According to a recent report from ABC News Australia, vitamin D may not necessarily be helpful in alleviating the symptoms of depression. At least, vitamin D exposure did not seem to help young women who took part in a group study at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia. Find out what researchers were looking for and what they discovered from the results.

The Vitamin D Theory

For years, people suffering from depression have been told to go outside and experience nature. In particular, they have been encouraged to soak up more sunshine. Sunshine is “the best natural source of vitamin D,” according to the ABC News article. The belief that vitamin D somehow has a beneficial effect on people with depression is deeply rooted in modern society, but scientists at the University of Melbourne decide to find out for sure if that was the truth.

The Australian Study

The University of Melbourne, the Royal Women’s Hospital, and the Royal Melbourne Hospital partnered together to explore the connection between vitamin D, sunshine, and depressed patients. They selected a group of 353 women between the ages of 16 and 25. All of the women live in Victoria, Australia.

Global Study Results Vs. Australia’s Results

Similar studies have been conducted around the world, in various countries, and most of them have revealed improvements in patients with higher levels of Vitamin D. However, the Australian study uncovered some surprising results. There appeared to be no link between vitamin D levels and the symptoms of anxiety, depression, or mental distress from which the women suffered.

In fact, the researchers found that even though vitamin D levels increased during the summer as compared to winter, the women’s mental health did not improve. One of the study participants actually experienced the reversal of her own expectations; she had low vitamin D, but had no mood swings or mental health issues.

Future Avenues of Study

Other factors may be involved in the study. According to the research team, the young Australian women participating in the study had unusually high levels of “general psychological distress,” compared to other segments of the population. Looking at this particular Australian demographic over time, the amount of psychological distress has actually increased since an earlier survey conducted in 2011.

The scientists who conducted the study plan to do further research, attempting to discern why young Australian women are suffering in this way. They also plan to test individuals with severe vitamin D deficiency, as well as gauging the results of vitamin D supplementation over longer periods of time.

The True Solution

If you are suffering from sadness, anxiety, depression, or other troubling emotions, avoid labelling it as having “low vitamin D.” More outdoor time is definitely healthy; but instead of telling yourself that you need more sunshine, visit Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic. There may be a deeper issue causing your depression or anxiety; and the sooner you identify it and treat it, the sooner you can improve your outlook on life and enjoy a happier, healthier frame of mind. With the help of a qualified Singapore psychiatrist or psychologist, you can finally figure out why you have been feeling so sad or angry, and you can discover treatments and medication that restore your mental health. Why wait for it to get worse? Call Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic today.

Source: ABC News Australia, 17 February, 2017