Vitamin D Supplements Don’t Help Depression Patients

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Vitamin D supplements
Image- Bradley Stemke via Flickr

The new study has investigated the link between vitamin D supplements and depression finding these supplements have no impact on the patients. This is the first-ever study to evaluate the efficiency of vitamin D supplements on stress-ridden patients who were using vitamin D tabs in routine.

The study finds out that there is no such effect of taking this supplement for the suppression of the disease. It neither prevents from worsening of symptoms nor improves the patient’s mood.

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Olivia I. Okereke, from the Massachusetts General Hospital, is the first author of this study. The findings of this research are published in the journal JAMA.

The research team investigated nearly 18,000 people including both men and women that were at least 50 years old or above. Half of them were given vitamin D3 pills (cholecalciferol) for nearly five years. The other half of the participants received a placebo medicine for the same period of time.

Vitamin D which is associated with sunlight is often marketed as an essential supplement that is obtained directly from the sun. There are plenty of studies to suggest that low vitamin D levels increase stress and depression in later years of life. However, some large-scale studies suggest that it is not an essential element.

A scientific problem in this process is that it requires a large number of people to determine if these supplements are helpful in preventing depression. With only 20,000 participants in this study, it is a small effort to find out how these two are connected.

This project is termed “VITAL-DEP “ a short form for “Depression Endpoint Prevention in the Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial”. It was a clinical trial to evaluate cardiovascular issues and cancer control plans in the US population.

Initially, 18,353 participants didn’t show any sign of clinical depression, and the final analysis checked whether vitamin D supplements were able to suppress the depression signs or not.

The results were obvious during secondary testing. Out of these 18,353 people attending this study, the depression risk wasn’t any indifferent in people who were taking vitamin D3 supplements and placebo. Additionally, there was no improvement in mood during all these years.

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Typically vitamin D supplements are used to improve bone health and boost metabolism. But many doctors prescribe them for stress-relief and mood enhancement to the depression patients. While the role of these pills is unclear more studies are needed to know the exact mechanism involved.

The research in previous years suggests low vitamin D levels associated with heart problems, diabetes, and mood-related disorders. It also shares a link with age-related cognitive decline and dementia.

Every year, millions of Vitamin D tests are performed and most of them show a huge deficiency in its levels. The risk is higher in women as compared to men. Although the role of vitamin D3 is limited in suppressing depression it doesn’t mean that these supplements are of no use. Taking daily vitamin D supplements are associated with good bone density and dental health.

 

 

 

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