People with higher blood vitamin D concentrations may have a lower risk of developing depression, says a new study from UK.
The observational study analyzed blood vitamin D levels and mental issues, such as depression, anxiety, panic and phobia of 7,401 participants aged 45 (1). The study results showed that participants with vitamin D levels of at least 75 nmol/l had a 43% lower risk of depression compared to people with vitamin D levels lower than 25 nmol/l. In addition, the higher vitamin D levels were associated with a 67% lower risk of panic, compared to lower levels.
The researchers commented that the high burden of mental and behavioral disorders and concurrent high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency (below 75 nmol/l) worldwide highlights the potential importance of these findings. Further studies would be required to replicate these findings, clarify causality and establish the most effective vitamin D status for maximum benefit. Results of earlier studies investigating a potential link between vitamin D status and symptoms of depression have been inconsistent. According to a review, vitamin D may affect proteins in the brain known to be directly involved in learning and memory, motor control, and possibly even maternal and social behavior (2).