Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations and Indicators of Mental Health: An Analysis of the Canadian Health Measures Survey

Nutrients. 2017 Oct 13;9(10):1116. doi: 10.3390/nu9101116.


The main function of vitamin D is calcium homeostasis. However, emerging evidence has correlated adequate serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations with better mental health. The objective of this study is to investigate the association of serum 25(OH)D concentrations with indicators of mental health such as depression, anxiety, and stress. Associations of serum 25(OH)D concentrations with four indicators of mental health were examined using ordered logistic regression models with increasing specificity that account for demographics, socio-economic status, and health. Margin effects are used to determine the probability of the average adult Canadian being in the best mental health state by groupings of serum 25(OH)D concentrations. A robust association between serum 25(OH)D concentrations and the indicators of mental health were observed. In the fully adjusted ordered logistic model, an average Canadian appeared more likely to experience better mental health when serum 25(OH)D concentrations were higher. This study adds to the weight of the existence of an association between vitamin D status and mental health, but, as this study is cross sectional, it does not establish causality. Due to the low risk of harm from toxicity and the relative modest costs of vitamin D supplements, more research to establish the effectiveness and causality of this relationship is recommended.

Keywords: Canada; depression; mental health; vitamin D.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / blood
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Depression / blood
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / blood*
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Mental Health*
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / blood
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Time Factors
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / diagnosis
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / psychology*
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D