Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin found in foods like fatty fish, egg yolks and fortified milk. It helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus from the food you eat. It is essential for physical health, but some experts say it can also help with depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders. But how much do we need? And what are the risks of taking too much?
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Calcium is important for strong bones and teeth. Your body also needs vitamin D to help regulate blood pressure, keep you healthy, and protect against cancer. You get vitamin D from sunlight, foods like salmon, and supplements. If you don’t get enough sun exposure, you may need to take a supplement.
D is important for bone health. Vitamin D helps regulate calcium levels throughout your body. Calcium is an essential mineral that plays a role in muscle contraction, nerve function, blood clotting, and other functions. If you don’t get enough vitamin D, your bones could become weak and brittle. Vitamin D also helps prevent certain types of cancer. Some research suggests that vitamin D may help reduce the risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, multiple myeloma, and leukaemia. More research is needed to determine whether vitamin D reduces the risk of other cancers.
Depression affects millions of people every year. Depression can cause extreme sadness, loss of energy, lack of motivation, and difficulty concentrating. These symptoms may lead to suicidal thoughts or actions. There are many different types of depression, including minor depression, major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, seasonal affective disorder, postpartum depression, and bipolar disorder. Some studies suggest that low levels of Vitamin D might play a role in the development of depression.
If you feel depressed, talk to your doctor about whether there may be something else going on besides just feeling sad. Depression often goes along with other health problems, including anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, and trouble concentrating. Some people also get headaches, stomachaches, and muscle aches. You might notice that you lose interest in activities that once made you happy. Or you might forget things easily. And you might not feel like eating or sleeping well. But if you’ve had these symptoms for at least two weeks, see your doctor. He or she can help you figure out what’s causing them.
A blood test cannot diagnose depression, but it may show if someone has another condition that causes depressive symptoms. For example, anaemia, thyroid problems, vitamin B12 deficiency, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, cancer, heart disease, stroke, head injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, epilepsy, alcoholism, drug abuse, and schizophrenia all can cause depression.
Vitamin D and Depression
While some research indicates that people with depression have lower levels of vitamin D than their counterparts without depression, so far, no large-scale study has found that the vitamin “cures” the condition.
Some symptoms of depression include withdrawal and social isolation where people stay indoors. These individuals spend less time outdoors engaging in physical activity, thus lacking the much-needed exposure to sunlight. Severe cases of depression make it hard for them to get out of bed or even participate in outdoor activities, making them socially isolated. Social isolation only makes their symptoms worse. This is why healthcare providers encourage people suffering from depression to spend more time outdoors.
People with depression often feel like they’re trapped inside their heads. They may not eat well, and they may not get enough sunlight. People with depression also tend to avoid social situations and activities that might help them feel better.
There is evidence that vitamin D may help with depression. However, there is also conflicting research about whether vitamin D helps with depression. Some studies show that taking vitamin D supplements may improve symptoms of depression, while other studies show that it doesn’t affect depression at all. There is also some evidence that vitamin D levels may be lower among those who suffer from depression.
Vitamin D is essential for bone health. A daily dose of 600 IU is recommended for most people. There is no evidence that taking more than 4,000 IU per day causes harm. However, a healthcare provider may suggest a higher dosage. High-quality studies assessing vitamin D supplementation and depression found varying results.
D is an essential nutrient that helps maintain healthy bones and teeth. However, it is very important to get your vitamin D levels checked before beginning supplementation. Ask your doctor to determine your vitamin D status and determine if you are vitamin D deficient. You should also work with a doctor to determine the right dosage of vitamin D for you. If you have darker skin, vitamin D synthesis is slower. Vitamin D can build up in your body if taken in large amounts over time, so it is best to start out slowly and monitor yourself. Taking too much vitamin D can lead to vitamin D toxicity. Symptoms of vitamin D toxicity include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, headache, muscle weakness, confusion, seizures, and even death.
Relationships Between Vitamin D and Other Mental Health Issues
Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to other mental disorders. A recent meta-analysis found low vitamin D levels associated with an increased risk of depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Vitamin D supplementation may help reduce symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
In a recent study, Hoogendijk and colleagues (2008) found that individuals with depression had significantly lower vitamin D levels than those without depression. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the CES-D scale, and participants underwent an extensive medical examination, including blood tests.
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with many health problems, including depression, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin D receptors are found in the hypothalamus, an area of the brain that controls the production of hormones related to mood and behavior. Researchers have also found that vitamin D plays a role in brain development. Low levels of vitamin D during pregnancy have been linked to an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder. A study published in 2013 showed that children born to women with low vitamin D levels had lower IQ scores at age 7 years old compared to those born to women with higher vitamin D levels. Another study conducted in 2015 found that healthy adults with high blood levels of vitamin D had improved cognitive function. These studies suggest that vitamin D deficiency could contribute to the development of certain mental illnesses. However, more research needs to be done before we can determine whether vitamin D deficiency causes mental illness.
Treating Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is very common. People tend to get less sunlight because they spend time indoors. If you’re not getting enough vitamin D, you might need to supplement your diet with foods like milk, cheese, eggs, fatty fish, liver, mushrooms, cod liver oil, and salmon. Your doctor may prescribe you an antidepressant if you feel depressed. You can take them together or separately. You can also join a support group, exercise frequently, and follow healthy sleeping habits.
Vitamin D is essential for our overall well-being. It helps us maintain healthy bones, teeth, muscles, heart, immune system, and brain function. It also affects mood and emotions. If you’re depressed, you may have low levels of vitamin D. To prevent this, get out in the sun and add foods high in vitamin D to your diet.
Wintertime is often associated with feelings of sadness and loneliness. Many people feel like they need to hibernate during the cold season, spending more time inside and getting darker earlier in the day. People are also more bundled up outdoors, meaning less skin is exposed to sunlight. This can cause vitamin D deficiency, especially among higher latitudes. Vitamin D helps regulate mood, and low vitamin D levels have been linked to Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.
You may be getting enough vitamin D in the Summer months, but you can also choose more foods rich in vitamin-D during the winter months, like vitamin-D fortified dairy products, fish like trout or Salmon, or UV-expanded mushrooms.
SAD lamps are helpful for those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Ultraviolet light therapy lamps mimic the effects of natural sunlight to help your skin synthesize vitamin D. You can purchase them online or in stores like Target. If you’re interested, talk to a doctor about whether or not it’s right for you.