Depression symptoms and vitamin D deficiency

Post date: 25-Aug-2012 03:50:28

Depression symptoms and vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency causes depression symptoms?

Depression symptoms are not caused by vitamin D deficiency. People with depression symptoms and Vitamin D deficiency do not recover when treated with high dose Vitamin D replacement therapy. Vitamin D is not an effective depression treatment even when blood levels of vitamin D are low. Vitamin D deficiency is a result of depressed mood and not a cause. This relationship of depression symptoms as a cause - not an effect - of Vitamin D deficiency was highlighted in a recent study. Treatment of depressed mood with Vitamin D replacement is ineffective.

Estimating blood levels of Vitamin D in people with depression symptoms has recently become routine. Laboratory chains too, have got onto this lucrative bandwagon. High dose Vitamin D replacement is now being prescribed as the new treatment for depression.This is ineffective, and Vitamin D replacement can be toxic. Vitamin D toxicity manifests with nonspecific symptoms of nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, and weakness and calcium abnormalities. Therefore, treatment of Vitamin D deficiency and vitamin D supplements need to be coupled with appropriate medical supervision and monitoring while managing depressed mood.

Exercise is routinely advised with prescription antidpressants for treatment of depression symptoms. Sunshine maintains healthy vitamin D levels. Ensure 5-10 minutes of sun exposure to the arms and legs two or three times a week. Get this sunshine by walking outdoors. Depressed mood is known to improve with outdoor exercise in sunlight. If depressed mood still persists seek formal psychiatric consultation for what may be a moderate to severe depression. Vitamin D supplements can be toxic and are not an effective treatment for depression with or without a Vitamin D deficiency. Consult a psychiatrist for treatment of your depression symptoms.


  1. Marie Kjærgaard, Knut Waterloo, Catharina E. A. Wang, Bjørg Almås, Yngve Figenschau, Moira S. Hutchinson, Johan Svartberg and Rolf Jorde. Effect of vitamin D supplement on depression scores in people with low levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D: nested case–control study and randomised clinical trial . Published online ahead of print July 12, 2012, doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.111.104349

  2. Sue Penckofer, PhD, RN, Joanne Kouba, PhD, RD, Mary Byrn, BSN, RN, and Carol Estwing Ferrans. Vitamin D and Depression: Where is all the Sunshine? Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2010 June; 31(6): 385–393. doi: 10.3109/01612840903437657