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

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

Methods:  Serum 25OH vitamin D (25OHD) levels in 54 Swedish depressed adolescents were investigated. Subjects with vitamin D deficiency were given vitamin D3 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.

Results:  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.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: .Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Section of Clinical Chemistry, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden 2: .Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Endocrine and Diabetes Unit, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm,Sweden 3: .Stockholm Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, BUP Huddinge Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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