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Vitamin D Supplementation for Depressive Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Shaffer, Jonathan A.; Edmondson, Donald E.; Wasson, Lauren; Falzon, Louise; Homma, Kirsten E.; Ezeokoli, Nchedcochukwu; Li, Peter; Davidson, Karina W.

OBJECTIVE:
The aim of this study was to review the effects of vitamin D supplementation on depressive symptoms in randomized controlled trials. Although low vitamin D levels have been observationally associated with depressive symptoms, the effect of vitamin D supplementation as an antidepressant remains uncertain.
METHODS:
MEDLINE, CINAHL, AMED, PsycINFO, Scopus, The Cochrane Library, and references of included reports (through May 2013) were searched. Two independent reviewers identified and extracted data from randomized trials that compared the effect of vitamin D supplementation on depressive symptoms to a control condition. Two additional reviewers assessed study quality using The Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool. Seven trials (3191 participants) were included.
RESULTS:
Vitamin D supplementation had no overall effect on depressive symptoms (standardized mean difference [SMD], 0.14; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.33 to 0.05, p = .16), although considerable heterogeneity was observed. Subgroup analysis showed that vitamin D supplementation for participants with clinically significant depressive symptoms or depressive disorder had a moderate, statistically significant effect (2 studies: SMD, -0.60; 95% CI, -1.19 to -0.01; p = .046), but a small, nonsignificant effect for those without clinically significant depression (5 studies: SMD, -0.04; 95% CI, -0.20 to 0.12; p = .61). Most trials had unclear or high risk of bias. Studies varied in the amount, frequency, duration, and mode of delivery of vitamin D supplementation.
CONCLUSIONS:
Vitamin D supplementation may be effective for reducing depressive symptoms in patients with clinically significant depression; however, further high-quality research is needed.

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Also Published In

Title
Psychosomatic Medicine
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000000044

More About This Work

Academic Units
Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health
Medicine
Publisher
Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins
Published Here
March 10, 2016