Vitamin D may not protect against depression in middle-aged and elderly people, according to a new large-scale study published in the journal JAMA.
Although many people take vitamin D to improve mood, new study author Olivia Okereke, a psychiatrist doctor at a major hospital in the US state of Massachusetts, found that there was no significant benefit from vitamin D in preventing depression or improving mood.
Over 18,000 men and women aged 50 and older took part in the scientist's study.
None of the study participants showed signs of clinical depression.
The scientists then tested whether vitamin D3 prevents depression.
According to the author of the study, one of the scientific issues is that it takes a very large number of participants to test the question of preventing depression, and with 20,000 subjects, this issue was statistically solved.
According to this study, numerous previous investigations have shown that low blood vitamin D levels were linked to a higher risk of depression later in life, but too few large-scale studies have been done to determine causation.
In the study, half of the participants received a vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplement and the other half received a placebo for nearly five years.
As Okereke and her team said, they found no significant difference between the two groups of participants in terms of depression risk or clinical symptoms of depression.
These results show that there is no benefit to using vitamin D3 supplements for the sole purpose of preventing depression in people aged 50 and over, the study author told Fox News.