Sunday, March 23, 2014

Does Vitamin D Help Depression?

My opinion:  I think this whole vitamin D prophecy may be easy to believe in, especially with all the hype from drug companies.  But depression is a physiological illness that is very difficult to heal, and frankly, a vitamin pill probably will not do the trick.  I have read, however, that being malnourished can trigger depression.  On a related note, the article notes that vitamin D supplements appeared to work best with people who were vitamin D deficient.  Perhaps taking of overhaul of one's eating patterns would be an effective supplement to antidepressants, as this study seems to imply.  Additionally, studies need to investigate if vitamin pill supplements are better or if actually eating foods with vitamins are better.  Finally, I'd be really curious to see if drug companies promote research that benefits them, while not mentioning other research that harms them.  It's kind of like how colleges say they are all #1, but each one uses a different scale.  Anyone with any prior knowledge on this?  Feel free to comment.

Vitamin D supplements 'do not reduce depression'

Sunday 23 March 2014 - 12am PST

Past studies have suggested that vitamin D deficiency may lead to depression. In response, other studies propose that increasing vitamin D levels with supplements may reduce depressive symptoms. But new research, published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, has found no evidence that vitamin D supplements reduce depression.
The research team, led by Dr. Jonathan A. Schaffer of the Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) in New York, NY, conducted a systematic review of clinical trials that looked at how vitamin D supplementation affected depression.
The team identified seven trials involving 3,191 participants that looked at the effects of vitamin D supplementation against depression and compared this with no vitamin D supplementation.
The investigators say that almost all trials were "characterized by methodological limitations" and only two studies included participants who had clinical depression at study baseline.
The researchers found that vitamin D supplementation itself had no overall impact on depression.
However, further investigation revealed that for patients with clinical depression, particularly those who were taking standard antidepressant medication, vitamin D supplementation may help reduce depressive symptoms.
But Dr. Schaffer says that before this association can be confirmed, new trials that monitor the effects of vitamin D supplements in these patients need to be conducted.


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