Vitamin D Supplementation Linked to Reduction in Suicide, Self-Harm

Among U.S. Veterans, risk was lower for supplemented Black veterans and those with 0 to 19 ng/mL vitamin D serum levels

HealthDay News — Supplementation with vitamin D is associated with a reduced risk for suicide and intentional self-harm among US Veterans, according to a study published online February 1 in PLOS ONE.

Jill E. Lavigne, PhD, MPH, and Jason B. Gibbons, from the Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention in Canandaigua, New York, conducted a retrospective cohort study of US Veterans supplemented with vitamin D to examine the association with suicide attempts and intentional self-harm. Veterans with any vitamin D3 or vitamin D2 fill between 2010 and 2018 were matched to untreated control veterans in a 1:1 ratio.

The researchers found that vitamin D3 and vitamin D2 supplementation was associated with a reduced risk for suicide and self-harm (hazard ratios, 0.552 and 0.512 for vitamin D3 and vitamin D2, respectively). Compared with controls, supplemented Black veterans and veterans with 0 to 19 ng/mL vitamin D serum levels had a significantly lower risk (hazard ratios, 0.362 and 0.359, respectively). Greater risk reductions were seen for supplementation with higher vitamin D doses than lower doses (log average dosage hazard ratio, 0.837).

“As a relatively safe, easily accessible, and affordable medication, supplementation with vitamin D in the VA may hold promise if confirmed in clinical trials to prevent suicide attempts and suicide,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text