Vitamin d for mental health

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what the body needs, can a deficiency cause depression, symptoms of deficiency and how to make up for it

Daniil Davydov

medical journalist

Author profile

Depression is a complex disease, the appearance of which involves many factors.

Theoretically, vitamin D deficiency can also contribute to it, but this is not the main cause of depression. Therefore, vitamin D supplements cannot cure depression. To get rid of this problem, you need to contact a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist or psychiatrist.

See a doctor

Our articles are written with love for evidence-based medicine. We refer to authoritative sources and go to doctors with a good reputation for comments. But remember: the responsibility for your health lies with you and your doctor. We don't write prescriptions, we make recommendations. Relying on our point of view or not is up to you.

Why Vitamin D is needed

Vitamin D is one of the thirteen organic compounds that people need for normal growth, development and a healthy life. Most of these substances help proteins to work, accelerating chemical reactions in the body, and some also control the work of internal organs.

Overview of Vitamin D - An updated guide for physicians Uptodate

For example, vitamin D binds to receptors on intestinal cells, turning on some genes and activating others. So it makes the intestinal cells absorb more calcium from food. If it were not for vitamin D, we would absorb only 10-15% of calcium. And under the influence of this vitamin, we absorb 30-40%.

Why Calcium is needed and how it works - StatPearls Updated Primer for Medical Students

This is very important because we need a lot of calcium. Calcium is the basis of bones and teeth, they account for 99% of the total mineral in the body. But calcium is not only found in the bones. Approximately 1% of calcium is dissolved in the blood. They call it free. This calcium plays an equally important role in the work of our body.

Non-Skeletal Functions of Vitamin D - Uptodate

Free calcium helps contract muscles, release hormones into the blood, and transmit nerve impulses in nerve cells. This means that vitamin D plays an important role not only in skeletal health and muscle strength, but also in brain function.

Can a lack of vitamin D cause depression

Since vitamin D helps neurons get free calcium, without which they cannot function properly, it seems logical that a lack of this substance can lead to problems in brain function. For example, mental disorders. Theoretically, there may well be a link between vitamin D levels and depression.

Clinical depression is a disease associated with disorders in the functioning of nerve cells. At the same time, it is known that vitamin D is involved in the growth, development and nutrition of almost all brain neurons, including those that are part of the cingulate gyrus and the hippocampus. The risk of developing clinical depression increases when problems start in these areas of the brain.

What is depression? - Bulletin of the American Psychiatric Association

Vitamin D plays an important role in the functioning of nerve cells - Journal of Psychoneuroendocrinology

Vitamin D receptors are found in brain regions important for the development of depression - Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy

Vitamin D deficiency and depression in adults: systematic review and meta-analysis - British Psychiatric Journal

Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that problems in the functioning of the neurons that make up the cingulate gyrus and the hippocampus may be associated with a lack of vitamin D.

In 2018, a group of scientists decided to test this. They analyzed 14 observational studies whose authors followed the lives of more than 30,000 people. The organizers of the observations were interested in whether there is a link between low levels of vitamin D in the blood and a high risk of developing depression.

In most studies, participants with and without depression were tested for the concentration of this vitamin in the blood and compared the results. After reviewing the data, the authors of the review concluded that people whose vitamin D levels were below normal, i.e. 75 nmol/l, were more likely to complain of symptoms of depression than those who had enough vitamin D.

But this does not mean that vitamin D deficiency is the main cause of depression. For example, vitamin D levels can drop simply because a person who is depressed due to a lack of energy begins to eat less well and go out less often, so that less vitamin is produced in his skin.


Vitamins: what foods contain and how to take supplements . At least, because dysregulation of the brain in this condition can be associated not only with internal, but also with external causes.

Internal causes are directly related to a malfunction in the work of neurons, in which there is a lack of neurotransmitters in nerve cells - chemicals responsible for regulating mood. It is possible that vitamin D deficiency can aggravate or provoke such failures.

Causes of depression in adults - Uptodate

External causes are not directly related to brain function. These are psychological traumas, conflicts, wrong way of thinking or other illness. Judging by the available data, all this can also lead to changes in the brain, which can eventually lead to depression. But the likelihood of losing a loved one or experiencing serious stress at work or school does not exactly increase the vitamin.

Does vitamin D help prevent or treat depression

The answer to the question of whether vitamin D supplements help prevent depression came in 2020, when the results of a large five-year experiment were published. 18,353 people participated in it. At the time of the start of the experiment, all volunteers were about 50 years old, and none of them had symptoms of depression.

Effect of long-term vitamin D supplementation versus placebo on the risk of depression or clinically significant depressive symptoms - Journal of the American Medical Association

All these people were randomly divided into two groups. One group received a placebo once a day, and the second - the same type of tablets, which contained 2000 IU of vitamin D.

1000 IU of vitamin per day. That is, a too low dose of a vitamin cannot be called.

Russian Clinical Guidelines for Vitamin DPDF, 1.01 MB

But when the experiment ended, it turned out that people who drank the supplement had exactly the same risk of depression as those who did not take the supplement. The authors of the study concluded that there is no point in prescribing vitamin D supplements to prevent depression.

There is no definitive answer to the question of whether vitamin D supplements help cure depression, because there is not enough data to draw firm conclusions. But in 2014, a team of researchers analyzed data from six small clinical trials with 1,203 participants—and the results are not encouraging.

The effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation in adults with depression: a systematic review - Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism

All volunteers who participated in the experiments suffered from depression and took either placebo or vitamin D in dosages from 1500 to 7100 IU per day. The duration of admission was also different: from 8 weeks to 3-5 years. But in no study did people with depression who took the vitamin feel any relief.

How to detect vitamin D deficiency

Although vitamin D does not appear to cure or prevent depression, it is important for bone, muscle and nervous system health. Therefore, it is necessary to receive it in quantities sufficient for a healthy life.

Most of the vitamin D is synthesized directly in our skin under the influence of sunlight, and the rest we get from food. There is a lot of vitamin D in seafood and animal foods - in fatty sea fish, red meat, liver, egg yolks.

British Guidelines for Vitamin D - NHS Bulletin

Residents of northern latitudes get less sun than southerners, and most of the inhabitants of our country also rarely eat seafood, as they live far from the sea. Therefore, experts from the Russian Ministry of Health believe that our compatriots are deficient in vitamin D and it makes sense for all Russians to take vitamin D supplements.

At the same time, healthy people who plan to take vitamin D for prevention do not need to take tests for the content of this vitamin in the blood. The supplement in the recommended doses can be taken as such.

Vitamin D testing is only needed for people diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency, that is, those who take a high dose supplement as a medicine. In this situation, tests help control the dosage of the vitamin.

This is very important: people who take more than 60,000 IU per day are at risk of poisoning. And if you take vitamin D in high doses for several years in a row, you may experience muscle pain, soften bones and grow kidney stones.

How to compensate for vitamin D deficiency in the body

To get enough vitamin D, it is important to eat a balanced diet and get regular sun exposure.

The amount of time you need to spend in the sun for the skin to produce enough vitamin depends on the season and the skin tone of the person: the lighter the skin, the less time it takes for the vitamin to form.

The calculator created by Norwegian scientists will help you calculate the time needed for a walk. According to the calculator, a fair-skinned Muscovite needs to spend 40 minutes a day outside in early September.


How to protect yourself from the sun

In addition, experts from the Ministry of Health advise taking vitamins in supplements. People aged 18-50 years are recommended 600-800 IU of vitamin per day, people over 50 years old - 800-1000 IU, pregnant and lactating women - 800-1200 IU.


law for chemical elements.

On the occasion of the 170th anniversary of Ivan Petrovich Pavlov - an outstanding Russian Russian

researcher in the field of physiology, the first Nobel laureate in Russia. practical conference dedicated to the 80th anniversary of Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences N.Kh.

Amirov (April 10, 2019, Kazan) / ed. L.M. Fatkhutdinova. Kazan:

Kazan State Medical University, 2019. P.208-212.

12. Demographic Yearbook of Russia. 2017: Stat. Sat. / Rosstat. M., 2017. 263 p.

13. Shchepin V.O. Morbidity with temporary disability of the population of the Russian Federation // Problems of social hygiene, health care and medical history. 2012. No. 4. S. 6-9.

14. On the state of sanitary and epidemiological well-being of the population in the Omsk region in 2018: state. report. Omsk: Office of Rospotrebnadzor for the Omsk Region, 2019. Access mode: (Accessed: 02.09. 2019).

15. On carrying out sanitary and hygienic certification of women's workplaces in terms of working conditions: Resolution of the chief state physician for the Omsk region No. 1 dated 09.01.2019. Access mode: (date of access: 09/02/2019).

UDC 616-01/09 Petrova N.N.1, Dorofeikov V.V.2, Zyryanova I.V.2


1 St. Petersburg State University, Department of Psychiatry and Narcology; 2 National State University of Physical Culture, Sports and Health

P.F. Lesgaft, Department of Biochemistry

Resume. The problem of vitamin D deficiency in Russia has become especially urgent in connection with the understanding of the consequences of this condition and the wide prevalence

among children and adults in the winter season. The results of

studies of the authors indicate that the level of (25-OH)D in the blood in the autumn-winter period in

young people, including athletes, as well as

elderly residents of the North-West region of Russia, meets the criteria

the medical concept of "deficiency" or hypovitaminosis, which renders


To the 185th anniversary of the great Russian Russian scientist and citizen of Russia - Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleev and the 150th anniversary of his heritage - "Periodic Law for Chemical Elements". To the 170th anniversary of Ivan Petrovich Pavlov - an outstanding Russian Russian researcher in the field of physiology, the first Nobel laureate in Russia. negative impact on the physical and mental state, including

development of depression.

Key words: cholecalciferol, health, natriuretic peptide. Resume.

Petrova N.N., Dorofeykov V.V., Zyrianova I.V. Vitamin D deficiency and preservation of physical and mental health of the Russian population. The problem of vitamin D deficiency in Russia has become particularly relevant in connection with the understanding of the consequences of this condition and the wide prevalence among children and adults in the winter season. The results of the authors 'studies show that the level of (25-OH)D in the blood in the autumn-winter period in young people, including athletes, as well as elderly residents of the North-Western region of Russia, meets the criteria of the medical concept of "deficiency" or hypovitaminosis, which has a negative impact on physical and mental condition, including the development of depression. Keywords: cholecalciferol, health, natriuretic peptide.

Vitamin D deficiency for the human body is a global problem, the awareness of which has come in the last decade. This is due to new opportunities for laboratory diagnostics, which simply did not exist before [1, 2]. In Russia, testing for the level of vitamin D in the blood has appeared in the last 3-5 years in large cities using imported equipment and reagents, the cost of such an analysis is unaffordable for the system of compulsory health insurance of the population. The significance of the problem for maintaining the health of the population and in sports medicine is not yet among the health care organizers, nor the majority of doctors and coaches. To convert a vitamin into an active metabolite that subsequently binds to specific receptors, two successive reactions are necessary: ​​the first occurs in the liver under the influence of 25-hydroxylase and the vitamin is converted to 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] (calcidiol). The resulting metabolite circulates in the blood for a long time and is convenient for laboratory analysis. Further, in the tissues, calcidiol is re-hydroxylated with the formation of physiologically active 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (calcitriol), the half-life of which in the blood does not exceed 30 minutes. Calcitriol is also called D-hormone, 9 effects0003

To the 185th anniversary of the great Russian Russian scientist and citizen of Russia - Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleev and the 150th anniversary of his heritage - "The Periodic Law for Chemical Elements". To the 170th anniversary of Ivan Petrovich Pavlov - an outstanding Russian Russian researcher in the field of physiology, the first Nobel laureate in Russia. calcitriol at the cell level are implemented by changing the rate of

enzymatic catalysis of metabolic reactions or

synthesis of intracellular enzymes. Classical targets of action of active D-

hormones are organs such as intestines, kidneys, parathyroid glands

and bone tissue. Vitamin D deficiency is an extremely common

condition and can contribute to the development of weakness in the muscles

of the proximal limbs, slow walking speed, difficulty

when getting up from a sitting position, as well as when lifting heavy objects [3,

4]. Electromyography of patients with vitamin D deficiency described

a shortening of polyphasic motor potentials, a decrease in their amplitude.

The speed of conduction of nerve impulses also decreases. Symptoms

of the disease are treatable with vitamin D supplements. Among men and

women over 60 years of age who participated in the NHANES III study, individuals with high blood levels of

walked 8 feet faster and

climbed with chairs than individuals with lower levels of vitamin D,

regardless of the level of daily physical activity. Muscle biopsy in

adults with severe vitamin D deficiency showed atrophy of predominantly type II muscle fibers

(“fast response fibers”), which are

the first to be activated when needed to prevent falls. This

fact explains the propensity to fall in elderly people with vitamin D deficiency

. Histological examination of the muscles in these patients showed

also an increase in interfibrillary spaces, fatty infiltration,

fibrosis and accumulation of glycogen granules. Several studies

have focused on the effect of replenishing vitamin D deficiency on muscle fiber composition.

In a randomized trial in elderly patients it was found that

vitamin D treatment increased the proportion and mean diameter of

type II muscle fibers. Thus, studies of the last decade

confirm the importance of vitamin D for the normal functioning of

muscle and bone tissue [3, 4].

Purpose of the study. To study the level of vitamin D in the blood of young (under 30 years old) and elderly (over 60 years old) residents of Russia and the relationship of the indicator with the state of health.

Materials and methods. The study was carried out in 3 groups of people. Group 1 consisted of 20 qualified male athletes (biathlon and handball). Group 2 consisted of 100 young patients suffering from

To the 185th anniversary of the great Russian Russian scientist and citizen of Russia - Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleev and the 150th anniversary of his heritage - "The Periodic Law for Chemical Elements". To the 170th anniversary of Ivan Petrovich Pavlov - an outstanding Russian Russian researcher in the field of physiology, the first Nobel laureate in Russia. depressive disorders. Group 3 consisted of 200 elderly residents of

St. Petersburg over 60 years old. In the 2018-2019 sports season, all athletes actively trained and competed at all-Russian and regional competitions. The study was carried out in 2 stages, the first - before the start of the competitive period in November 2018. It should be noted that all athletes did not visit the solarium and did not take vitamin D and other multivitamins. Stage 2 was carried out immediately before the competition after completing the training load (February 2019). After signing the informed consent, blood was taken from a fasting vein into vacuum systems, BNP and vitamin D(OH) were analyzed using Architect analyzers from Abbott (USA) using reagents and control materials from the manufacturer.

Results and discussion. As a result of the first phase of the study in November, the concentration of vitamin D (OH) in all 20 athletes was below the normal level. In 5 out of 10 biathletes, the level of vitamin D was from 20 to 30 ng / ml, below normal, in one - vitamin D was 17. 5 ng / ml, which is deficient, and only 4 athletes had normal values ​​(above 30 ng / ml). ml).

2 out of 10 handball players had vitamin D values ​​in the range from 20 to 30 ng/ml, which is a low vitamin D level, in the remaining 8 athletes, the value was in the range from 10 to 20 ng/ml, which corresponds to the concept of vitamin D deficiency and requires treatment.

Comparing the conditions of the training process of 2 groups (training on the street and training in the arena), it can be noted that the vitamin D values ​​at the initial stage differed between the groups. For biathletes, the average was higher and amounted to 28.3 ± 2.1 ng/ml, for handball players it was 16.4 ± 0.4 ng/ml. Of the 20 people, 4 athletes had normal vitamin D (all biathletes). In 7 athletes, the indicators were below the norm (from 20 to 30 ng / ml), vitamin D deficiency at the initial stage was in 9 athletes, the indicators were from 10 to 20 ng / ml. In the second phase of the study, vitamin D levels decreased in all 20 athletes. In biathletes, vitamin D decreased by 13.4 ng/ml (by 46.6%) and amounted to 15.1 ± 2.1 ng/ml, in handball players it decreased by 4.3 ng/ml (by 26.2%) and amounted to 12.1 ± 1.1 ng/ml. In February, 3 biathletes had vitamin D levels below normal (from 20 to 30 ng/l), the rest of the biathletes had values ​​ranging from 10 to 20 ng/l, which is vitamin D deficiency. In 7 out of 10 handball players in February, the indicators corresponded to concept of vitamin deficiency

To the 185th anniversary of the great Russian Russian scientist and citizen of Russia - Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleev and the 150th anniversary of his heritage - "The Periodic Law for Chemical Elements". To the 170th anniversary of Ivan Petrovich Pavlov - an outstanding Russian Russian researcher in the field of physiology, the first Nobel laureate in Russia. min D, and three men had vitamin D levels below 10 ng/mL. Our

data and systematic reviews support the association of vitamin D deficiency with an increased risk of osteoporosis, falls, muscle weakness, total and cardiovascular mortality, and low physical activity, as well as depression [5, 6].

The study of vitamin D in patients with depression (young people under 30 years old) showed a pronounced deficiency of a laboratory marker compared to healthy people, the degree of vitamin deficiency closely correlated with the severity of the state of depression, the severity of suicidal tendencies.

In the elderly, the severity of vitamin D deficiency was closely correlated with the degree of heart failure, as measured by the level of BNP (brain natriuretic peptid) in blood plasma.

Conclusions: deficiency of vitamin D in the blood during the "dark" season leads to the accumulation of negative changes in the state of mental and physical health of the population. This requires urgent organizational measures to prevent and treat vitamin deficiency, lack of calcium in food, similar to the measures taken in Finland, Norway and other Nordic countries, as well as the development of a special program for athletes for the timely diagnosis and treatment of vitamin D deficiency.


1. Dorofeikov V.V., Shirinyan L.V., Zazerskaya I.E. The role of vitamin D and its metabolites during pregnancy and modern laboratory control. Clinical and laboratory consultation. 2014. No. 2 (49). pp.16-19.

2. Belaya Zh.E., Belova K.Yu., Bordakova E.V. et al. Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of vitamin D and calcium deficiency in the adult population and in patients with osteoporosis. Scientific and practical rheumatology. 2015.53(4). pp. 403-408

3. Ceglia L. Vitamin D and its role in skeletal muscle. CurrOpinClinNutrMetab Care. 2009Nov.12(6). P.628-33. doi: 10.1097/M-.0b013e328331c707.

4. Snijder, M.B., van Schoor, N.M., Pluijm, S.M., van Dam, R.M., Visser, M., Lips, P. Vitamin D status in relation to one-year risk of recurrent falling in older men and women. J.Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 2006 91(8), 2980-2985.

5. Bubnova Yu.S., Dorofeikov V.V., Mazo G.E., Petrova N.N. To the question of the mechanisms of development of depression in schizophrenia. Psychiatry and psychopharma-

To the 185th anniversary of the great Russian Russian scientist and citizen of Russia - Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev and the 150th anniversary of his legacy - "The Periodic Law for Chemical Elements". To the 170th anniversary of Ivan Petrovich Pavlov - an outstanding Russian Russian researcher in the field of physiology, the first Nobel laureate in Russia.

cotherapy them. P.B. Gannushkin. 2012.14(4). pp.21-26

6. Fazeli P.K., Mendes N., Russell M., Herzog D.B., Klibanski A., Misra M. Bone density characteristics and major depressive disorder in adolescents. Psycho-som. Med. 2013. Vol. 75. No. 2. R. 23.


I.O. Written, I.A. Gundarov



Russian State Pedagogical University im. A.I. Herzen, St. Petersburg; First MGMU them. THEM. Sechenov, Moscow

Abstract. It is customary to consider crime as an independent phenomenon that requires efforts to eradicate it. Therefore, the methods of struggle used are aimed at punishing criminals and blocking their activities. However, in modern conditions, these measures are insufficient. The essence of the problem may be the vices of society as a social organism. Here, criminal acts are his reflexive signals that make it possible to diagnose the presence of a social disease that requires treatment. Accordingly, in jurisprudence, an additional conceptual apparatus is needed so that the social conditions that give rise to crime are also considered a crime, but at the state level. Legal efforts are required to develop laws that use reflexive deviations to force governments to pursue healthier public policies.

Key words: reflection, deviation, crime, society.

Abstract. I.O. Pismennaya, I.A. Gundarov The role of crime for society's reflective

awareness of it's illness as a social organism. Crime is traditionally regarded as an independent phenomenon requiring efforts to eradicate it.

Learn more