Vitamin D can lower the risk of depression in women and men – this is the popular belief. A new study now refutes this statement.
Several observational studies show that people with a vitamin D deficiency also have an increased risk of depression. A new, long-term clinical study, in which the participants were not only observed but also treated with the so-called sun hormone, now refutes this statement.
No effect on depression risk or mood
The randomized study by Dr. Olivia I. Okereke, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, 18,353 women and men aged 50 and over attended. At the beginning of the observation they had neither depression nor clinically relevant, depressive symptoms. Over a period of five years, half of the subjects were given supplements with a higher vitamin D3 content. The other half received ineffective placebo pills.
At the end of the study, the research team found that the subjects who were given the vitamin D3 had no significantly lower risk of depression than the subjects from the control group. A change in the mood values that were checked during the examination could not be determined either. The researchers therefore concluded that taking vitamin D3 cannot prevent depression.
But despite the results, Dr. Okereke refrains from disposing of vitamin D supplements or discontinuing prescribed medication without consulting a doctor. It is not yet time for that, says the scientist.
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