Vitamin D Curbs Depression Diabetic Women
June 26, 2013

Vitamin D Supplements Decrease Depression And Blood Pressure In Diabetic Women

Rebekah Eliason for - Your Universe Online

According to a new study, vitamin D supplements can reduce blood pressure and improve moods in women with type 2 diabetes who are suffering from depression. It also helped some women to lose small amounts of weight.

Lead researcher Sue M. Penckofer, PhD, RN, said “Vitamin D supplementation potentially is an easy and cost-effective therapy with minimal side effects. Larger, randomized controlled trials are needed to determine the impact of vitamin D supplementation on depression and major cardiovascular risk factors among women with Type 2 diabetes."

A new study is planned to investigate 180 women with type 2 diabetes who have insufficient vitamin D levels and exhibit symptoms of depression. Participants will either be assigned a dose of vitamin D or receive a placebo for six months.

Currently, about one in ten Americans is diagnosed with diabetes and that number is projected to increase to one in four by 2050. Women typically have worse outcomes from diabetes than men, which may be due to the fact depression accompanies diabetes in some 25 percent of the women who develop it. A patient’s ability to manage diabetes is affected by depression because it impairs their motivation and ability to manage their diet, exercise and take medications.

Many Americans struggle with low levels of vitamin D, but people with diabetes have an increased risk for vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency. Contributing factors may include limited intake of foods high in vitamin D, obesity, lack of sun exposure and genetic variations.

A placebo study was performed which included 46 female participants with an average age of 55 who had diabetes for an average of 8 years and also had a vitamin D deficiency. It is recommended to have a dietary intake of 600 International Units (IUs) of vitamin D per day but participants took a weekly dose of 50,000 IUs.

After six months it was found that participants’ blood vitamin D levels had returned to acceptable levels along with a significant improvement in mood. Blood pressure was also improved and their average weight dropped from 226.1 pounds to 223.6 pounds.

This was a pilot study performed at Loyola University Chicago Niehoff School of Nursing and was presented at the American Diabetes Association 73rd Scientific Sessions in Chicago.