Tuesday, March 19, 2013

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.


  1. 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?

  2. 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.