New Research Indicates Vitamin D May Help with Depression, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Dementia
Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins because it plays a role in many bodily functions. As a result, vitamin D deficiency has been shown to result in a range of problems including fatigue, bone and muscle pain, slower healing, perpetual sickness, decreased mood, and hair loss . Though one of the best ways for the body to get vitamin D is exposure to sunlight and a diet containing fish and eggs, 42% of Americans are vitamin D deficient .
Aside from sunlight and consuming fish and eggs, getting adequate levels of vitamin D can be difficult because, since unlike many other compounds, vitamin D is not synthesized in the body.
Adequate vitamin D consumption is so vital that the World Health Organization lists vitamin D3 on their list of essential medicines that are necessary for a health system to be safe and effective .
Traditionally, vitamin D is related to proper bone health and immune system function. However, newer research has been published, illustrating vitamin D’s importance for specific conditions.
The connection between depression and vitamin D deficiency is rather new, with most of the studies investigating the relationship being dated from 2015 onward.
A common stereotype is that people are more depressed in winter months than summer months, primarily because of less sunlight. Therefore, it makes sense that there is a connection between vitamin D and depression, and empirical studies have supported this connection .
Lower D3 levels were directly associated with higher depressive symptoms in one study .
In one study investigating the relationship between violent adolescents and vitamin D deficiency found that some psychiatric distresses such as anger, anxiety, poor sleep quality, depression, and worry were associated with vitamin D insufficiency .
These studies and more prompted researchers to investigate the role of vitamin D and the prevention of late-life depression.
In 2016, researchers noted that vitamin D level-mood associations were observed in most observational studies and concluded that vitamin D deficiency might be a risk factor for late-life depression .
Studies have also shown that vitamin D supplementation may help with depression symptoms.
A 2016 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial investigated whether vitamin D supplementation could reduce symptoms of depression, along with other measurements, in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Based on the results of the study, the scientists concluded vitamin D supplementation of patients with MDD had beneficial effects .
In a more dramatic scenario, researchers in 2018 investigated the effects of vitamin D supplementation in patients with clinically diagnosed depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. The researchers noted that low vitamin D levels were frequently associated with depression and anxiety in people with schizophrenia. The authors also noted vitamin D supplementation was associated with decreased depression and anxiety symptoms .
Studies have also shown vitamin D supplementation could be beneficial for individuals with type-2 diabetes.
In fact, a 2017 meta-analysis revealed there was an association between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of diabetic retinopathy in patients with type-2 diabetes . Further, additional studies have associated low vitamin D levels to increased risk of macrovascular and microvascular disease events, cardiovascular mortality, and systemic inflammation in type-2 diabetic patients   .
Doctors and scientists have also investigated the beneficial effects of vitamin D supplementation in patients with type-2 diabetes.
In 2016, researchers investigated the effects of vitamin D supplementation on lipid profiles of patients with type-2 diabetes. The researchers found vitamin D improved serum measurements of total cholesterol, total triglycerides, and LDL .
In 2018, researchers conducted a 12-week long, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that investigated the beneficial effects of vitamin D in type-2 diabetic patients with coronary heart disease. After the 12-week intervention, the vitamin D supplementation had a beneficial impact on mental health parameters, serum high sensitivity C-reactive protein, plasma nitric oxide levels, total plasma antioxidant activity, and glycemic control .
Likewise, 2017 study found long-term vitamin D supplementation positively affected vitamin-D deficiency diabetic patients, with improvements in their glycemic control and nitric oxide measurements along with other metabolic statuses .
Moreover, a 2018 study found that people which vitamin D deficiency could face a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The researchers conducted a 12-year long study and observed participants over those 12 years. They noted vitamin D deficiency was a strong predictor as to whether patients would develop diabetes or pre-diabetes .
Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
Available data and research indicated that lower vitamin D levels might be associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia .
In a 2018 literature review, scientists examined the role of vitamin D in brain health. After conducting their analysis, they stated, “Vitamin D is essential to maintain important functions of the body such as calcium homeostasis, maintenance of skeleton integrity, and neurodevelopment. Its deficiency has been linked to many problems such as dementia, depression, diabetes mellitus, autism, and schizophrenia,” denoting vitamin D’s importance to the brain and mental health .
A 2018 meta-analysis found that low vitamin D levels were associated with dementia and AD and found that higher vitamin D levels were associated with a lower risk of dementia and AD .
In a 2019 study, researchers investigated the effects of vitamin D on psychotic symptoms in AD patients. The researchers found that vitamin D was associated with delayed onset of psychotic symptoms in AD patients , so higher levels of vitamin D could prolong the time an AD patient does not have such symptoms.
In this article, I hoped to illuminate three scenarios of when vitamin D may be directly beneficial. New research shows low vitamin D levels can are either predictors or lead to further complications in patients with depression, type-2 diabetes, and AD or dementia. Additionally, studies claim vitamin D supplementation to have beneficial effects in these patients.
If you are interested in taking a vitamin D supplement, Healthmasters’ Ultimate D3-10,000 with K2 is an excellent vitamin D supplement and provides vitamin K2 for optimal absorption.
If you have any questions about Healthmasters’ Ultimate D3-10,000, please feel free to call out office at 800.726.1834