The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Testing the effect of vitamin D treatment on symptoms of depression

    Low vitamin D levels are associated with depressive symptoms, especially in people with a history of depression.

    Researchers at the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst, evaluated the impact of daily supplementation with vitamin D combined with elemental calcium on depression.

    First, the details.

    • 36,282 postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to a treatment group.
      • Daily supplementation with 400 IU of vitamin D(3) + 1,000 mg of elemental calcium
      • Placebo
    • Depressive symptoms as measured by the Burnam scale and current use of antidepressant medication were used to assess depressive symptoms at the start of the study.
    • 2 years later, women again reported on their antidepressant use, and 2,263 completed a second Burnam scale.
    • Neither the patients nor researchers knew the treatment given — double blind.

    And, the results.

    • After 2 years, there was no difference in women taking vitamin D and calcium vs placebo.
    • Vitamin D supplementation was not associated with antidepressant use or continuous depressive symptom score.
    • Results adjusted for baseline vitamin D levels and calcium intake, solar irradiance, and other factors were similar.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “The findings do not support a relation between supplementation with 400 IU/day of vitamin D(3) along with calcium and depression in older women.”

    It’s possible that previously reported links between low vitamin D and depression might be related to confounding effects such as of lifestyle and diet instead.

    It’s also possible that the vitamin D dose taken in this study was too small to have an effect.

    9/4/12 20:44 JR

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