Low dietary calcium is associated with self-rated depression in middle-aged Korean women

Nutr Res Pract. 2012 Dec;6(6):527-33. doi: 10.4162/nrp.2012.6.6.527. Epub 2012 Dec 31.


It is thought that calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) may be related to mental disorders such as depression; however, there have been few studies investigating the association between Ca and Mg nutrition status with depression in middle-aged female adults. Study subjects in this study included 105 women between the ages of 41 and 57 years. The subjects were divided into three groups according to the Zung Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS) score: Group I (SDS score < 33 percentile; n = 32), Group II (33 percentile ≤ SDS score < 67 percentile; n = 37), and Group III (67 percentile ≤ SDS score; n = 36). Anthropometric measurements, dietary intake survey using 3-day dietary records, SDS questionnaire and measurement of serum Ca and Mg were obtained and analyzed. No differences were observed in Ca, plant Ca, and Mg intake among the three groups. However, animal Ca intake by Group III was 141.3 mg, which was significantly lower than 207.6 mg by Group I and 198.3 mg by Group II (P = 0.0345). There were no significant differences in serum levels of Ca, and Mg among the three groups. Correlation analysis indicated that the SDS score had negative correlations with Ca intake (r = -0.2927, P < 0.01) and animal Ca (r = -0.3411, P < 0.001) after adjusting for age, menopause and energy intake. In conclusion, dietary Ca and animal Ca had negative associations with SDS score among middle-aged Korean female adults. Additional analysis of factors related to the association of calcium and magnesium nutritional status and depression is necessary.

Keywords: Self-rated depression; calcium; magnesium; middle-aged women.