Vitamin D Supplements Do Not Improve Mood Nor Alleviate Depression: Study

KEY POINTS

  • There was a notion that taking vitamin D supplements could reduce depression
  • A recent study disproved this, stating the supplements do not ease depressive symptoms
  • However, vitamin D does help improve bone and metabolic health

Those who rely on vitamin D to improve their mood may have to rethink their stance as a new study revealed this supplement does nothing for patients suffering from depression.

The study, “Effect of Long-term Vitamin D3 Supplementation vs Placebo on Risk of Depression or Clinically Relevant Depressive Symptoms and on Change in Mood Scores,” published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on Tuesday (Aug. 4) stated taking vitamin D supplement for the purpose of improving mood will be ineffective. The supplement neither improves the mood nor prevents depression.

However, Dr. Olivia Okereke, psychiatry specialist in Boston and the study’s author, said there is no reason people should shun their vitamin D supplements.

Researchers looked at more than 180,000 men and women who were at the age of 50 or above. For five years, participants took vitamin D3 or a placebo.

After closely monitoring the participants, they found the placebo group and those taking the vitamin D supplements did not show a significant difference when it comes to the risk of becoming depressed or in terms of exhibiting depressive symptoms. The researchers also noted no difference in the participants’ mood, U.S. News and World Report stated.

Dr. JoAnn Manson, the senior study author from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said that vitamin D is popular due to its benefits to bone and metabolic health. However, randomized trials did not fully support other perceived extraneous benefits. There are other scientific ways, however, to help people deal with depression or prevent it.

vitamin d supplement

vitamin d supplement Photo: Buntysmum/Pixabay

WebMD revealed there are therapists who use the mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) approach. This is a combination of cognitive therapy with mindfulness. MBCT helps individuals to be more aware of their negative thoughts and in the process learn how they can change them.

Some health experts advise finding ways to handle stress. Taking care of oneself, getting sufficient amounts of sleep and exercising regularly are all practical ways to help fight off depressive symptoms.

While it may be tempting to turn to alcohol and recreational drugs, such must be avoided.

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