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Vitamin D supplements improved symptoms

In this study, doctors measured vitamin D levels in 54 Swedish adolescents with depression and found 89 percent were deficient. Forty-eight began taking 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day for a month, then 2,000 IU per day for two more months. Vitamin D levels rose from 41 nanomoles per liter of blood (nmol/L) at the start of the study to 91 nmol/L at the end. As vitamin D levels increased, feelings of well-being also rose. In eight of nine areas; feeling depressed, irritable, tired, mood swings, difficulty sleeping, weakness, ability to concentrate, and pain, well-being improved.

Better vitamin D levels, less depression

Depression is common in adolescence and this is one of the first studies to test the link between vitamin D and depression in children. In the study, doctors measured vitamin D levels in 2,752 10-year-olds and followed up for four years. Children who began the study with higher levels of vitamin D were more likely to show a decline in depressive symptoms during the follow-up period and were 10 percent less likely to have depressive symptoms at the end of four years.

Talking about their findings, doctors said that because depression can affect so many children and adolescents, and because it is so easy to increase vitamin D levels, new research should include larger studies to see if its is possible to prevent depressive symptoms in young people. Doctors also said that is was not vitamin D2, but vitamin D3 that provides the benefit in reducing symptoms of depression.

Doctors believe the optimal range for vitamin D levels is 20 to 60 nanograms per milliliter of blood, or 50 to 150 nonomoles per liter.

Reference: Acta Pediatrica; February, 2012, Electronic Prepublication

From the July 2012 newsletter

Van's Health on August - 16 - 2012
categories: Vitamins

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