That is the simple conclusion of the largest meta-study to date. Namely, vitamin D in doses above 2,000 IU daily has antidepressant effect when used as monotherapy. The antidepressant effects of vitamin D when used in combination with pharma antidepressant drugs is already well-established, so this new study combined with the recent admission that SSRI drugs are no better than placebo strongly suggests the clinical trials that reported benefits of SSRI when used in combination with other substances may have simply measured the antidepressant effects of those other substances (as SSRI drugs are next to useless). At the very least, the study below suggests that may be the case for vitamin D – a true antidepressant, available OTC in most countries.
“…Now a new meta-analysis of 41 previous studies suggests that taking vitamin D supplements can relieve depressive symptoms in people already diagnosed with depression, opening up a potential alternative option for treatment. As well as controlling levels of calcium and phosphate in the body, it’s thought that vitamin D helps to regulate various functions in the central nervous system – and earlier research on animals suggests it could even contribute to the control of chemical balances in the brain, which may explain the association between vitamin D and mental health. “These findings will encourage new, high-level clinical trials in patients with depression in order to shed more light on the possible role of vitamin D supplementation in the treatment of depression,” says Tuomas Mikola, doctoral researcher and lead author at the University of Eastern Finland. The new meta-analysis covered a total of 53,235 study participants from 41 studies, including those with and without depression, people taking vitamin D supplements and people taking placebos, and individuals with a variety of physical conditions. While the doses used varied, the typical vitamin D supplement was 50-100 micrograms a day. In the participants with depression, vitamin D supplements were shown to be more effective than placebos at alleviating depressive symptoms. Vitamin D supplements seemed to be most effective in shorter bursts (under 12 weeks), the researchers report. However, in healthy individuals, it was placebos that had a slightly greater impact on depressive symptoms. “Our results suggest that vitamin D supplementation has beneficial effects in both individuals with major depressive disorder as well as in those with milder, clinically significant depressive symptoms,” write the researchers in their published paper.”