18 Mar Women With Low Vitamin D More Likely To Report Depression
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Kerr: Many people assume we already know that low levels of vitamin D contribute to depression, especially in winter. However, studies have not found consistent evidence for this, and most studies have focused on people in late life or with serious medical conditions. We focused on apparently healthy young women living in the Pacific Northwest. We found that women with low blood levels of vitamin D were more likely to report clinically significant depressive symptoms. This link existed even when we considered other factors that might explain both problems, such as diet, obesity, and time of year.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Kerr: Healthy young women are nonetheless at risk for depression and vitamin D deficiency. In our study, women of color and women who did not take a vitamin supplement commonly showed vitamin D insufficiency, especially in Winter. Given the established negative consequences of vitamin D deficiency for longterm physical health, supplementation seems warranted whether or not our findings on depression are supported in future research.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Kerr: A clinical trial of vitamin D supplementation directed at preventing or reducing symptoms in at-risk young women would offer a more conclusive test of these questions.
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David C.R. Kerr Ph.D. (2015). Women With Low Vitamin D More Likely To Report Depression