You probably know that vitamin D plays an important role in your health, helping to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. It’s also possible that you have heard that Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a variety of health problems, including rickets, breast cancer, heart disease, and weight gain. But what you most likely haven’t heard is that in addition to these serious issues, experts believe that vitamin D deficiency may be tied to depression.
Vitamin D and Depression
A recent study may confirm the link between low levels of vitamin D and depressive symptoms.  The study assessed 185 healthy young women over four weeks, measuring their vitamin D levels and symptoms of depression. Researchers found that nearly half of the participants had vitamin D deficiency, and over a third had symptoms of clinically significant depressive symptoms.
When examining data from the study, investigators took factors such as season, body mass index, diet, exercise, and race into account. They found that lower vitamin D levels across the month-long period predicted symptoms of depression, and the only other factor that could predict such symptoms was the use of antidepressants.
Vitamin D: A Potent Fighter for Depression?
More research is needed to fully understand the relationship between vitamin D and depression but this study is an interesting start. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient and it’s highly advisable to maintain a healthy level of vitamin D to promote bone growth and reduce the risk of other health problems.
- David C. R. Kerr, et al. Association between vitamin D levels and depressive symptoms in young healthy adult women. Psychiatry Research. February 25, 2015. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2015.02.016.