A recent study has revealed that Vitamin D deficiency leads to an increase in depression symptoms.

Vitamin D is earning a high reputation for treating psychotic disorders and alleviating symptoms of depression. Low Vitamin D levels are also found in populations suffering from chronic heart conditions arising from depression, post partum depression, and diabetes as well.

Multiple studies have been conducted and researchers have examined the literature whether Vit D is associated depression and also Vitamin D supplements help in easing symptoms of depression.

A 6 year long study showed patients with low levels of Vitamin D had higher scores of depression compared with depressive patients having baseline levels of depression.

Another study with over a 1000 patients showed an inverse relation of vitamin D levels and depression.

There is ongoing research on the association of Vitamin D levels and brain pattern changes on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

Sources of vitamin D:

The main source of Vitamin D is sunlight, specifically the ultraviolet B radiation, which helps convert 7-hydroxycholesterol to pre vitamin D3 and then to active Vitamin D3. What is more amazing is how quickly exposure to sunlight can help restore Vitamin D levels. Just 6 days of sun exposure without sunscreen can help up to 49 days of no sun exposure. Vitamin D is stored in fatty tissues and released when sun exposure is limited.

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It is estimated that around a billion people have Vit D symptoms despite living in tropical and sunny climates. Lifestyle changes, lack of exposure to sunlight, use of sunscreen play a major role. Other illnesses like kidney and liver failure, some medications have also been implicated to play a role in vit d deficiencies.

Some Vitamin D rich foods:

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  • Soy milk, breakfast cereal, cheese and mushrooms for vegetarians
  • Fatty fish like tuna, mackerel, salmon, beef liver,egg yolks for non-vegetarians

The requirement for Vitamin D in ages 1-70 years is 600 IU. A piece of salmon weighing 170g has more than 600 IU of Vitamin D.

Basking in the sun never felt this good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author

Visit Psychologist, M.A. Counseling Psychology

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