Stunning research reveals: A vitamin deficiency can INCREASE your risk of depression by 75%
(NaturalHealth365) Vitamin deficiency is a common global issue, and there may be none more common than a deficiency in vitamin D.
For example, 2008 research published in JAMA found that 3 out of 4 American adolescents and adults are lacking in vitamin D. And, certain ethnic groups, such as Mexican-Americans and non-Hispanic blacks, have deficiency rates as high as 90% and 97%, respectively.
This is truly a worldwide health crisis that could be easily fixed. We can only hope that, through awareness, this information will have a positive effect on the world.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient involved in several bodily processes – most notably the development of strong bones and teeth. But a breaking new study published in the Journal of American Medical Directors Association (JAMDA) shows that being deficient in this nutrient increases your risk for far more than just weak bones – including depression.
New longitudinal study reveals the STRONG link between vitamin D deficiency and depression
In this study, researchers from Trinity College in Dublin recruited 3,965 subjects aged 50 years and older as part of the Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging. They tested blood level concentrations of vitamin D in the subjects at two and four years follow up.
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During these follow-ups, the researchers also tested for the presence of depression. What they found was stunning:
Test subjects were 75% MORE likely to have depression at the four-year follow up if they were deficient in vitamin D. Importantly, the researchers note that “this finding remained robust after controlling for relevant covariates including physical activity, chronic disease burden, cardiovascular disease and antidepressant use.”
These findings are extremely important, especially when we consider that rates of depression – particularly among teens – rising in the United States. Could the increased amount of indoor “screen time” be driving this public health concern? Many well-informed doctors say yes!
Unfortunately, it’s not just depression that vitamin D deficiencies could be contributing to.
Eight MORE reasons you need enough vitamin D – and how much “enough” really is
If an increased risk for depression was the only drawback to being deficient in vitamin D, this would still be reason enough to ensure you’re getting sufficient amounts of this crucial vitamin. But a depressed mood isn’t the ONLY issue associated with this kind of vitamin deficiency.
Low levels of vitamin D have also been associated with an increased risk for:
- Falls among the elderly
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of chronic pain
- Cardiovascular disease
- Certain cancers
- High blood pressure
The good news is correcting a vitamin D deficiency is relatively easy and affordable!
How much vitamin D should I take in day? Individual needs vary depending on things like geographical location and skin color – people in Northern climates as well as darker-skinned people often need more.
That said, here are some things to consider:
- The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends 200 international units (IU) per day for people aged 0 to 50 years, 400 IU per day for adults aged 51 to 70 years, and 600 IU for adults 71 years and older. HOWEVER many researchers and scientists believe these levels are NOT nearly sufficient for optimal health.
- Organizations such as the Mayo Clinic and The Endocrine Society recommend the typical adult to get 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day. Some studies indicate that even more is needed (and safe) in order to correct a vitamin D deficiency.
- The tolerable upper limit for daily vitamin D intake is capped at 4,000 IU according to the IOM. But research from the Endocrine Society indicates that up to 10,000 IU per day is safe for most adults!
Your best bet is to look for a high quality vitamin D supplement that offers at least 1,000 and 2,000 IU per daily serving. Of course, we always like to remind you to chat with your doctor – before starting any new supplement routine.
In addition, choose vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), as this form is the natural kind your body makes during sun exposure. And, look to combine vitamin D with vitamin K2, as it will help you with absorption concerns.
In terms of the ‘best foods’ to eat: you can eat pasture-raised eggs, cod liver oil, beef liver, wild-caught salmon, herring, mackerel, and sardines. Just be sure to get high quality foods – free of toxins – as often as possible. Keep in mind, if you’re deficient in D, food is not the best way to increase your levels.
If you do choose to enjoy dairy as part of a vitamin D friendly diet, do so in moderation, choose organic, and opt for fermented dairy products like kefir, Greek yogurt, and cheese.
And, last – but not least, enjoy the sunshine! Integrative healthcare providers often advise a “sensible sun exposure” – whenever possible. Just 15-20 minutes in the sun with exposed and sunscreen-free skin is enough to trigger your body to produce vitamin D, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Just take care to never let your skin burn, and be aware that the body will probably have trouble producing enough vitamin D – if you live in an area above 30 degree latitude. This is why supplementation is so important.
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Sources for this article include: