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Annual high-dose vitamin D3 and mental well-being: randomised controlled trial

  • Kerrie M. Sanders (a1), Amanda L. Stuart (a1), Elizabeth J. Williamson (a2), Felice N. Jacka (a1), Seetal Dodd (a1), Geoff Nicholson (a1) and Michael Berk (a3)...
Abstract
Background

Epidemiological evidence supports a relationship between vitamin D and mental well-being, although evidence from large-scale placebo-controlled intervention trials is lacking.

Aims

To examine if vitamin D supplementation has a beneficial effect on mood in community-dwelling older women; if a single annual large dose of vitamin D has a role in the prevention of depressive symptoms; and if there is an association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and mental health.

Method

A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial of women aged 70 or older (the Vital D Study: ISRCTN83409867 and ACTR12605000658617). Participants were randomly assigned to receive 500 000 IU vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) orally or placebo every autumn/winter for 3–5 consecutive years. The tools utilised at various time points were the General Health Questionnaire, the 12-item Short Form Health Survey, the Patient Global Impression–Improvement scale and the WHO Well-Being Index. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were measured in a subset of 102 participants.

Results

In this non-clinical population, no significant differences between the vitamin D and placebo groups were detected in any of the measured outcomes of mental health. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in the vitamin D group were 41% higher than the placebo group 12 months following their annual dose. Despite this difference, scores from the questionnaires did not differ. Furthermore, there was no interaction between those on antidepressant/anxiety medication at baseline and the treatment groups.

Conclusions

The lack of improvement in indices of mental well-being in the vitamin D group does not support the hypothesis that an annual high dose of vitamin D3 is a practical intervention to prevent depressive symptoms in older community-dwelling women.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Kerrie M. Sanders, Department of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences, Barwon Health, PO Box 281, Geelong, Victoria, Australia 3220. Email: kerrie@barwonhealth.org.au
Footnotes
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This study was funded through a 1-year project grant from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC No. 509109). Initially, the Vital D study was funded through a 5-year NHMRC project grant (NHMRC No. 251682), with additional funding aimed specifically at recruitment granted through the Government Department of Health and Ageing.

Declaration of interest

M.B. and S.D. have relationships with Stanley Medical Research Foundation, NHMRC, Beyond Blue, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Organon, Mayne Pharma and Servia. M.B. has relationships with MBF, Geelong Medical Research Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novatis, AstraZeneca, Janssen-Cilag, Lundbeck, Pfizer, Sanofi Synthelabo, Solvay and Wyeth. S.D. has a relationship with Rotary that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous 3 years.

Footnotes
References
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Annual high-dose vitamin D3 and mental well-being: randomised controlled trial

  • Kerrie M. Sanders (a1), Amanda L. Stuart (a1), Elizabeth J. Williamson (a2), Felice N. Jacka (a1), Seetal Dodd (a1), Geoff Nicholson (a1) and Michael Berk (a3)...
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