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Impact Of Vitamin D Deficiency On Mental Health
The body transports the vitamin to the kidneys and liver, where it converts into an active hormone. In this form, it assists the body in absorbing calcium. Certain foods and supplements can also be sources of vitamin D. Dark-skinned people have a high level of melanin.
This pigmentation prevents the skin from absorbing vitamin D correctly. How Vitamin D Deficiency Leads to Mental Health Effects
Low levels of the vitamin may contribute to schizophrenia in adults, depression, and seasonal affective disorder. Other health problems that can arise from the deficiency includ.
Who’S Getting Too Little Vitamin D?
To find out if you’re low in vitamin D, you’ll need to get a blood test. A result of 30 nmol/L (nanomoles per liter) or under is too low, and anything over 125 nmol/L is too high. People who are lactose intolerant (i.e., those who have trouble consuming lactose, a protein found in milk and milk products), may also be less likely to get enough vitamin D, since fortified milk is an important dietary source of it, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians, and Asian Americans are more likely to be lactose intolerant than people of European descent. Other groups at higher risk, according to the ODS:
Older adults (As we age, our skin doesn’t synthesize vitamin D as efficiently.). The ODS recommends that adults age 19 to 70 get 15 micrograms (600 International Units, or IU) daily.
(You may be getting this amount already if you take a multivitamin.). If you do need extra vitamin D, either D2 or D3 will work, and you may need 1,500 to 2,000 IU daily. (Vitamin D2 is derived from plants, whereas vitamin D3 is synthesized from animal sources.).
In cases of extreme deficiency, your doctor may give you a vitamin D injection of 50,000 IU once a week for eight weeks to bring your levels up. “In order for vitamin D to be well absorbed, it needs to be taken with a source of fat,” Moore notes.
Vitamin D And Depression
Researchers have found that many people who have depression also have low circulating levels of vitamin D in their blood, so it is possible that the two factors are related Likewise, researchers have found possible associations between depression and low vitamin D levels in people with gout, chronic spinal cord injuries, stroke, and multiple sclerosis A large, high quality study in more than 18,000 people with depression found that taking 2,000 IU per day of vitamin D for 5 years did not lead to any significant differences in depression scores compared with taking a placebo Several other studies have also found that taking vitamin D had no effect on depression More research is needed.
Low concentrations of vitamin D in your body are associated with depression and the lower your vitamin D levels the higher your risk according to a review published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. The article suggests that specific groups of people are at particular risk of developing vitamin D deficiency and depression including teenagers the elderly people who are obese and individuals with chronic illnesses such as diabetes.
Getting 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure three days weekly which is often more difficult in the winter is usually enough for your body to meet its vitamin D needs notes MedlinePlus. Eating vitamin D-rich foods such as fish fish oil milk egg yolks yogurt and vitamin D-fortified orange juice helps boost your vitamin D levels. So does taking a vitamin D supplement as recommended by your doctor.
The article in Issues in Mental Health and Nursing notes that taking vitamin D supplements eating vitamin D-rich foods and exercising outdoors in the sunshine could be a cost-effective way to prevent or improve symptoms of depression and other mental health disorders. For more information or if you have concerns about depression visit Reid Psychiatric Services for more information or call (765) 983-.