Low vitamin D levels associated with depression

People who have higher vitamin D levels have a lower risk of depression, according to a recent study.

The research, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, employed data from the Finnish Health 2000 Survey, which studied over 5,000 participants aged 30-79 of whom 354 had been diagnosed with depressive disorder and 222 with anxiety disorder.

Those individuals with higher serum 25(OH)D concentrations showed a reduced risk of depression, according to the study, but this wasn’t found to be the case for anxiety.

The researchers stated that the proportion of cases that could be attributed to one or more risk factors was 19% for depression when serum vitamin D concentrations were at least 50nmol/l, meaning that raising serum levels above this level could have avoided about 19% of the depression cases in the study.

The researchers from the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, concluded: “These results support the hypothesis that higher serum 25(OH)D concentrations protect against depression even after adjustment for a large number of socio-demographic, lifestyle and metabolic factors.”

The results found a weaker association amongst those over 59, with the researchers saying that this could be explained by a greater prevalence of both depression and low vitamin D in the younger participants.