Friday, November 5, 2010
Vitamin D- the Sunshine Vitamin!
Vitamin D has long been known as the "Sunshine" vitamin, because we literally can obtain Vitamin D from the sun (it is converted to an active form in our skin.) We also are realizing that Vitamin D appears to play a role in MOOD- so that if you are deficient in Vitamin D, you may be more prone to depression.
A large study was done in England a few years ago and recently published: Relationship Between Vitamin D Levels and Depressive Symptoms in Older Residents From a National Survey Population. They looked at over 2000 adults over the age of 65, and assessed the incidence and prevalence of depression by use of a depression inventory scale- a set of survey questions. They also checked blood levels of Vitamin D. It turns out that in people with severe Vitamin D deficiency (levels less than 10ng/ml), there was a 35% prevalence of depression, while in the whole sample, the prevalence was only 25%.
So, does taking Vitamin D prevent depression? Well, we can't tell from this study, but it certainly looks promising enough to investigate.
BOTTOM LINE: Low Vitamin D levels play a role in a variety of medical problems, and now we can add depression to that list. Check your level and see if you need a little more "SUNSHINE" in your life!