Clinical correlation of vitamin D in depression


  • Nitin Sharma Department of Psychiatry, Eras Lucknow Medical and Hospital, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Shantanu Bharti Department of Psychiatry, Eras Lucknow Medical and Hospital, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Abdul Qadir Jilani Department of Psychiatry, Eras Lucknow Medical and Hospital, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Anju Agarwal Department of Psychiatry, Eras Lucknow Medical and Hospital, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Saloni Singh Department of Psychiatry, Eras Lucknow Medical and Hospital, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Ruchita Sharma Department of Psychiatry, Eras Lucknow Medical and Hospital, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India



Cognitive domain, Depression, Somatic-affective domain, Vitamin D


Background: Literature has substantially advanced our understanding of the action of vitamin D in depression, much is still unknown concerning how vitamin D relates to dimensions of depression. Hence, authors aimed to examine the relationship of vitamin D in patients of depression, its correlation with the severity of depression and different symptom domains of depression.

Methods: This Hospital based case control study included 75 patients with depression and 50 controls who were age and gender matched. Beck’s Depression Inventory II was used to assess the severity and symptom domains of depression. Vitamin D levels was assessed using Enhanced Chemiluminescence Technique.

Results: Vitamin D deficiency was found significantly (<0.001*) among cases than controls. Significant (0.003*) inverse correlation was observed between severity of depression and vitamin D level.In cognitive symptoms, pessimism, punishment feeling, self-criticism, suicidal thoughts and worthlessness were found significantly higher among vitamin D deficient patients. However, in somatic-affective symptoms, crying, indecisiveness, loss of energy, irritability, concentration difficulty and being tired were the significant by prominent symptoms in vitamin D deficient patients.

Conclusions: Vitamin D (<50 nmol/L) was found to be significantly associated with depressive symptoms with cognitive and somatic-affective symptoms being affected by vitamin D deficiency.


Fenton WS, Stover ES. Mood disorders: cardiovascular and diabetes comorbidity. Current Opinion Psychiat. 2006;19(4):421-7.

Krishnan V, Nestler EJ. Linking molecules to mood: new insight into the biology of depression. Am J Psychiat. 2010;167(11):1305-20.

Jacka FN, Maes M, Pasco JA, Williams LJ, Berk M. Nutrient intakes and the common mental disorders in women. J Affect Dis. 2012;141(1):79-85.

Skarupski KA, Tangney C, Li H, Ouyang B, Evans DA, Morris MC. Longitudinal association of vitamin B-6, folate, and vitamin B-12 with depressive symptoms among older adults over time. Am J Clinic Nutrit. 2010;92(2):330-5.

Sarris J, Schoendorfer N, Kavanagh DJ. Major depressive disorder and nutritional medicine: a review of monotherapies and adjuvant treatments. Nutrit Rev. 2009;67(3):125-31.

Lakhan SE, Vieira KF. Nutritional therapies for mental disorders. Nutr J. 2008; 7:2.

Eyles DW, Smith S, Kinobe R, Hewison M, McGrath JJ. Distribution of the vitamin D receptor and 1α-hydroxylase in human brain. J Chem Neuroanatomy. 2005;29(1):21-30.

Cui X, Gooch H, Groves NJ, Sah P, Burne TH, Eyles DW, McGrath JJ. Vitamin D and the brain: key questions for future research. J Steroid Biochemist Molecul Biol. 2015;148:305-9.

Garcion E, Wion-Barbot N, Montero-Menei CN, Berger F, Wion D. New clues about vitamin D functions in the nervous system. Trends Endocrinol Metabol. 2002;13(3):100-5.

Lee DM. Tajar A O’Neill TW O’Connor DB Bartfai G Boonen S Bouillon R Casanueva FF Finn JD Forte G Lower vitamin D levels are associated with depression among community-dwelling European men. J Psychopharmacol. 2011;25:1320-8.

Hoang MT, DeFina LF, Willis BL, Leonard DS, Weiner MF, Brown ES. Association between low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and depression in a large sample of healthy adults: the Cooper Center longitudinal study. In Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Elsevier. 2011;86(11):1050-1055.

Ganji V, Milone C, Cody MM, McCarty F, Wang YT. Serum vitamin D concentrations are related to depression in young adult US population: the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Int Arch Med. 2010;3(1):29.

De Jonge P, Mangano D, Whooley MA. Differential association of cognitive and somatic depressive symptoms with heart rate variability in patients with stable coronary heart disease: findings from the Heart and Soul Study. Psychosom med. 2007;69(8):735.

de Miranda Azevedo R, Roest AM, Hoen PW, De Jonge P. Cognitive/affective and somatic/affective symptoms of depression in patients with heart disease and their association with cardiovascular prognosis: a meta-analysis. Psycholog Med. 2014;44(13):2689-703.

Lux V, Kendler KS. Deconstructing major depression: a validation study of the DSM-IV symptomatic criteria. Psycholog Med. 2010;40(10):1679-90.

Cieslak K, Feingold J, Antonius D, Walsh-Messinger J, Dracxler R, Rosedale M, et al. Low vitamin D levels predict clinical features of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Res. 2014;159(2-3):543-5.

Sheehan DV, Lecrubier Y, Sheehan KH, Amorim P, Janavs J, Weiller E, Hergueta T, Baker R, Dunbar GC. The Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI): the development and validation of a structured diagnostic psychiatric interview for DSM-IV and ICD-10. J Clinic Psychiat. 1998.

Hautzinger M, Keller F, Kühner C. Beck depressions-inventar (BDI-II). Harcourt Test Services; 2006.

Beck AT, Steer RA, Brown GK. Manual for the Beck Depression Inventory-II. San Antonio, TX: Psycholog Corporat; 1996.

Vanheule S, Desmet M, Groenvynck H, Rosseel Y, Fontaine J. The factor structure of the Beck Depression Inventory–II: An evaluation. Assess. 2008;15(2):177-87.

Kulkarni HS, Kulkarni KR, Mallampalli A, Parkar SR, Karnad DR, Guntupalli KK. Comparison of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress symptoms in relatives of ICU patients in an American and an Indian public hospital. Indian journal of critical care medicine: peer-reviewed, official pub Ind Soc Critic Care Med. 2011;15(3):147.

Holick MF, Binkley NC, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Gordon CM, Hanley DA, Heaney RP, Murad MH, Weaver CM. Evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. J Clinic Endocrinol Metab. 2011;96(7):1911-30.

Hoogendijk WJ, Lips P, Dik MG, Deeg DJ, Beekman AT, Penninx BW. Depression is associated with decreased 25-hydroxyvitamin D and increased parathyroid hormone levels in older adults. Arch General Psychiat. 2008;65(5):508-12.

Pan A, Lu L, Franco OH, Yu Z, Li H, Lin X. Association between depressive symptoms and 25-hydroxyvitamin D in middle-aged and elderly Chinese. J Affect Dis. 2009;118(1-3):240-3.

Herrán A, Amado JA, García-Unzueta MT, Vázquez-Barquero JL, Perera L, González-Macías J. Increased bone remodeling in first-episode major depressive disorder. Psychosomatic Med. 2000;62(6):779-82.

Michelson D, Stratakis C, Hill L, Reynolds J, Galliven E, Chrousos G, et al. Bone mineral density in women with depression. New Eng J Med. 1996;335(16):1176-81.

Annweiler C, Rastmanesh R, Richard-Devantoy S, Beauchet O. The role of vitamin D in depression: from a curious idea to a therapeutic option. 2013; 74(11):1121-2.

Penckofer S, Kouba J, Byrn M, Estwing Ferrans C. Vitamin D and depression: where is all the sunshine?. Issues Mental Health Nursing. 2010;31(6):385-93.

Armstrong DJ, Meenagh GK, Bickle I, Lee AS, Curran ES, Finch MB. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with anxiety and depression in fibromyalgia. Clinic Rheumatol. 2007;26(4):551-4.

Zhao G, Ford ES, Li C, Balluz LS. No associations between serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and parathyroid hormone and depression among US adults. British J Nutrit. 2010;104(11):1696-702.

Bertone-Johnson ER, Powers SI, Spangler L, Brunner RL, Michael YL, Larson JC, et al. Vitamin D intake from foods and supplements and depressive symptoms in a diverse population of older women. Am J Clinic Nutrit. 2011;94(4):1104-12.

Houston DK, Cesari M, Ferrucci L, Cherubini A, Maggio D, Bartali B, et al. Association between vitamin D status and physical performance: the InCHIANTI study. J Gerontol Series Bio Sci Med Sci. 2007;62(4):440-6.

Thomas J, Anouti FA, Hasani SA, Abdel-Wareth L, Haq A. Sunshine, sadness and seasonality: 25-hydroxyvitamin d, and depressive symptoms in the united arab emirates (uae). Int J Mental Health Promot. 2011;13(1):23-6.

Jorde R, Waterloo K, Saleh F, Haug E, Svartberg J. Neuropsychological function in relation to serum parathyroid hormone and serum 25–hydroxyvitamin D levels. J Neurol. 2006;253(4):464-70.

Shinpo K, Kikuchi S, Sasaki H, Moriwaka F, Tashiro K. Effect of 1, 25‐dihydroxyvitamin D3 on cultured mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons to the combined toxicity caused by L‐buthionine sulfoximine and 1‐methyl‐4‐phenylpyridine. J Neurosci Res. 2000;62(3):374-82.

Newmark HL, Newmark J. Vitamin D and Parkinson's disease-a hypothesis. Movement Dis. 2007;22(4):461-8.

Brown J, Bianco JI, McGrath JJ, Eyles DW. 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 induces nerve growth factor, promotes neurite outgrowth and inhibits mitosis in embryonic rat hippocampal neurons. Neurosci Letters. 2003;343(2):139-43.

Garcion E, Wion-Barbot N, Montero-Menei CN, Berger F, Wion D. New clues about vitamin D functions in the nervous system. Trends Endocrinol Metabol. 2002;13(3):100-5.

von Känel R, Fardad N, Steurer N, Horak N, Hindermann E, Fischer F, et al. Vitamin D deficiency and depressive symptomatology in psychiatric patients hospitalized with a current depressive episode: a factor analytic study. PLoS One. 2015;10(9):e0138550.

Grudet C, Malm J, Westrin Å, Brundin L. Suicidal patients are deficient in vitamin D, associated with a pro-inflammatory status in the blood. Psychoneuroendocrinol. 2014;50:210-9.






Original Research Articles