• Vitamin D: SAD In The Winter

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    Depression is a common condition in the United States. If you have depression you feel fed up, miserable and sad, and these feelings last for more than a few weeks. The symptoms of depression can interfere with your day to day life and for some people can be severe. You may lose interest in life and can’t enjoy anything, find it difficult to make decisions or concentrate and feel unhappy most of the time.

    There are many causes of depression. Researchers are now discovering that vitamin D may play an important role in mental health and in depression. Vitamin D acts on the areas of your brain that are linked to depression, but exactly how vitamin D works in your brain isn’t yet fully understood.

    If you are susceptible to the winter blues a lack of vitamin D may be the culprit, according to a recent review.

    Vitamin D deficiency is not just harmful to physical health – it also might impact mental health, according to a team of researchers that has found a link between seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, and a lack of sunlight.

    An international research partnership US and Australian researchers conducted a review of more than 100 leading articles and found a relationship between vitamin D and seasonal depression.  Their results are reported in the journal Medical Hypotheses.

    “We believe there are several reasons for this, including that vitamin D levels fluctuate in the body seasonally, in direct relation to seasonally available sunlight,” he said. “For example, studies show there is a lag of about eight weeks between the peak in intensity of ultraviolet radiation and the onset of SAD, and this …

    Because of all the differences in research studies, and because this is a relatively new area of research, it’s very difficult to say with any certainty what role vitamin D has in either preventing or treating depression.

    If you have depression and want to take vitamin D, it is unlikely to make your symptoms worse or cause you any harm. However, you may not see any improvement in your symptoms either. You shouldn’t take vitamin D in place of other treatments or anti-depressant medicines.

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