depressionResearchers have discovered a previously unknown link between vitamin D and depression in overweight, reproductive women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), suggesting the use of supplements could be used to counter depression in this group.

In a study led by Dr Lisa Moran, from the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Research Institute and Monash University’s Monash Centre for Health Research Implementation, researchers looked at the relationship between vitamin D and PCOS. They found PCOS alone is not associated with vitamin D deficiency but that low vitamin D is commonly found in overweight women.

Dr Moran said the study was the first time researchers looked at the interactions between vitamin D, inflammation and mood disorders in women with PCOS. It found that the common endocrine condition affects up to 21% of reproductive-aged women and it can be associated with a wide range of reproductive, metabolic and psychological side effects.

“Depression, anxiety and inflammation are common side effects experienced by women with PCOS, and vitamin D deficiency has been associated with both mood disorders and inflammation in the general population. So we wanted to investigate the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and PCOS,” she added.

“We found for the first time that there is an association between vitamin D levels with both depression and inflammation in overweight women, regardless of whether they have PCOS or not,” said Dr Moran.

“We also found that vitamin D deficiency was common in women generally and there were no differences in vitamin D levels between women with and without PCOS,” she said.

Dr Moran said these findings support further research into treating depression with vitamin D supplements, particularly in women with PCOS.

Read the findings in full at: www.adelaide.edu.au/robinson-research-institute/