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Vitamin D Deficiency And Depression

Vitamin D And Sunlight Exposure: Breakdown By Social Isolation Measures During Covid

Vitamin D deficiency and depression | What you NEED to know (symptoms, testing and dose)

Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of mental health problems as well as individual responses to stress . There are several risk factors related to vitamin D deficiency such as obesity, dark skin, living in countries with low sunlight incidence, gastrointestinal malabsorption, renal insufficiency, liver disease, and the use of covered clothing and sunscreen . Furthermore, reduced exposure to sunlight, thereby reducing the biosynthesis of vitamin D in the skin, is a strong factor in the pathophysiology of vitamin D deficiency and studies have been demonstrated that sun exposure can enhance vitamin D synthesis .

People With Depression May Have A Poor Diet

Individuals grappling with depression also tend to have difficulty practicing self-cafe. This puts them at risk for not eating a balanced diet, as a depressed individual may not take the time to look for products fortified with vitamin D or to eat foods with naturally occurring amounts of the substance.

In short, individuals with the illness may unwittingly engage in behaviors that make them vitamin D deficient, but spending time outside with friends or practicing the self-care required to eat well can raise their levels of this valuable substance.

Can You Ever Have Too Much Vitamin D

Yes. You can get too much vitamin D if you overdo the supplements. Interestingly, you cannot get too much vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D toxicity is, thankfully, quite rare but can lead to hypercalcemia and together the symptoms can include:

Do not take higher-than-recommended doses of vitamin D without first discussing it with your doctor. However, your doctor might recommend higher doses of vitamin D if he or she is checking your blood levels and adjusting your dose accordingly. Also, be cautious about getting large doses of vitamin A along with the D in some fish oils. Vitamin A can also reach toxic levels and can cause serious problems.

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What Exactly Is Depression

The Mayo Clinic calls depression a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.

Depression ranges from mild to moderate to severe. Mild depression can make you feel low, making almost everything harder to do while severe depressionalso known as clinical depression or major depressive disordercan lead to feeling hopelessness, or even suicidal thoughts or actions. There are proactive steps you can take, often in combination, to help manage your depression, including counseling/therapy with a trained social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist lifestyle changes, such as getting regular sleep, exercise and a well-balanced diet with appropriate supplements prescribed antidepressant medications and medical procedures such as electroconvulsive therapy.

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Depression can be caused by a number of things, including changes in lifes circumstances , negative thought patterns and lack of self-esteem, genetics, hormones and chemical changes in your brain. Depression often occurs in those dealing with other serious illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimers disease and more, and cyclically depression may lead to some of those same diseases.

Depression can last a long time and affect your everyday lifeespecially if you dont take steps to manage it.

Evidence For The Association Between Vitamin D And Depression

10 Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency by Timeless Health Clinic

Several cross-sectional studies, few cohort studies, and one case-control study have examined the association. All the studies found that depressed subjects had lower levels of vitamin D compared to controls, and those with the lowest vitamin D levels had the greatest risk of depression . These values, though statistically significant, do not establish clinical relevance beyond doubt.

While both hospital-based and community-based trials show a link between low vitamin D levels and presence and severity of depressive symptoms, it is important to examine if these associations hold good after controlling for relevant demographic, lifestyle, and geographical factors. Encouragingly, community-based trials that controlled for age, gender, smoking, and body mass index have also found an inverse correlation between serum levels of 25D and levels of depression.

These findings are partly tempered by the conclusions from two negative studies among the elderly one a large Chinese epidemiologic study of men and women aged 5070 years that did not show any association between vitamin D and depression and the other, a cohort study from Hong Kong , where no relationship was observed between baseline vitamin D level and depression status at four-year follow-up. Notably, both these studies showed that the odds ratios turned insignificant after adjusting for several key confounders.

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Recommendations For Future Research

Based on the above, we propose the following recommendations that may be kept in mind by prospective researchers who intend to study the preventive and therapeutic roles of vitamin D in depression:

  • Use standard doses/duration/frequencies/route of administration of vitamin D: Preliminary evidence shows that oral and parenteral routes are comparable in efficacy, but compliance is likely to be of greater concern in oral supplementation. Parenteral supplementation may be more efficient in this regard, and there are supporting studies showing beneficial effects of a single adjunctive parenteral dose of vitamin D in depression

  • Use uniform assay procedures and outcome measures: This is necessary to facilitate inferences. Researchers must develop standard protocols for vitamin D assay and supplementation in clinical practice. The recommended assay to measure different types of vitamin D is the chromatographic procedure of liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry . Uniform instruments must be used to assess depression outcomes of interest. Adhering to these steps would, undoubtedly, enhance cross-cultural comparability of findings

  • Investigate the benefits of suprathreshold dosing of vitamin D: Thus far, the available trials have only looked at using supplementation to correct preexisting vitamin D deficiency. It may be worthwhile to check if additional supplementation helps with residual symptom management in depression and prevention of further episodes

  • Vitamin D And Depression: Biological Underpinnings

    The exact biological mechanisms linking vitamin D and depression are not fully understood. However, possible pathways include an imbalance in the calcium homeostasis of intracellular and extracellular compartments and a possible fallout of disequilibrium between glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter, and GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter. This, in turn, affects cellular signalling. Vitamin D may have a potential role in restoring this calcium and neurotransmitter imbalance by regulating intracellular calcium stores and cellular signalling and impacting the onset of depression favourably.

    Research has uncovered a possible neurotrophic and immunomodulatory role for vitamin D, leading many researchers to label it as a neurosteroid hormone. Preclinical studies have shown that administration of vitamin D modulates the levels of inflammatory cytokines in the animal models of multiple sclerosis, a neurodegenerative condition with an inflammatory basis. This is important because evidence suggests that depression is also a condition with elevated levels of systemic inflammation. Increased region-specific expression of VDRs has been noted in the prefrontal and cingulate cortices, thalamus, amygdala, and hippocampus, all key brain areas implicated in the pathophysiology of depression.

    Postulated biological links between vitamin D and depression. HPA: Hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical

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    Uvb And Vitamin D Mental Health Benefits

    Studies have shown that increasing vitamin D is good for mental health and mood disorders. Intervention by controlled UVB exposure can be used to stimulate multiple mechanisms of action that have a systemic effect on mental health.

    HPA Axis

    The hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis is a dynamic intertwining of the central nervous system and endocrine system in response to stress. Stressful life events and dysfunctional HPA axis have been implicated in mental health pathogenesis, including mood and anxiety disorders. The hypothalamus plays a key role in the symptoms of depression, such as disordered day-night rhythm, lack of reward feelings as well as disturbed eating, sex, and cognitive functions. The skin has a systemic impact on the HPA axis when exposed to the UVB region of ultraviolet light, but not the UVA region. In vitro and animal studies have shown that skin exposure to UVB light expresses all elements of the HPA axis including corticotropin-releasing hormone, proopiomelanocortin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, beta endorphin with corresponding receptors, the glucocorticoidogenic pathway, and the glucocorticoid receptor.

    Beta Endorphin


    Signs And Symptoms Ofanxiety

    Vitamin D Deficiency or Depression?

    Stress signals to the body that it must take action. Its great for life-threatening situations but can lead to physical and mental issues if it gets out of hand. People with anxiety disorders feel a level of stress that isnt proportional to the situation at hand.

    There are different types of anxiety. Some may feel anxious in a social setting whereas others will feel it constantly for no reason. They all share common symptoms.

    Signs of anxiety are:

    • Fortified milk
    • Fortified cereal

    There are many types of food fortified with vitamin D. Examples include juices, pasta, and even margarine. Making a conscious effort to choose fortified food can help with a vitamin D deficiency and anxiety as well as depression.

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    Vitamin And Nutritional Deficiencies That May Cause Depression

    Depression is a mental health condition that causes symptoms such as low mood, sadness, and irritability. These symptoms occur nearly every day consecutively over a course of 1 week.

    Major depression, in particular, is one of the most common mental health disorders, estimated to affect 7.1% of adults in the United States.

    Research suggests that certain nutrient deficiencies may put people at a higher risk of developing depression, including deficiencies in vitamins D, B12, and B9.

    Although depression caused by a nutritional deficiency may be rare in developed countries, deficiencies may contribute to symptoms of depression if theyre not medically screened for, particularly in people who have other medical conditions that can alter some of these nutrients.

    If you experience depressive episodes, you may wonder whether a nutrient deficiency may be behind your symptoms. However, its important to keep in mind that depression is complex. Many factors, both environmental and biological, may play a role in causing the condition.

    Generally, a variety of approaches are necessary to treat depression and address all the components involved, most commonly talk therapy and medication.

    Plus, though there may be a link between nutrient deficiencies and depression, its not always clear whether eliminating the deficiency, such as by taking supplements, will reduce depression symptoms.

    Why Do I Need Vitamin D And How Do I Get It

    Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium. Bone is made up of calcium, one of the main components. Vitamin D also has an impact on your nervous, muscular, and immune systems.

    Vitamin D is obtained in three ways: through your skin, from food, and by taking supplements. After being exposed to sunshine, your body produces vitamin D naturally. However, excessive sun exposure can cause wrinkles and cancer of the skin, so many people seek to obtain vitamin D from other sources.

    Vitamin D is essential for our bodies to function properly. It helps the body absorb calcium, which is necessary for strong bones and teeth. This vitamin also aids in muscle function, nerve function, and cell growth.

    A deficiency in vitamin D can cause a variety of health problems, some of which are listed below.


    Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. This is because vitamin D helps the body to convert food into energy. When there is a lack of this vitamin, the body cannot create enough energy, leading to fatigue.


    Depression is another symptom of vitamin D deficiency. This is because vitamin D plays a role in serotonin production. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood. A deficiency in this vitamin can lead to an imbalance in serotonin levels, which has been linked to depression.


    How do you treat vitamin D deficiency symptoms?

    What are the best vitamin D supplements for vitamin D deficiency?

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    Taking Vitamin D For Depression

    Taking vitamin D for depression may help cheer you up especially if vitamin D levels in your body are low. However if you do suffer from depression it’s important to see a qualified health care provider in addition to getting plenty of vitamin D.

    Vitamin D for depression

    While getting enough vitamin D isn’t a guarantee that you’ll avoid depression it may significantly reduce your risk of depressive symptoms. Low concentrations of vitamin D in your body are associated with depression and the lower your vitamin D levels the higher your risk according to a review published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. The widespread distribution of vitamin D receptors in the brain may play a role in vitamin D’s effects on your mood.

    Vitamin D deficiency

    Many people in the United States get too little vitamin D including people with depression and other mental disorders according to an article in Issues in Mental Health and Nursing. The article suggests that specific groups of people are at particular risk of developing vitamin D deficiency and depression including teenagers the elderly people who are obese and individuals with chronic illnesses such as diabetes.

    Ways to boost vitamin D

    Treating depression

    For more information or if you have concerns about depression visit Reid Psychiatric Services for more information or call 983-3050.

    Can Stress Cause A Vitamin D Deficiency

    TIL that Vitamin D deficiency is linked with many health disorders ...

    Yes, stress can cause a vitamin D deficiency. This is because when you’re stressed, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol can interfere with the absorption of vitamin D and other nutrients.

    If you’re constantly stressed, it’s important to take steps to manage your stress so that it doesn’t impact your health. There are a number of ways to do this, such as yoga, meditation, and exercise. You can also talk to your doctor about ways to manage your stress.

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    Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Mental Confusion

    Vitamin D receptors are found throughout the brain. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to mental health symptoms and low vitamin D impacts mental health through a variety of mechanisms. Vitamin D can impact mood and psychiatric disorders, and research suggests that vitamin D deficiency may worsen psychological symptoms. Vitamin D supports mental focus and vitamin D deficiency can cause altered mental health status. Research suggests that low levels of vitamin D can lead to mental confusion and some people with vitamin D deficiency experience mental fog.

    Assessment Of Risk Of Bias

    Two reviewers independently assessed the risk of bias using a modified NewcastleOttawa Scale .Reference Wells, Shea, O’Connell, Peterson, Welch and Losos26 In observational studies one of the main sources of bias is confounding. Known confounders can be statistically adjusted, but unknown confounders may still result in bias. It was decided a priori that studies that adjusted for factors shown elsewhere to affect vitamin D levels Reference Hanley, Cranney, Jones, Whiting, Leslie and Cole27,Reference Rosen28 would be considered to have a low risk of bias, studies that adjusted only for other potential confounders would have an unclear risk of bias, and any studies that did not adjust for any confounders would have a high risk of bias. Publication bias was assessed using funnel plots.

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    Does Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Depression

    Does Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Depression?

    To the Editor: Depression is the most prevalent mood disorder, affecting over 300 million people worldwide, and is a globally significant public health concern.1 More than 1 in 20 Americans suffer from depression.2 It is estimated that by 2020 depression will be the second most common cause of disability after ischemic heart disease.3 Without an established etiology, a combination of factors may contribute to the development of depression including, but not limited to, genetics, stress, substance abuse, low socioeconomic status, isolation, grief, limited social support, and certain disabilities. Hypovitaminosis can result in many different conditions, some of which have an emotional impact.4 Vitamin D deficiency is associated with depression in some people.5

    Vitamin D and Depression. There is no specific mechanism to explain how vitamin D deficiency might yield affective illness. Vitamin D receptors in the brain at the prefrontal cortex, hypothalamus, and substantia nigra play a role in regulating emotions.6 Vitamin D regulates serotonin levels, and vitamin D deficiency leads to diminishing serotonin concentrations.7 Low serotonin levels could be an etiology for inducing clinical depression.8


    Evidence For Vitamin D Supplementation In Depression

    Vitamin D Deficiency and Depression

    Vitamin D supplementation for depression in adults

    Vitamin D metabolites are capable of crossing the bloodbrain barrier, and as mentioned before, VDRs are widespread in key brain areas implicated in depression, including the hippocampus. Hence, it could be speculated that vitamin D supplementation may confer additional therapeutic benefits in depression.

    Building on this premise, a number of trials with different methodologies have evaluated the efficacy of vitamin D supplementation in depression in the last decade. However, the findings have been somewhat inconsistent. Partly, the reason may lie in the heterogeneity of trials with respect to sample size, study setting and design, the age range of participants, vitamin D dosing protocols, duration of the intervention, and the outcome measures used.

    Clinical improvement in depressive symptoms with vitamin D supplementation appears to vary depending on several methodological considerations. Spedding noted that therapeutic benefits of vitamin D were more pronounced in studies with fewer biological flaws , and worsening in depressive symptoms with vitamin D supplementation was noted in studies with methodological flaws. These perspectives are supported by findings that higher dosages of vitamin D had a greater impact on mental health and wellbeing.

    Vitamin D supplementation in depression during pregnancy or peripartum period

    Vitamin D supplementation in depression in childhood and adolescence

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    What Other Factors Can Lead To Vitamin D Deficiency

    • Age: The skin’s ability to make vitamin D lessens with age.
    • Mobility: People who are homebound or are rarely outside are not able to use sun exposure as a source of vitamin D.
    • Skin color: Dark-colored skin is less able to make vitamin D than fair-colored skin.
    • Human breast milk: A woman’s breast milk only contains a small amount of vitamin D. Often infant formulas also only include a small amount of D also. Therefore infants are at risk of not receiving enough vitamin D. This is especially true for infants who are only fed breast milk.

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