Scientists from Finnish, Australia, and the U.S. found that vitamin D supplementation may alleviate depressive symptoms in adults with depression.
Depressive symptoms cause a big disease burden worldwide.
The therapeutic efficacy of current antidepressants is often insufficient, which is why further ways to alleviate the symptoms of depression have been sought, for example, from nutritional research.
Vitamin D is believed to regulate central nervous system functions the disturbances of which have been associated with depression.
In addition, cross-sectional studies have observed an association between depressive symptoms and vitamin D deficiency.
The new meta-analysis on the association of vitamin D supplementation with depression is the largest one published so far, including results from 41 studies from around the world.
These studies have examined the efficacy of vitamin D in alleviating depressive symptoms in adults in different populations.
The team found that vitamin D supplementation is more effective than a placebo in alleviating depressive symptoms in people with depression.
There were big differences in the vitamin D doses used, but typically the vitamin D supplement was 50–100 micrograms per day.
The team says these findings will encourage new, high-level clinical trials in patients with depression in order to shed more light on the possible role of vitamin D supplementation in the treatment of depression.
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The research was published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition and conducted by Tuomas Mikola et al.
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