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HHS HealthBeat (April 24, 2014)

Vitamin D and depression

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A closer look at the data indicates vitamin D does not live up to its reputation about relieving symptoms of depression. Researcher Jonathan Shaffer at Columbia University Medical Center looked through the data, focusing on seven studies in which a total of about 3,200 participants were given vitamin D or an inactive substitute.

“The overall improvement in depression across all trials was small and not clinically meaningful. There is currently not enough evidence to recommend using vitamin D supplements for depression.”

Shaffer says those studies had limitations, and more research is needed to see if vitamin D supplements can  help patients with depression, especially if they also take standard medications.

The study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: April 24, 2014