More vitamin D, less depression

"Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency occur at high rates in healthy young women,” doctors said, noting low vitamin D levels are linked to depressive symptoms.

In this study, 185 female undergraduates living in the Pacific Northwest during fall, winter and spring academic terms reported depressive symptoms weekly for four weeks. Doctors measured vitamin D levels at weeks one and five. Nearly half the women started the study with low levels of vitamin D, and levels declined for all women from fall through winter.

Depressive symptoms also increased, causing doctors to suggest a link to low levels of vitamin D. Women of color were more likely to be deficient in vitamin D and to have greater depressive symptoms.Doctors said seasonal changes in vitamin D may be an underappreciated cause of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and that taking vitamin D supplements is simple, affordable, and safe.

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