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Vitamin D3 Does Not Reduce Depression Incidence Recurrence

Incidence and recurrence of depression, change in mood scores did not differ from placebo for adults ≥50

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TUESDAY, Aug. 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with vitamin D3 versus placebo does not result in a significant difference in the incidence and recurrence of depression or clinically relevant depressive symptoms or in a change in mood scores among adults aged 50 years or older without clinically relevant depressive symptoms, according to a study published in the Aug. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Olivia I. Okereke, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the effects of vitamin D3 supplementation on late-life depression risk and mood scores in a trial involving 18,353 men and women aged 50 years and older. Of these, 16,657 were at risk for incident depression (had no depression history) and 1,696 were at risk for recurrent depression. A total of 9,181 individuals were randomly assigned to vitamin D3 and 9,172 were randomly assigned to matching placebo.

The researchers observed no significant difference between the vitamin D3 and placebo groups in terms of the risk for depression or clinically relevant depressive symptoms (609 versus 625 events; 12.9 versus 13.3/1,000 person-years; hazard ratio, 0.97; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.87 to 1.09; P = 0.62); no significant between-group differences were seen in depression incidence or recurrence. There were no significant between-group differences for change in mood scores over time.

"These findings do not support the use of vitamin D3 in adults to prevent depression," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical and publishing industries; Pharmavite and Pronova BioPharma/BASF donated the study agents, matching placebos, and packaging.

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