AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Vitamin D is linked to depression, so start sunbathing!

Haven’t been in the sun too much this winter season and feeling depressed? Well, it may be due to the fact that low levels of vitamin D are now linked to depression. According to a recent article, low vitamin D levels are already linked to cardiovascular diseases and various neurological problems. However, a new study links the connection between low vitamin D levels and depression. At the UT Southwestern Medical Center, researchers examined 12,600 subjects from 2006 to 2012. Results showed that subjects with higher vitamin D levels, who had a previous history of depression, had a larger decreased risk of depression at the time. Participants with low levels of vitamin D were shown to have signs of depression. Although the study the relationship of vitamin D and depression, the study did not show if increasing vitamin D in your diet actually reduced those depressive-like symptoms. Also, scientists have not confirmed whether or not low vitamin D causes depression like symptoms or if depression is causing low vitamin D levels. One could say low vitamin D levels are linked to depression however, adding vitamin D to your diet would not necessarily cure depression-like symptoms.

Many concepts around the idea of vitamin D being linked to depression are still unknown, but I think it is still a very important topic to discuss and important further research the subject.  The psychiatrists the UT Southwestern Medical Center have reported that major depressive disorder affects one in ten adults in the United States. One-tenth of our adult population has depression. When you put it into perspective, that is one person in a room of ten people. If that is the case,  then for me this is a field where the link between vitamin D and depression needs to be further researched. For now, it won’t hurt some sunshine to get your daily dosage of vitamin D.


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Could there be another reason?


  1. biologiamaster

    It is interesting to note that many doctors have wide variations of what they consider to be a “healthy” vitamin D level. Today most labs have a reference range of 20-56ng/ml. Anything below 20ng/ml being considered “clinically low” vitamin D levels. Yet suggestions from the Vitamin D council, and health figures like Dr. Mercola suggest no less than 50 ng/ml as the bottom of the reference range. With toxic levels occurring at >100 ng/ml.

  2. buddhabear28

    Though this interesting, you state this increasing your daily dosage of vitamin D won’t necessarily relieve someone of depression. So, seeing as though sunbathing won’t help alleviate depression, what will help (besides medicine) ? Here’s a link to some ideas:

  3. gambibambi

    That’s so interesting! Some researchers have proposed that vitamin d deficieny could be the source of many Americans’ seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or seasonal depression. Studies show that the lack of sun during the winter increases vitamin d deficiency and in effect increase depression among many. It’s so interesting how the whether effects our biology and, in effect, our psychology(.

  4. ayl103

    Wow, that is really interesting that vitamin D may help reduce the likelihood of having depression. Did you know that women who have low vitamin D during pregnancy have a greater chance of thier kids having a language problem? There is a greater risk for a language difficulties for a child if the woman has low vitamin D during her second or trimester pregnancy. Here take a look at this website:

  5. gababoutbio

    This idea that you’re talking about has a name, i actually know people that have it, its called seasonal affected depression and it is usually caused by the change in season from a sunny bright season to a more dull season

    to read more go to:

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