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Vitamin D May Improve Mood, Lower Blood Pressure in Diabetic Women

Approximately 25% of women with diabetes also suffer from depression. A new study has found that supplementation with vitamin D may improve mood and lower blood pressure in women with diabetes who also suffer from depression.

Participants in this pilot study included 46 women with an average age of 55 who had diabetes for an average of 8 years and insufficient vitamin D levels, defined as less than 18 ng/mL. Over the course of six months the women took a weekly dose of 50,000 IUs of vitamin D.

In order to measure depression levels, the researchers administered a 20-question depression symptom survey. At the onset of the study, the women had an average score of 26.8 (moderate depression). At the conclusion of the study, the average score was 12.2 (no depression).

The researchers also noticed a decrease in blood pressure from 140.0 mmHg to 132.5 mm Hg. Additionally, the women went from an average of 226.1 pounds to 223.6 pounds.

Researchers from the Niehoff School of Nursing conducted the study. It was presented at the American Diabetes Association 73rd Scientific Sessions in Chicago the week of June 21, 2013.

Previous studies have shown that vitamin D may improve kidney health, reduce the risk of skin cancer, reduce the risk of osteoporosis, combat diabetes, and improve age related eye degeneration.

Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Our body also process vitamin D from the sun (which is where the nickname “sunshine vitamin” comes from) but our bodies have a harder time processing it as we age. A high quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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