Vitamin D and Mood Disorders Among Women: An Integrative Review

Pamela K. Murphy, CNM, MS, IBCLC; Carol L. Wagner, MD


J Midwifery Womens Health. 2008;53(5):440-446. 

In This Article

Calls for Future Research

Further research of the effects of vitamin D deficiency on mood disorders in women (including perinatal and postpartum depression, because no studies were found on either of these topics) is warranted and must incorporate rigorous methods focusing on a specific mood disorder. In addition, it is important to incorporate sufficient sample sizes of females of white, African American, Hispanic, and other ethnicities, and of ages appropriate to the mood disorder grouped according to phase of menstruation (pre-, peri-, or postmenopausal or, if experiencing their menstrual cycle, the time the depressive symptoms and 25[OH]D levels are assessed). A comparison between geographic location and season should be considered. Variables should be clearly defined and instruments should be validated and proven reliable. Analyses should incorporate not only serum 25(OH)D levels but also standardized classification of these levels into deficient, optimal, and toxic states. Close attention should be paid to ensure that 25(OH)D levels are drawn at least 3 months after a stable regimen of vitamin D intake is confirmed, because this is how long it takes for 25(OH)D levels to stabilize depending on sun exposure and dietary intake.[19] Confounding variables should be controlled, including ethnicity/race, degree of skin pigmentation, study location (if multicentered), season of data collection, dietary intake, and daily sun exposure if supplementation with vitamin D is used as an intervention.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.