This morning Fern sent me a link to an infographic on supplements: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/play/snake-oil-supplements/ (notice on the right side bar you can search based on certain conditions or topics).
I wasn’t overly surprised by the degree of evidence for most of the supplements listed, but was interested by the perceived role of vitamin D versus what most people say they are using vitamin D for (for instant gratification as opposed to long term health). Vitamin D does have a large body of evidence for general health and bone health, but then I noticed that it is classified as “none” to “slight” for evidence of it’s influence on mood and depression. Despite this, I have heard many people claim that taking a vitamin D supplement has a strong effect on their mood in the winter months (myself included). It seems like a timely question to ponder as many of us have backed off on our vitamin D doses lately so I did a quick search for articles that have studied this correlation and found the following article. There are a few interesting health conditions studied (and it’s nicely titled by section so you don’t have to read the whole thing if reading research studies isn’t your thing):
All of this said, I’m a huge fan of the placebo effect.
Here’s to hoping for some real summer weather so we don’t have to think about this again until November.