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Effect of vitamin D supplementation on the incidence and prognosis of depression: An updated meta-analysis based on randomized controlled trials

Xie F, Huang T, Lou D, Fu R, Ni C, Hong J, Ruan L (2022) Frontiers in Public Health Aug 1;10:903547 doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.903547 

Web URL: Read this article on PubMed


Background: There have been several controversies about the correlation between vitamin D and depression. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between vitamin D supplementation and the incidence and prognosis of depression and to analyze the latent effects of subgroups including population and supplement strategy.

Methods: A systematic search for articles before July 2021 in databases (PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library) was conducted to investigate the effect of vitamin D supplementation on the incidence and prognosis of depression.

Results: This meta-analysis included 29 studies with 4,504 participants, indicating that the use of vitamin D was beneficial to a decline in the incidence of depression (SMD: -0.23) and improvement of depression treatment (SMD: -0.92). Subgroup analysis revealed that people with low vitamin D levels (2,800 IU and intervention duration of ≥8 weeks were considered significant in both prevention and treatment analyses. Intervention duration ≤8 weeks was recognized as effective in the treatment group.

Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that vitamin D has a beneficial impact on both the incidence and the prognosis of depression. Whether suffering from depression or not, individuals with low vitamin D levels, dose >2,800 IU, intervention duration ≥8 weeks, and all females are most likely to benefit from vitamin D supplementation.


For the related news article please see:

See also this recent and highly detailed systematic review (open-access) - which also found overall benefits of Vitamin D for reducing depressive symptoms from a meta-analysis of 41 clinical trials, with over 53,000 participants  

For other articles on Vitamin D, and its links to other aspects of brain healrh, please see:

And for more information on Vitamin D, please see the following lists, which are regularly updated: