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  • 2012

Vitamin D may prevent depressive symptoms

Published on

16 January 2012

According to a new US study, higher vitamin D levels are linked with a significantly decreased risk of depression, especially among those with a history of depression.

In this observational studyserum vitamin D concentrations and depressive symptoms were assessed in 12,594 healthy adults (1). Study results showed that higher vitamin D levels were associated with a significantly decreased risk of depression. The findings were stronger in those participants with a history of depression.

The researchers concluded that low vitamin D levels may be associated with depressive symptoms, especially in persons with a history of depression. These findings would suggest that primary care patients with a history of depression may be an important target for vitamin D level assessments. The study did not address whether increasing vitamin D levels reduced depressive symptoms. Thus, it is neither clear whether low vitamin D levels contribute to symptoms of depression, nor whether depression itself contributes to lower vitamin D levels. However, vitamin D may affect neurotransmitters, inflammatory markers, and other factors, which could help explain the relationship with depression, the scientists commented.


  1. Hoang M. T. et al. Association between low serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and depression in a large sample of healthy adults: The Cooper Center Longitudinal Study. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2011; 86(11):1050–1055.

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