Vitamin D and Depression…The Positive Effects of Vitamin D on Your Mood
I just realized I ran out of Vitamin D which is what prompted this post.
As someone who struggled with depression for decades (please note the past tense used here), I am acutely aware of the effect that vitamin D plays on mood, sadness and depression.
Studies have shown a link between vitamin D deficiency and mood. Vitamin D is a vitamin our body produces but does not store. In fact, each day we need a source of vitamin D or we will become deficient in that vitamin. The good news is that getting enough vitamin D each day is easy.
The Vitamin D Link
Many studies have been done on the link between vitamin D and depression. During the winter months, the sun’s rays are weaker and there is frequently a heavier cloud cover. This fact caused scientists to hypothesize that it was the absence of light that contributed to depression. In a way they were right. The sun’s rays actually trigger our bodies to produce vitamin D.
When the sun isn’t strong, we don’t get enough exposure. Worse, when it’s cold outside, we tend to go out all bundled up – if we go out at all. That means no sun and no vitamin D. The result is the potential for a negative effect on mood and overall health.
So what’s a person to do when the sun isn’t shining and its twenty degrees outside? The answer is two-fold. Eat foods that are high in vitamin D and take a supplement.
Foods That Contain Vitamin D
These foods are high in vitamin D compared to other foods:
* Fish like salmon and mackerel (note that when you eat the soft bones of fish like salmon you get more vitamin D)
* Soymilk (I don’t recommend because of gmo and high allergic tendency toward soy)
* Fortified cow’s milk (I don’t recommend dairy regardless of organic or not)
* Shrimp and shellfish
* There’s also a little vitamin D in potatoes
You’ll notice that vitamin D really isn’t present in many foods. Additionally, you’d have to eat a lot of fish to get enough. The RDA (recommended daily allowance) is between 200 and 600 IUs depending on age, but those doses are being increased by some doctors (including mine) to 1600 IUs/day. Supplementation is therefore the most logical answer during the winter months.
Most multivitamins don’t contain enough vitamin D. Check your label to determine how much Vitamin D you multi is providing and then take a supplement to make up the rest.
Don’t wait until you feel poorly or depressed to begin adding vitamin D to your daily vitamins. Get sun exposure when it’s possible and safe to do so, and eat foods that contain vitamin D. Getting enough vitamin D is a sure way to help reduce winter depression. You may even prevent it altogether.
Added bonus! Vitamin D helps you body absorb calcium. Very important to avoid osteoporosis as we add birthdays to our lives!
Here’s a link to the vitamin D that I use. I have checked it out, and feel comfortable taking it and giving you a link so you can take it too! You’ll notice the dose is much higher than what is currently recommended. I like the quality and the price, however, and take one every other day.
Let me know your thoughts; I always love to hear from you!
Helping you achieve Major Wellness in your life!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC