Researchers have found higher vitamin D levels were associated with significant decreased risk of depression, notably among previously depressed people.

The study was performed by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center using the Cooper Center Longitudinal study. The results were published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

“Our findings suggest that screening for vitamin D levels in depressed patients – and perhaps screening for depression in people with low vitamin D levels – might be useful,” said Dr. E. Sherwood Brown, senior author of the study.

Using the Cooper Institute Longitudinal study of 12,600 participants, researchers found that higher vitamin D levels were associated with significantly lowering the risk of getting depression amongst people with prior history of depression.

One out of every ten adults in the United States has reported having depression according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers pointed out that Vitamin D may affect inflammatory markers and other neurotransmitters which could help explain the relationship between vitamin D with depression.

The researchers have not confirmed the exact relationship whether low vitamin D causes depression symptoms or depression causes lower vitamin D levels.

"We don’t have enough information yet to recommend going out and taking supplements,” said Brown.

Vitamin D roles include modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and reduction of inflammation, together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis, according to National Institutes of Health.