10% off all orders. Use code 10FORYOU at checkout. Online only, expires 10/28/14 at 11:59PM.
plus get free shipping on orders over $25. Order by 6 p.m. ET Ships same day. Learn more.
Reorder products. See your order history.
FREE SHIPPING on orders of $25 or more.

How to get FREE Shipping:
1. Place your online order of $25 or more*
2. Ship to an address within the United States (including U.S. territories)
3. Your shipment should arrive within 2-6 business days from your order

* Your total purchase must reach the designated amount after any discounts are applied and prior to the costs of shipping and tax.
Order by 6, We'll Ship the Same Day

Domestic orders placed Monday - Friday by 6 p.m. Eastern Time will be packed and shipped the same day, pending verification of billing information and the shipping method selected. International orders and orders containing gift cards, out-of-stock items or refrigerated items will be processed as quickly as possible, but won't necessarily be shipped out the same day.

Excludes all orders placed on major US holidays (Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day).

 

Health Guides
Health Concerns
Vitamin Guide
Herbal Remedies
Homeopathy
Weight Control
Sports & Fitness
Women's Health
Men's Health
Safety Checker
Food Guide
Newswire
Personal Health Tools
 Print this article
 

Smile More with the Sunshine Vitamin

Smile More with the Sunshine Vitamin: Main Image
Risk of depression was higher in people with the lowest vitamin D levels
An analysis of evidence gathered from several recent studies shows that low vitamin D levels are associated with depression, according to a report in The British Journal of Psychiatry.

What does D do?

Vitamin D isn't actually a vitamin: it's a hormone, with far-reaching effects in the body, such as proper bone development, immune system health, muscle function, brain development, and nerve transmission. Some studies have tied low vitamin D levels to an increased risk of depression, but the results haven't always been consistent.

Can D make me happy?

The review assessed information collected from a range of high-quality studies that looked at the relationship between vitamin D levels and depression. Fourteen studies including 31,424 people were included in the analysis.

  • One was a case-control study, where vitamin D levels of depressed women were compared with those of nondepressed women.
  • Ten were cross-sectional studies, where rates of depression and vitamin D levels were assessed at a single point in time.
  • Three were cohort studies, where vitamin D levels were measured in nondepressed people who were then followed to see if their levels were tied to the risk of developing depression.

Vitamin D might turn that frown upside down

Here's what the review found:

  • Nondepressed women had significantly higher vitamin D levels than depressed women in the case-control study.
  • Risk of depression was higher in people with the lowest vitamin D levels, compared with those with the highest levels in the cross-sectional studies.
  • Risk of depression significantly increased in people with the lowest vitamin D levels, compared with those with the highest levels in the cohort studies.

"Given the high prevalence of both vitamin D deficiency and depression, an association between these two conditions would have significant public health implications, particularly as supplementation with vitamin D is cost-effective and without significant adverse effect," the researchers commented.

The researchers were unable to identify any randomized, controlled trials for inclusion in the analysis, which limits the strength of their findings. Randomized, controlled studies are considered the gold standard for clinical trials. They include a treatment group and placebo (control) group, which helps reduce bias and other confounding factors.

Before you reach for a supplement

While it's clear that there's a relationship between vitamin D status and mood, these studies can't tell us if low vitamin D causes depression or if it's a result of it. For example, one explanation might be that depressed people go outdoors less often, and getting less sun may mean lower vitamin D levels.

The measures used to assess vitamin D levels in these studies might not be an accurate estimation of vitamin D status, and other conditions (besides overt vitamin D deficiency) could affect them. Until a better measure is identified or developed, recommendations based on these results should be made cautiously.

Further research is needed to know whether supplementing with vitamin D to correct deficiency might also help alleviate depression.

(Br J Psychiatry 2013;doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.111.106666)

Kimberly Beauchamp, ND, received her doctoral degree from Bastyr University, the nation's premier academic institution for science-based natural medicine. She co-founded South County Naturopaths in Wakefield, RI, where she practiced whole family care with an emphasis on nutritional counseling, herbal medicine, detoxification, and food allergy identification and treatment. Her blog, Eat Happy, helps take the drama out of healthy eating with real food recipes and nutrition news that you can use. Dr. Beauchamp is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.
 
sign up. save 10%

invalid email address entered. please try again.

 
almost there! click sign me up for exclusive coupons, great deals, early access to sales and info on how to stay healthy & fit.  view our privacy policy.
*first time customers only