Vitamin D and depression

J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2011 Feb;49(2):15-8. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20110111-02. Epub 2011 Jan 21.


Vitamin D is an essential nutrient proven to be important for bone health. It has other physiological functions, and there are plausible reasons for investigating vitamin D in depressive disorders. Some cross-sectional clinical and epidemiologic studies, but not all studies, have found that low levels of vitamin D are significantly associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms or with a depression diagnosis. However, cross-sectional studies cannot establish causality, and the methodology of these studies has been criticized. Due to the poor quality of the treatment studies, the effectiveness of vitamin D for depression cannot be adequately assessed. Current evidence does not definitively demonstrate that vitamin D deficiency is a cause of or risk for developing depression or that vitamin D is an effective therapy for depression.

MeSH terms

  • Depressive Disorder / etiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder / etiology
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder / prevention & control
  • Vitamin D / adverse effects
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / drug therapy


  • Vitamin D