The results of large-scale clinical trials on the link between vitamin D and depression have shown that this important vitamin does not improve mood or prevent depression,media reported. The randomized, placebo-controlled trial did not investigate subjects with pre-existing vitamin D deficiency, but rather looked at the effects of long-term vitamin D supplementation on healthy subjects.
Vitamin D is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin”. It is produced through skin exposure to sunlight. In dark winters, mild vitamin D deficiency is common, leading some researchers to speculate that vitamin D plays an important role in seasonal mood disorders. Seasonal mood disorders are mild depressions that occur only in winter.
Low levels of vitamin D in the blood are often associated with higher rates of depression, but the causal relationship between the two has never been effectively determined. Some small randomized clinical trials have looked at whether vitamin D supplementation can prevent depression or at least improve mood in middle-aged or older populations. Almost all trials have found that vitamin D supplementation does not prevent depression.
The new study on the link between vitamin D and depression is understood to be part of a larger clinical trial aimed at exploring prevention techniques for cardiovascular disease and cancer. The vitamin D section involved 18,353 people with an average age of 67.
“One of the scientific problems is that you actually need a large number of study participants to determine whether a treatment helps prevent the development of depression,” said Olivia Okereke, lead author of the new study. Our study was conducted with nearly 20,000 people, and our study solved the problem through statistics. “
The researchers randomly divided the subjects into placebo and active groups, which took 2,000 IU of gallcalcalist (vitamin D3) per day for five years. By the end of the study, the researchers said the results were clear. There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of depression between the vitamin D group and the placebo group. What’s more, during the lengthy trial, the two groups did not differ much from their self-reported emotional scores.
The study focused only on subjects with healthy baseline levels of vitamin D. These increases in vitamin D levels were detected in non-placebo queues throughout the trial, but the researchers noted that further research was needed to understand the potential effects of long-term, high-dose vitamin D supplements on clinical nutritional deficiencies.
So while this study can effectively advise healthy older people not to use vitamin D as a preventive measure against depression, it is not clear whether a severe vitamin D deficiency can lead to mood imbalances or depression. A growing body of research has found that vitamin supplements are simply not effective for people without nutritional deficiencies.
JoAnn Manson, senior author of the paper, said the study does not mean people should stop taking vitamin D immediately, especially those who follow clinical advice. Necessary vitamins may not prevent depression, but they play a number of important roles and are essential for general health. “It is well known that vitamin D is essential for bone and metabolic health, but randomized trials cast doubt on the benefits of many other assumptions,” Manson said.