Large Study Confirms Vitamin D Does Not Reduce Risk of Depression in Adults (Mass General press release):
Vitamin D supplementation does not protect against depression in middle-age or older adulthood according results from one of the largest ever studies of its kind … “There was no significant benefit from the supplement for this purpose. It did not prevent depression or improve mood,” says Olivia I. Okereke, MD, MS, of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Psychiatry Department.
Okereke is the lead author of the report and principal investigator of this study … It included more than 18,000 men and women aged 50 years or older. Half the participants received vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplementation for an average of five years, and the other half received a matching placebo for the same duration.
This study, called VITAL-DEP (Depression Endpoint Prevention in the Vitamin D and Omega‑3 Trial), was an ancillary study to VITAL, a randomized clinical trial of cardiovascular disease and cancer prevention among nearly 26,000 people in the US.
From that group, Okereke and her colleagues studied the 18,353 men and women who did not already have any indication of clinical depression to start with, and then tested whether vitamin D3 prevented them from becoming depressed.”
Effect of Long-term Vitamin D3 Supplementation vs Placebo on Risk of Depression or Clinically Relevant Depressive Symptoms and on Change in Mood Scores (JAMA). Key points from the study:
- Question: Can long-term supplementation with vitamin D3 prevent depression in the general adult population?
- Findings: In this randomized clinical trial that included 18,353 adults aged 50 years or older without depression or clinically relevant depressive symptoms at baseline, vitamin D3 supplementation compared with placebo did not result in statistically significant differences in the incidence and recurrence of depression or clinically relevant depressive symptoms (hazard ratio, 0.97) or for change in mood scores over a 5‑year treatment period.
- Meaning: These findings do not support the use of vitamin D3 in adults to prevent depression.
The Study in Context:
- Study: To treat depression, therapy alone works better than therapy combined with antidepressants
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