…or rain, get out there and grab the benefits of natural light on our body, mind and soul!
Yet another amazing study has come out showing a positive correlation between Vitamin D and mood.
This one goes a bit further to show specifically that higher Vitamin D levels are associated with a decreased risk of depression!
A new study, recently published in the November 2011 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings is the largest to date, involving 12,594 participants. Earlier, smaller studies have shown inconsistent findings on the link between Vitamin D and depression, so these results are particularly important in confirming an important relationship between Vitamin D and brain health.
It’s common sense, really… we all know that getting out in the sun is an instant mood lifter… light box therapy is standard of care now for seasonal depression (or SAD.)
So it comes as no surprise to those of us who feel the effects of shorter, darker winter days on our mood and the subsequent lift that longer, brighter summer days bring, that Vitamin D (made in our skin from exposure to sunlight) is an important part of that link.
Important to note in this new study, the researchers found that the link between low Vit D levels and depression was even higher in patients who had a prior history of depression.
What does that mean? It means if you have a history of depression, it is extremely important for you to be sure to supplement with Vitamin D, or be certain to get daily exposure to natural sunlight.
Even in those who did not have a prior history of depression, Vitamin D levels were low across the board… with 50.7% of ALL study participants having low Vit D levels. This suggests that at least half of us, regardless of mood, are already low in Vit D.
There have only been a few studies to date, looking at if Vit D supplements help treat depression. Again, this is standard of care and common sense for seasonal depression.
However, researchers (probably funded by pharmaceutical companies) have begrudgingly admitted that Vit D supplementation seems to help reduce or eliminate depressive symptoms if taken routinely.
There have only been two small studies but both show that after treatment with high doses of Vit D (thereby achieving an elevation in serum Vit D levels) depressive symptoms declined or resolved entirely.
One study, in which they only gave one Vit D shot once a year for 5 years, showed no improvement. This suggests that Vit D is slow acting and needs to have consistent levels in the body to be effective.
This makes sense, as human beings were meant to be outside and functioning on the earth on a daily basis, not inside under artificial lights day after day after day. Vitamin D levels go up and down very slowly, and I suggest that this is nature’s design as compensation for the change in weather each day.
It just makes sense to me. This way our Vit D levels (and our mood) would not plummet just because of a cloudy morning or even a rainy week where we were more likely to take shelter. Instead, the Vitamin D boosts we got on sunny days remains relatively high and is slow to decline on less sunny days. This provides a nice stability for our body.
The problem is now that we are so much more often indoors then out, under artificial light instead of natural light, that the glimpses of sun we get when on a weekend vacation, or coming home after work just before the sun goes down, are not enough to keep our Vit D levels sustainably high.
But happily for us we have lots of ways to easily supplement our Vit D levels. From liquid drops to capsules to gummies, Vitamin D levels can get a boost not only from the time we do get to spend outdoors, but through our diet.
1. Nutrition Now Vit D Gummies
2. VitaFusion Vit D Gummies
3. Carlson liquid Vit D drops
Any of the above, combined with 20 minutes of natural light each day, at a minimum, to boost brain health!
Especially important for those with a history of depression or a family history of depression… it’s great news that Vitamin D levels can help decrease risk of future depression. Now that feels good!