Vitamin D supplementation may help to lessen childhood depression, anxiety, and psychiatric symptoms

Vitamin D supplementation may help to lessen childhood depression, anxiety, and psychiatric symptoms ...

According to a Finnish research, a higher than recommended daily dose of vitamin D3 supplementation in the early years of life might reduce the risk of psychiatric symptoms in later childhood.

According to a Finnish research, early childhood consumption of a higher than recommended dose of vitamin D3 might ameliorate psychiatric symptoms in later childhood. Children receiving triple the standard dosage of vitamin D displayed fewer symptoms of depression, anxiety, and withdrawing behavior than those receiving the same dose.

According to an estimation, every eighth child suffers from a mental health disorder. Several theories for children's mental health have been identified, but much remains uncharted. Low vitamin D levels in early childhood may be one factor increasing the risk of mental health problems in later life.

A new research by a group of Finnish researchers has investigated whether a daily vitamin D3 supplement higher than the recommended dosage in early childhood reduces the risk of mental illness at school age.

The vitamin D intervention in infants (VIDI) clinical trial focuses on how early vitamin D3 treatment affects children's development and growth. The children received the supplementation daily from two weeks to two years old.

The parents of 346 children assessed their child's mental health problems using a questionnaire.

Daily vitamin D3 supplementation above the standard dosage reduced the risk of internalizing difficulties at school age, according to the study. In other words, children who received the higher dose had less mood, anxiety, and withdrawing behaviors as reported by their parents.

Parents reported clinically significant internalizing difficulties in 11.8 percent of children who had received the standard daily vitamin D supplement of 10 g until the age of two years, compared to 5.6% who received the triple vitamin D supplement.

Samuel Sandboge, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Tampere University, believes that a higher dosage of vitamin D3 supplementation during the first years of life might reduce the risk of internalizing mental illnesses.

"The conclusions and their implications are interesting, but further research is needed to confirm the findings. "We must also note, among other things, that we studied the psychiatric symptoms only as parent-reported." Furthermore, the participants of the study were children of Nordic origin who lived in Finland who had good vitamin D levels.

The researchers did not detect differences in externalizing issues, such as aggressive behavior or rule breaking. Moreover, there were no differences between the adults' psychiatric symptoms.

Researchers from Tampere University, Helsinki University Hospital, and the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) collaborated on this research. Kati Heinonen, associate professor of developmental psychology at the Faculty of Social Sciences, is a physician who is a Doctor of Medicine.

The findings of the research have been published in the scientific journal JAMA Network Open.

Samuel Sandboge, PhD, Katri Räikkönen, PhD, Helena Hauta-alus, PhD; Eero Kajantie, MD, PhD, Sture Andersson, MD, PhD, Kati Heinonen, PhD, JAMA Network Open, 19 May 2023. DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.14319

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