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Vitamin D and Mood Disorders Among Women: An Integrative Review


  • Pamela K. Murphy CNM, MS, IBCLC,

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    • Pamela K. Murphy, CNM, MS, IBCLC, graduated from Georgetown University with a masters degree in nurse-midwifery and is now completing the nursing PhD program at the Medical University of South Carolina. Her dissertation focuses on vitamin D and postpartum depression.

  • Carol L. Wagner MD

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    • Carol L. Wagner, MD, is a Professor of Pediatrics and an attending neonatologist at MUSC, Charleston, SC. She is also a researcher in the field of vitamin D and breastfeeding medicine.

Pamela K. Murphy, CNM, MS, IBCLC, Medical University of South Carolina, 169 Ashley Ave., P.O. Box 250347, Charleston, SC 29425. E-mail:


This integrative review evaluates research studies that investigated the association between vitamin D and mood disorders affecting women to determine whether further research comparing these variables is warranted. A literature search using CINAHL, PsycINFO, MEDLINE, and PubMed databases was conducted to locate peer-reviewed mood disorder research studies that measured serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels. Four of six studies reviewed imparted significant results, with all four showing an association between low 25(OH)D levels and higher incidences of four mood disorders: premenstrual syndrome, seasonal affective disorder, non-specified mood disorder, and major depressive disorder. This review indicates a possible biochemical mechanism occurring between vitamin D and mood disorders affecting women, warranting further studies of these variables using rigorous methodologies.