A research study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings assessed a possible link between depression and vitamin D levels. This study examined the blood levels of vitamin D in 12,594 healthy adults and their potential symptoms of depression. An assessment tool consisting of 10 mood-related questions was completed by participants to assess their depressive symptoms. The investigators also looked at patient’s self-reported depression history. This study established that low levels of vitamin were associated with more depression symptoms. Furthermore, subjects with a history of depression had significantly lower levels of vitamin D than those with no history. The researchers concluded that vitamin D levels should be assessed in patients with a history of depression.
From our perspective this research shows a potential vitamin deficiency that may need to be addressed in people who are prone to depression. At this point we cannot say that low levels of vitamin D cause depression. All we can infer is that those with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to be depressed. There needs to be further research to investigate whether optimizing vitamin D levels will reduce depression symptoms. However, we feel that it is important to ensure that you have sufficient vitamin D intake. The best of dietary source of vitamin D is fatty fish such as salmon. Vitamin D supplements may be necessary to achieve the recommended daily intake (RDI) of 600 IU for those between 1 to 70 years of age. The RDI guidelines should be considered a minimum recommendation as there is growing evidence that there are additional health benefits to taking doses above 600 IU daily. Because vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, it is important not to take large doses on your own. Make sure to work with one of our team members and another health care provider to achieve a safe integrative approach to optimize your health.
Original research article can be found at Mayo Clinic Proceedings
The University of Texas at Austin – What Is the Relationship between Vitamin D and Major Depressive Disorder?