annual numbers - which have greatly increased during the period that vitamin D has decreased

Probably just due to increase in population - as these are apparently absolute numbers, not rates per 100,000 population

See also VitaminDWiki

Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
1018 Suicide Swiss table.jpg Table admin 18 Jan, 2012 16:04 58.18 Kb 1743
1017 Suicide - Swiss.jpg Graph admin 18 Jan, 2012 16:04 24.50 Kb 1571
1016 Suicide Swiss 150 years.pdf PDF admin 18 Jan, 2012 16:03 87.01 Kb 746
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