Vitamin D and mental illness

Depressed adolescents in a case-series were low in vitamin D and depression was ameliorated by vitamin D supplementation.

The relationship between depression in adolescents and vitamin D was studied in a case-series that included effects of vitamin D supplementation.

Serum 25OH vitamin D (25OHD) levels in 54 Swedish depressed adolescents were investigated. Subjects with vitamin D deficiency were given vitamin D(3) over 3 months (n = 48). To evaluate well-being and symptoms related to depression and vitamin D status, the WHO-5 well-being scale, the Mood and Feelings Questionnaire (MFQ-S) and a vitamin D deficiency scale were used.

Mean serum 25OHD in the depressed adolescents was 41 at baseline and 91 nmol/L (p < 0.001) after supplementation. Basal 25OHD levels correlated positively with well-being (p < 0.05). After vitamin D supplementation, well-being increased (p < 0.001) and there was a significant improvement in eight of the nine items in the vitamin D deficiency scale: depressed feeling (p < 0.001), irritability (p < 0.05), tiredness (p < 0.001), mood swings (p < 0.01), sleep difficulties (p < 0.01), weakness (p < 0.01), ability to concentrate (p < 0.05) and pain (p < 0.05). There was a significant amelioration of depression according to the MFQ-S (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: This study showed low levels of vitamin D in 54 depressed adolescents, positive correlation between vitamin D and well-being, and improved symptoms related to depression and vitamin D deficiency after vitamin D supplementation.

Vitamin D deficiency and psychotic features in mentally ill adolescents: a cross-sectional study.

Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are both highly prevalent in adolescents with severe mental illness. The preliminary associations between vitamin D deficiency and presence of psychotic features warrant further investigation as to whether vitamin D deficiency is a mediator of illness severity, result of illness severity, or both. Higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency but no greater risk of psychosis in African Americans, if confirmed, may have special implications for health disparity and treatment outcome research.


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eah says March 20, 2013

They must not drink milk. Isn’t milk still supplmented with Vitamin D? Or maybe they ought to put even more Vitamin D in there?

Anonymous says March 27, 2013

In the winter I do seven minutes a week on a tanning bed with high UVB output. It’s $11 a session. It makes a huge difference. I feel a lot better and my skin stays very clear. That’s not enough time to actually tan, but it is enough time to generate big dose of vitamin D.

I am skeptical about oral vitamin D supplementation, from what I’ve read. I would suggest people experiment with brief sessions on a UVB tanning bed.

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