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Suicide associated with low vitamin D

Hints that suicide is associated with low vitamin D:

  1. Suicide peaks in the Spring, when vitamin D values are lowest
  2. Suicide has increased while vitamin D has been decreasing
  3. Suicide higher in dark-skinned individuals (low vitamin D due to built-in sun protection)
  4. Suicide higher in prison (shut-ins have low levels of vitamin D)
  5. Suicide rate is higher at high latitudes (where vitamin D is less available)
    See Criteria to associate a health problem with low vitamin D

See also Vitamin D Life


Vitamin D: Attemped suicide 12 ng, controls 19 ng - Feb 2020

The Association Between Low Vitamin D Levels and Suicide Attempts in Adolescents
Ann Clin Psychiatry, 32 (1), e1-e8 2020 Feb 1
Gamze Gokalp 1

Background: Psychiatric disorders are the most common cause of suicide attempts. Some studies have shown there is a relationship between low vitamin D levels and psychiatric disorders. In this study, we examined the relationship between suicidal behavior and vitamin D levels in adolescents.

Method: This study included 215 patients who presented to the pediatric emergency department due to a suicide attempt (patient group) and 200 healthy individuals (control group). Demographic and clinical features of both groups were recorded, and serum vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus levels were measured. The groups were compared in terms of these factors. All data were analyzed using the SPSS 20.0 (SPSS Inc., Illinois, USA) software program.

Results: The mean vitamin D level was 19.4 ± 10 ng/mL in the control group and 12.3 ± 6 ng/mL in the patient group (t = 8.8 and P = .01). The mean serum total calcium level was 9.9 ± 0.3 mg/dL in the control group and 9.4 ± 0.5 mg/dL in the patient group (P < .01).

Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency, which is a treatable condition, may be one of the causes of suicidal behavior in adolescents. Therefore, we believe that physicians who treat adolescents should consider vitamin D levels in routine examinations.

More suicide if more activated Vitamin D Receptor (disagrees with other studies) - Feb 2020

Increased brain vitamin D receptor expression and decreased expression of cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide in individuals who died by suicide
Journal of Psychiatric Research. Available online 27 February 2020, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2020.02.027
Teodor T.Postolacheabc1FaisalAkramadEllen E.LeeefgChristopher A.LowrybchiJohn W.StilleradjLisa A.BrennerbciElizabeth A.StreetenkGustavoTureckilYogeshDwivedim1
 Download the PDF from Sci-Hub via Vitamin D Life

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with immune dysregulation, increased vulnerability to infections, depression, and suicidal behavior. One mediator of vitamin D-dependent immune regulation and antimicrobial defense is the cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (LL37), encoded by the cathelicidin-related antimicrobial peptide (CRAMP) gene. We compared the mRNA expression of the CRAMP gene, the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene, as well as the CYP27B1 and CYP24A1 genes (involved in vitamin D metabolism) in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) between depressed individuals who died by suicide (n = 15) and matched (age, gender, and post-mortem interval) non-psychiatric controls (n = 15). Gene expression was measured through qRT-PCR with TaqMan® primers and probes, with GAPDH and β-actin genes as endogenous controls. Statistical analyses included t-tests and Pearson correlations. CRAMP mRNA expression was downregulated and VDR mRNA expression was upregulated in both dlPFC and ACC in suicides relative to controls, with no significant differences in expression of CYP24A1 and CYP27B1. To our knowledge, this is the first study on brain cathelicidin expression in the human brain in relationship to suicide. Increased VDR and decreased CRAMP expression are consistent with previously reported associations between vitamin D deficiency, immune dysregulation, and suicidal behavior, and should lead to future studies uncovering novel interactive targets for suicide prevention.

People who attempted suicide were vitamin D deficient – Dec 2014

Suicidal patients are deficient in vitamin D, associated with a pro-inflammatory status in the blood
Psychoneuroendocrinology, Volume 50, December 2014, Pages 210–219
Cécile Grudet a cecile.grudet at med.lu.se. Johan Malm b, Åsa Westrin a, c, Lena Brundin d, e
a Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund, Psychiatry, Lund University, 221 85 Lund, Sweden
b Department of Laboratory Medicine, Section for Clinical Chemistry, Malmö, Lund University, 205 02 Malmö, Sweden
c Psychiatric Clinic, Lund, Region Skåne, Sweden
d Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, Grand Rapids, MI, USA
e Laboratory for Behavioral Medicine, Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, USA


Low levels of vitamin D may play a role in psychiatric disorders, as cross-sectional studies show an association between vitamin D deficiency and depression, schizophrenia and psychotic symptoms. The underlying mechanisms are not well understood, although vitamin D is known to influence the immune system to promote a T helper (Th)-2 phenotype. At the same time, increased inflammation might be of importance in the pathophysiology of depression and suicide. We therefore hypothesized that suicidal patients would be deficient in vitamin D, which could be responsible for the inflammatory changes observed in these patients.

We compared vitamin D levels in suicide attempters (n = 59), non-suicidal depressed patients (n = 17) and healthy controls (n = 14). Subjects were diagnosed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, and went through a structured interview by a specialist in psychiatry. 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3 were measured in plasma using liquid-chromatography–mass-spectrometry (LC–MS). We further explored vitamin D's association with plasma IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α.

Suicide attempters had significantly lower mean levels of vitamin D than depressed non-suicidal patients and healthy controls. 58 percent of the suicide attempters were vitamin D deficient according to clinical standard. Moreover, there was a significant negative association between vitamin D and pro-inflammatory cytokines in the psychiatric patients. Low vitamin D levels were associated with higher levels of the inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-1β in the blood.

The suicide attempters in our study were deficient in vitamin D. Our data also suggest that vitamin D deficiency could be a contributing factor to the elevated pro-inflammatory cytokines previously reported in suicidal patients. We propose that routine clinical testing of vitamin D levels could be beneficial in patients with suicidal symptoms, with subsequent supplementation in patients found to be deficient.

 Download the PDF from Vitamin D Life.

Suicide increasing and is now the top cause of death of adults

Suicide has become the top cause of death for adults (15-49) around the world

Suicide rate increased by at least 20% in most US counties in a decade

Contextual Factors Associated With County-Level Suicide Rates in the United States, 1999 to 2016 JAMA Sept 2019
Has free PDF

Suicides increasing over the years, and peak in the Spring

No, Suicides Don't Rise During the Holidays Dec 2015
Pollen suspected, Vitamin D not mentioned

Suicide infographic


See also web - Vitamin D

See also web - Cholesterol

  • Serum lipid levels and suicidality: a meta-analysis of 65 epidemiological studies Jan 2016
    123% higher risk of suicide attempt - from 510,392 people
  • Review of above study by Dr. Grimes, Dec 2016
    "A comment from the authors, but not an observation from the study:"
    “an increasing number of reports raise the possibility that statins, a class of lipid-lowering agents, may be associated with deleterious cognitive, mood and behavioural adverse effects, including violence, depression and suicide, which have been attributed to the effect of statins’ cholesterol level reduction on brain function.”

See also web - Suicide Chats in Israel increased 3X in May 2020 vs May 2019 (COVID-19)

Suicide associated with low vitamin D        
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Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
13580 VDR Suicide.pdf PDF 2020 admin 07 Mar, 2020 10:44 731.83 Kb 179
7286 Suicidal Dec 2014.pdf PDF admin 04 Nov, 2016 09:46 709.41 Kb 447
6240 Suicide Spring.jpg admin 11 Dec, 2015 18:53 64.60 Kb 3915
4406 Suicide infographic.jpg admin 25 Sep, 2014 12:21 318.54 Kb 4836
4392 Suicide T2.jpg admin 19 Sep, 2014 21:04 59.81 Kb 9658
4391 suicide.jpg admin 19 Sep, 2014 21:04 24.32 Kb 6555
4390 suicidal low D.pdf PDF 2014 admin 19 Sep, 2014 21:03 709.34 Kb 1719
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