Higher blood levels of Vitamin D associated with better mood and less depression

May 14, 2008

     Increasing your vitamin D intake may lead to mood improvements and protect against depression, suggests new research published this week. In the study low levels of the vitamin and higher blood levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH) were associated with higher rates of depression among 1,282 community dwelling residents with a range of age from 65 to 95.

     Recently, a review by Bruce Ames and Joyce McCann from the Children's Hospital and Research Center Oakland highlighted the role of the vitamin in maintaining brain health, noting the wide distribution of vitamin D receptors throughout the brain. According to that recent review (FASEB Journal, Vol.22, pp. 982-1001), the vitamin has been reported to affect proteins in the brain known to be directly involved in learning and memory, motor control, and possibly even maternal and social behavior.

     In this new study individuals with major and minor depression had blood levels of the active version of Vitamin D 14 per cent lower compared to non-depressed individuals. The level of PTH was, on average, five and 33 per cent higher respectively in the depressed compared to those who were not depressed. The study is published in the May 2008 issue of the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.