A Randomised Controlled Trial of the Effects of Vitamin D3 on Selected Neurocognitive and Mental Health Outcomes in Healthy Young Adults

Teresa Hall (2010). A Randomised Controlled Trial of the Effects of Vitamin D3 on Selected Neurocognitive and Mental Health Outcomes in Healthy Young Adults Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Teresa Hall
Thesis Title A Randomised Controlled Trial of the Effects of Vitamin D3 on Selected Neurocognitive and Mental Health Outcomes in Healthy Young Adults
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Mark Bellgrove
Total pages 100
Abstract/Summary The existing literature on the influence of vitamin D on complex cognitive behaviours and mental health is inconclusive. This is the first double-blind randomised control trial (RCT) to assess the effect of vitamin D3 on selected cognitive and mental health outcomes in a sample of healthy young adults. Adults with no psychiatric disorder (N = 128; Mean age = 21.76 years, SD = 2.86 years) were randomised to one of two six-week treatment conditions: vitamin D (5000IU/day vitamin D) or placebo control. Participants were assessed at baseline and endpoint on various measures of neurocognition and mental health. Neurocognition was measured with three psychometrically-valid computer-based tasks of inhibition (Stop signal reaction time task), updating working memory (N-back task) and cognitive flexibility (Shape-shifting task). The aspects of mental health measured were depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory-II) and psychotic-like experiences (Peters Delusion Inventory-21). It was hypothesized that any enhancement of cognitive performance or mental health after six weeks of vitamin D3 supplementation would only be observed in participants who had deficient baseline serum 25OHD concentrations (≤50nmol/L). A series of Treatment x Time repeated measures ANOVAs showed that a high dose supplementation of vitamin D3 for six weeks did not affect cognitive performance or self-reported mental health in the young adults, even if they were vitamin D deficient at baseline (p > .05 for all interaction effects). Given the strength of the double-blind RCT design and the increase in serum 25OHD concentration in those who received supplements, it was concluded that vitamin D status is unlikely to have a clinically meaningful impact on cognition and mental health in young adults. However, more experimental evaluations of vitamin D are warranted to investigate the direct and indirect mechanisms through which vitamin D may affect adult brain function.

 
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Created: Thu, 07 Apr 2011, 09:59:13 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology