Vitamin D vs broad spectrum phototherapy in the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder

F. Michael Gloth, Wasif Alam, Bruce Hollis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is prevalent when vitamin D stores are typically low. Broad-spectrum light therapy includes wavelengths between 280-320 nm which allow the skin to produce vitamin D. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that vitamin D deficiency might play a role in SAD. A prospective, randomized controlled trial was conducted in a group of 15 subjects with SAD. Eight subjects received 100,000 I.U. of vitamin D and seven subjects received phototherapy. At the onset of treatment and after 1 month of therapy subjects were administered the Hamilton Depression scale, the SIGH-SAD, and the SAD-8 depression scale. All subjects also had serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH D) measured before and 1 week after intervention therapy. All subjects receiving vitamin D improved in all outcome measures. The phototherapy group showed no significant change in depression scale measures. Vitamin D status improved in both groups (74% vitamin D group, p < 0.005 and 36% phototherapy group, p < 0.01). Improvement in 25-OH D was significantly associated with improvement in depression scale scores (r2=0.26; p=0.05). Vitamin D may be an important treatment for SAD. Further studies will be necessary to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-7
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Volume3
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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