Skip to main content

Vitamin D Deficiency May Up Risk of Depression for Older Adults

A new study by researchers from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) at Trinity College Dublin suggests that a deficiency in vitamin D is associated with a substantial increased risk of depression over a four-year follow-up period.

It is well-recognized that later life depression can significantly reduce quality of life and is a potent risk factor for functional decline, admission to residential care and early death. Moreover, the majority of older adults are undiagnosed given the complex nature of depression.

The findings form part of the largest representative study of its kind and appear in The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (JAMDA).

Vitamin D is essential for bone health and has recently been linked with other non-bone health outcomes such as inflammation and diabetes. Small studies have found links between vitamin D and depression but few have followed up with the same affected people over time, while others have not taken into account other factors that can also affect depression.

These findings are important as researchers discovered that 1 in 8 older Irish adults are deficient in vitamin D.

The current study investigated the links between vitamin D and depression in older Irish adults and then re-examined the participants four years later to see if vitamin D status affected the risk of developing depression.

The authors found that:

• vitamin D deficiency was associated with a 75 percent increase in the risk of developing depression by 4 years;
• this finding remained robust after controlling for a wide range of relevant factors including depressive symptoms, chronic disease burden, physical activity and cardiovascular disease;
• furthermore, excluding participants taking antidepressant medication and vitamin D supplementation from the analyses did not alter the findings.

Researchers believe the findings could be due to the potential direct effect of vitamin D on the brain. That is, given the structural and functional brain changes seen in late life depression, vitamin D may have a protective effect in attenuating these changes.

Similarly, other studies have shown that vitamin D status has also been linked with neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

Although the benefits of vitamin D remain debatable, vitamin D status is relatively easy and inexpensive to modify through supplementation or fortification. Interestingly, in Ireland, fortification of food products with vitamin D is voluntary and few manufacturers fortify their products.

Commenting on the significance of the research, first author of the study and Specialist Registrar in Geriatric Medicine, Dr. Robert Briggs, said, “This is the largest representative and most comprehensive study of depression risk and vitamin D status in older adults ever conducted in Ireland. Our findings will provide useful information to help inform public health policy, particularly regarding the proposition of the usefulness of vitamin D treatment/supplementation for depression.”

Senior author Dr. Eamon Laird added, “This study shows that vitamin D is associated with a health condition other than bone health. What is surprising is the large effect on depression even after accounting for other control variables.

“This is highly relevant for Ireland as our previous research has shown that one in eight older adults are deficient in the summer and one in four during the winter. Moreover, only around 8 percent of older Irish adults report taking a vitamin D supplement.”

“Given that vitamin D is safe in the recommended intakes and is relatively cheap, this study adds to the growing evidence on the benefits of vitamin D for health. It also helps to continue to impress the need on our public health bodies to develop Irish vitamin D recommendations for the general public. Up to this point, these are severely lacking.”

Principal Investigator of TILDA Professor Rose Anne Kenny said, “The new finding that the development of depression could potentially be attenuated by having a higher vitamin D status could have significant policy and practice implications for Government and health services.

“It is our responsibility to now ascertain whether supplementation will influence depression. There are many reasons for vitamin D supplementation in Ireland. Benefits to something as disabling and often ‘silent’ as depression are therefore important for well-being as we age.”

Source: Trinity College Dublin



from Psych Central News https://ift.tt/2PpyYzI
via IFTTT

Become a patron of The Carlisle Wellness Network. Show everyone that you think this service is worth at least a buck. Go to; https://www.patreon.com/carlislewellness and pledge one dollar per month and help improve the resources it takes to gather the articles you see here as well as create fresh content including interviews an podcasts. We only need one dollar per month from all of our patrons to give The Carlisle Wellness Network a bright furture in the health and wellness social media ecosystem.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Working Remotely Is Not Necessarily Stress-Free

Many believe that working from home or remotely can foster freedom and stress-free job satisfaction, and that everyone wants  more work autonomy. A new study from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, says “Not so fast.” In the study, researchers examined the impact of remote work on employee well-being. Their findings suggest that a variety of factors can undermine or accent the employee benefits of working off-site. Accordingly, researchers developed new strategies to help managers provide remote-work opportunities that are valuable to the employee and the company. “Any organization, regardless of the extent to which people work remotely, needs to consider well-being of their employees as they implement more flexible working practices,” the researchers wrote. The study appears in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology . In the review, a total of 403 working adults were surveyed for the two studies that made up the research, said lead author Sara Perry, Ph.D. Re

Today’s Popular Music is More Angry, Sad and Less Joyful

Today’s popular music is noticeably different from the popular songs of the 1960s and 1970s. Now a new study reveals that it’s not just the music itself that is different; today’s music consumers seem to prefer songs that express darker emotions in both lyric and tone. The findings, published in the Journal of Popular Music Studies , show that the expression of anger and sadness in popular music has increased gradually over time, while the expression of joy has declined. Using quantitative analytics, researchers from Lawrence Technological University in Michigan studied changes in popular music lyrics throughout the last seven decades, from the 1950s to 2016. Data scientists Kathleen Napier and Dr. Lior Shamir analyzed the lyrics of more than 6,000 songs found on the Billboard Hot 100, a list of the most popular songs of each year. In the past, songs were ranked primarily by record sales, radio broadcasting, and jukebox plays, but in more recent years, popularity is based on several

I Pretend that Fictional Characters Are Real & Talk to Myself as Them

I’ve always loved to play pretend. But now that I’m a teenager, instead of outgrowing it, it’s gotten worse. Now I’ve gotten to the point where it’s an obsession, and I spend more time with my imaginary friends then with real people. I pretend that my favorite characters from movies and TV shows are real, and I talk to myself, both as myself and the character. I have long discussions with myself. I also pretend that they are with me everywhere I go–to the supermarket, to my cousin’s house. I pretend that they’re with me, no matter what I do. Lately, I’ve also been doing something that’s hard to explain: I pretend to be two people (usually myself and my mother, or a cousin, or a made-up person) and have a pretend to have a conversation with them. I pretend that the fiction character is watching me and my mother/cousin/other. Usually, those scenarios involve either a verbal fight, or joking. I’m really concerned because I know this is abnormal and I’m not living a normal life. I’m worri