Vitamin D may ease symptoms of depression

Naturally present in many foods such as oily fish, or synthesized in our skin through the rays of the sun, vitamin D is excellent for the body. According to a recent study published in the journal Food Science & Nutrition on July 11, it could also be for our mental health.

After analyzing 41 previous studies on the role of vitamin D in depression, the scientists behind this research concluded that taking supplements could “relieve depressive symptoms in people already diagnosed with depression”, tells us Science Alert. According to researchers, vitamin D helps regulate “various functions of the central nervous system”which could thus explain the usefulness of supplements.

“These results will encourage further high-level clinical trials in patients with depression to shed light on the possible role of vitamin D supplementation in the treatment of [ce trouble]»underlines Tuomas Mikola, lead author of the study.

This recent analysis focused on a total of 53,235 participants, suffering from depression or not, and from the 41 previous studies. Among the latter, some groups were asked to take vitamin D supplements – from 50 to 100 micrograms a day – and others were given placebos. According to the findings of the researchers, “Vitamin D supplements have been shown to be more effective than placebos in improving symptoms of depression.”

Missing Evidence

“Our results suggest that vitamin D supplements have beneficial effects in both people with major depressive disorder and those with milder, clinically significant depressive symptoms”say the scientists.

However, many questions still remain unanswered about the real usefulness of vitamin D supplements on mental health. As Science Alert points out, the difference in approaches taken by the scientists behind previous studies makes it difficult to draw general conclusions.

“Despite the extensive scope of this meta-analysis, the certainty of the evidence remains low due to the heterogeneity of the populations studied and the risk of bias associated with a large number of studies,” explains Tuomas Mikola.

In a study from November 2021 and published on the site of the National Library of Medicine, other scientists had meanwhile defended that their research “did not provide strong evidence of a positive effect of vitamin D supplementation on mental health.”

Source: by

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