University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository


Family Medicine


Dr. Elyse Watkins


Purpose: The purpose of this article is to propose for consideration a clinical topic of vitamin D being an adjuvant therapy for treating major depressive disorder. It will state the clinical significance and present the best available evidence relevant to vitamin D and its role as an adjunct treatment for major depressive disorder.

Method: A PubMed and Google Scholar literature search was conducted with search terms adults, major depressive disorder, vitamin D, and vitamin D supplementation. Fifteen pertinent articles were retrieved and after further review, fifteen served as the basis for this clinical review.

Results: Research showed that vitamin D did not show any preventative benefits to depression; however, it did have beneficial effects on the improvements in the symptoms of patients with clinical depression. Studies also indicated that taking antidepressants increased the risk of adverse events in adults with major depressive disorder. Therefore, vitamin D could be an adjunct treatment in patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder.

Conclusion: Major depressive disorder is one of the most common mental health disorders in the U.S. which causes severe functional impairments and may lead to suicide. Approximately 7.1 percent of all U.S. adults have had at least one episode of clinical depression. If low levels of vitamin D, also known as vitamin D insufficiency or vitamin D deficiency, were relevant in mental health disorders, supplementation with vitamin D should prove beneficial due to its neuroprotective attributes. Findings suggest that vitamin D supplementation has a neuroprotective effect in patients with clinical depression. Future studies assessing the degree of vitamin D deficiency, in comparison to the improvement of symptoms in major depressive disorder, as well as the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency and treatment of major depressive disorder should be conducted.

Keywords: Vitamin D, Major Depressive Disorder, Depression, Adult, Vitamin D Supplementation.


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