The new meta-analysis on the association of vitamin D supplementation with depression is the largest one published so far, including results from 41 studies from around the world. These studies have investigated the efficacy of vitamin D in alleviating depressive symptoms in adults by randomised placebo-controlled trials in different populations.

The studies included those carried out in patients with depression, in the general population, and in people with various physical conditions. The results of the meta-analysis show that vitamin D supplementation is more effective than a placebo in alleviating depressive symptoms in people with depression. There were major differences in the vitamin D doses used, but typically the vitamin D supplement was 50-100 micrograms per day.

"Despite the broad scope of this meta-analysis, the certainty of evidence remains low due to the heterogeneity of the populations studied and the due to the risk of bias associated with a large number of studies," Doctoral Researcher and lead author Tuomas Mikola of the Institute of Clinical Medicine at the University of Eastern Finland says. The meta-analysis is part of Mikola's PhD thesis.

"These findings will encourage new, high-level clinical trials in patients with depression in order to shed more light on the possible role of vitamin D supplementation in the treatment of depression," Mikola concludes.

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