Vitamin D, an Underappreciated Adjunctive Therapy for Depression
Vitamin D is an incredibly important nutrient both for our physical and mental health. Vitamin D is best known for allowing our bodies to absorb calcium, warding off brittle bones and osteoporosis later in life. However, there is growing and overwhelming body of evidence to show that vitamin D deficiency may also be a risk factor for mental health disorders including depression.
This interesting research is coupled with the fact that a vast majority of Americans are deficient in vitamin D. Why? There are a few potential reasons for vitamin D deficiency, but the most significant is simply not getting outside in the sun enough. Our parents and grandparents often labored outside and as such received their daily dose of vitamin D with ease. Today, however, most of us have jobs at home or in an office where we are not exposed to natural light. Further, wintertime, in most parts of the United States, reduces the amount of available vitamin D simply because the sun is not as strong, and the sky is often overcast. Even skin color makes a difference – those with darker skin require more exposure to get the same amount of vitamin D. The use of sunscreen while critical in reducing the incidence of many skin cancers has also minimized our UV exposure and, by extension, the amount of Vitamin D our bodies can absorb through the skin.
How We Can Get More Vitamin D?
The best and most natural way to get more vitamin D involves getting outside and in the sun. To properly absorb Vitamin D, this means being in the sun without sunscreen. So, you must strike a balance as to not be overly exposed to the sun which can cause skin cancer.
There is also a highly effective supplement in the form of vitamin D3 that can help, with the supervision of a medical professional, of course. Vitamin levels can normalize within just a few weeks of beginning the new regimen.
Of course, anyone starting a new supplementation program should do so under the supervision of a qualified medical professional to minimize the chances of an adverse reaction. For anyone suffering from persistent depression or major depressive disorder, a holistic approach including therapy, medications and appropriate vitamin D levels may be necessary to effectively treat the disorder. You can rely on the highly qualified staff at Destination Hope to help.