Vitamin D deficiency and depression: Is there a relationship between them?

What connection exists between depression and vitamin D deficiency? Let's get to know that through this article.

Vitamin D deficiency and depression: Is there a relationship between them?

A lack of vitamin D can lead to a variety of health issues. Its lack has been recently linked to depression and has an impact on bone and heart health. In this article, we will learn about the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and depression:

The relationship between vitamin D deficiency and depression

Numerous studies have revealed a connection between vitamin deficiency and depression. As studies were conducted on women suffering from depression and at the same time it was found that they suffered from a deficiency in vitamin D, and the causes of vitamin D deficiency in patients with depression are attributed to the following:

  • a propensity to stay inside and avoid getting enough vitamin D from the sun.
  • Not eating healthy.
  • Lack of exercise. 

Additionally, it aids in regulating emotions and behaviour because the brain has vitamin D receptors. Depression might result from its absence.

It is important to note that one of vitamin D's benefits is a rise in serotonin levels, the same hormone that antidepressants aim to increase.

It should be noted that the populations most at risk for vitamin D deficiency are the same populations most at risk for depression, including the elderly, obese, and people with long-term illnesses like diabetes.

Symptoms of depression in people with vitamin D deficiency

These signs and symptoms may manifest in depressed individuals, whether or not they have a vitamin D deficiency:

  1. Loss of interest in things a person used to love.
  2. Isolation and social withdrawal.
  3. Loss of focus.
  4. Difficulties and changes in sleep and appetite.
  5. Thinking or committing suicide.

Factors that increase the risk of vitamin D deficiency

The most significant causes and risk factors for vitamin D deficiency and the subsequent depression are the following:

  • small amounts of sunlight exposure

The amount of sunlight sufficient to produce vitamin D depends on the exact time of year, the climate at that time of year, and skin tone. The skin absorbs vitamin D more quickly the lighter the skin tone.

The amount of time needed from exposure to the sun can range from 15 minutes to 3 hours in order to produce the required amount of vitamin D.

  • Unbalanced food

Vitamin D is only found in a small number of foods, including salmon, fish oils, and fatty fish in general.

A lack of it results in vitamin D deficiency.

  • living in areas with high altitudes

According to studies, the reduced sunlight exposure in areas with high altitudes may contribute to vitamin D deficiencies.

  • Dark skin colour 

More melanin in the skin of those with darker skin means less vitamin D is produced by the skin.

  • Overweight

To receive the nutritional value of vitamin D that is appropriate for them, overweight people must absorb more of it.

  • Age

The ability of the skin to produce vitamin D declines with age, and elderly people do not consume enough foods high in vitamin D.

The recommended dose of vitamin D

The best defence against vitamin D deficiency and the ensuing depression is to consume enough vitamin D through food and supplements.

According to age, the recommended daily intake is as follows:

  • For people aged 1 to 70, 600 IU (15 mcg) of vitamin D is recommended.
  • For people 71 years of age and older, 800 IU (20 mcg) of vitamin D are recommended.

However, if it is established that a person has a vitamin D deficiency, they should consult a doctor to determine the best course of treatment.

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