Vitamin D Doses from Solar Ultraviolet and Dietary Intakes in Patients with Depression: Results of a Case-Control Study

Nutrients. 2020 Aug 26;12(9):2587. doi: 10.3390/nu12092587.


The purpose of this study to estimate cumulative vitamin D doses from solar ultraviolet and dietary intakes in patients with depression and compare it to healthy controls. Using a case-control research design, a sample of 96 patients with depression were age- and sex-matched with 96 healthy controls. Dietary vitamin D dose was estimated from diet analysis. Vitamin D-weighted ultraviolet solar doses were estimated from action spectrum conversion factors and geometric conversion factors accounting for the skin type, the fraction of body exposed, and age factor. Patients with depression had a lower dose of vitamin D (IU) per day with 234, 153, and 81 per day from all sources, sunlight exposure, and dietary intake, respectively. Controls had a higher intake of vitamin D (IU) per day with 357, 270, and 87 per day from all sources, sunlight exposure, and dietary intake, respectively. Only 19% and 30% met the minimum daily recommended dose of ≥400 IU per day for cases and controls, respectively. The sensitivity, specificity, percentage correctly classified and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) Area for the estimated vitamin D against serum vitamin D as reference were 100%, 79%, 80%, and 89%. Physical activity level was the only predictor of daily vitamin D dose. Vitamin D doses are lower than the recommended dose of ≥400 IU (10 mcg) per day for both cases with depression and healthy controls, being much lower in the former.

Keywords: 25OHD; UVB; mood disorders; vitamin D analogs; vitamin D supplementation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / blood*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Diet / methods*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sunlight*
  • Ultraviolet Rays*
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage
  • Vitamins / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D