Vitamin D and Depression

Here’s another reason to make sure you get enough vitamin D. If you don’t, new research suggests that you may be at risk for depression.

Psychiatrists at UT Southwestern Medical Center used data from a long-term study to examine the results of almost 12,600 participants from late 2006 to late 2010. They found that higher vitamin D levels were linked with a decreased risk of current depression, especially among people who had been depressed in the past. The study did not look at whether increasing levels of vitamin D would reduce symptoms of depression.

The researchers are not sure whether low vitamin D contributes to depressive symptoms, whether depression itself contributes to lower vitamin D levels, or the chemistry behind this. However, they suggest that vitamin D may affect inflammatory markers, neurotransmitters and other factors, which might explain the relationship with depression.