How Can You Get Enough Vitamin D In The Winter
During winter, many people spend more time indoors, and it gets dark earlier in the day.
Additionally, people are more bundled up when theyre outside, so less skin is exposed to the sunlight. This can lead to inadequate vitamin D levels through the winter for some people.
This may also be one factor that plays into seasonal affective disorder , a type of depression that typically occurs only during the winter months .
However, there are several ways to get more vitamin D during the winter:
- Supplements. Taking a vitamin D supplement throughout the winter can help maintain your blood vitamin D levels even if you get less sun exposure.
- Vitamin D foods. You can also choose more vitamin D-rich foods during the winter, such as vitamin-D fortified dairy or plant-based milk, fish like trout or salmon, or UV-exposed mushrooms (
Understand The Signs Of Nutritional Deficiencies
Mental health disorders can be caused by various factors such as psychological, biological, genetic, environmental, and circumstantial. Nutritional deficiencies are the most overlooked biological element to someones mental well-being.
Getting a complete blood panel is the best way to know because deficiencies are extremely unique to each person. Healthy eating and nutritional care increase mental and physical health. If a patient or clients diet doesnt comprise nutrient-rich foods, consider suggesting nutritional supplements for the following top 5 nutrients needed for optimal brain function.
Signs And Symptoms Ofanxiety
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 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 Deficiencies Can Cause Anxiety Problems
Anxiety may be ever-present in the background of our lives. Itis fed by chronic, unreasonable fears and worries that relentlesslyhijack our emotions.
We get up in the morning with a resolution of not giving in tothis anguish-producing inner tension, soon to find out that ourstrong will is not enough. The calm down advice we hearfrequently only raises the anxiety levels, as it adds to thefeeling of inadequacy.
In my last article , I wrote about pyroluriaas one of the silent underlying causes of anxiety. Pyroluria is agenetic chemical imbalance that is characterized by a severedeficiency of vitamin B6 and zinc. In her book, Depression Free,Naturally, Joan Mathews Larson points out: The loss of B6 andzinc is a psychiatric disaster.
Let me examine why.
B6 has a major role in our nervous systems balance because itis essential in more than 50 enzymatic brain reactions where aminogroups are transformed or transferred. Lack of B6 causes depletionof two important neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin -creating ongoing anxiety and depression. In addition, shortage ofB6 causes elevated lactic acid levels, and lactic acid createsanxiety.
Nutrient Deficiencies That Cause Depression
In this article:
Mental health has been taking the limelight for a good while now, and rightly so.
Depression is one of the main and most common forms of mental health disorder affecting a large population of the world. Several factors can cause depression, including dysregulation in the bodys hormones, nutrient deficiencies, alterations in sleep, and lack of sunlight exposure.
Many people hesitate to seek help due to the stigma surrounding mental health issues. However, it is very crucial to seek medical intervention before the symptoms worsen.
A medical professional can prescribe medication and other coping mechanisms to manage depression. In addition, they may advise the inclusion of some nutrients in the diet to improve brain health and help alleviate some of the symptoms of depression.
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Common Nutrient Deficiencies Linked To Depression
Depression is one of our most common mental health disorders. One in seven Australians will experience depression in their lifetime, which means that 2.83 million people are suffering from depression today.
According to the National Institute on Mental Health, research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors. One of the biological factors not often discussed is nutritional imbalance. Nutrition plays a major role in our psychological and emotional well-being, and deficiencies in key vitamins and minerals can compromise optimal brain functioning and increase levels of stress and anxiety.
Vitamin Deficiencies That Cause Anxiety
May 26, 20213 min read
If you struggle with anxiety, you are not alone. Approximately 40 million adults struggle with anxiety in the U.S. every year.
Anxiety is a serious condition. To properly cope with anxiety, you should consult a doctor or therapist. But there may be other things you can also do to help along the way.
Do you know one of the worst side effects of vitamin deficiencies? Anxiety. The following is a list of seven vitamin deficiencies that may be causing you additional or unnecessary anxiety.
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What About Vitamin D Deficiency And Anxiety
Anxiety can lead to a wide variety of symptoms, such as feeling tense or having a sense of panic as well as physical symptoms like rapid breathing and an increased heart rate, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Theres not a lot of research into a potential relationship between vitamin D and anxiety.
One study compared the amount of calcidiol in small groups of adults with depression, anxiety symptoms and a symptom-free control group. It found lower levels of calcidiol in the study participants with anxiety disorders than in the control group, according to the results published in Physiological Research in June 2015.
Taking vitamin D supplements was effective at improving anxiety symptoms in patients with depression and low vitamin D levels, according to a September 2020 study published in Brain and Behavior.
But as the study authors note, additional studies are needed in this area to validate these findings.
The Link Between A Vitamin D Deficiency And Anxiety
Multiple studies illuminate the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and anxiety. The Journal of Diabetes research conducted a study to see if supplements could improve mental health and type 2 diabetes. Forty-six women participated in the study for six months and completed a survey about their mental health. The study found that taking vitamin D supplements significantly decreased anxiety levels in women suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Another study found that those suffering from anxiety had lower levels of calcidiol. Broken down vitamin D produces the byproduct, calcidiol. The study notes that low levels of vitamin D are thought to increase the chances of depression, diabetes, and cancer. The study also notes that literature from thousands of years ago hints at the link between vitamin D deficiency and anxiety. An ancient text writes about poor mental health after lack of sun exposure.
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Vitamin C And Brain Health
Vitamin D deficiency is probably the most commonly known about, in regard to depression. And we will touch on it, but are vitamin C and brain health also linked, and how so?
We tend to automatically associate vitamin C with immunity and the prevention of catching viruses, etc. But there is a very important link between vitamin C and brain health that could prove a colossal shame, if overlooked. You may have heard how gut health affects mental health. Well, vitamin C is tied in with gut health.
Deficiencies That Can Cause Depression
Its safe to say that depression isnt a condition people want to have. It can be debilitating, exhausting, and prevent you from doing your daily tasks and its not something that plain positive thinking can fix. But did you know that there have been several links made between nutrition and depression?
As it turns out, being deficient in certain vitamins, minerals, and sources of nutrition can actually lead to a higher risk of developing depression. Thats why its important to make sure youre getting all the nutrients you need, especially as you age. Here are some deficiencies that might lead to depression.
You can trace every sickness, every disease and every ailment to a mineral deficiency. Linus Pauling
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Study Selection And Data Extraction
The initial search yielded 879 hits. We included only English language articles published in peer-reviewed journals. Editorials and commentaries were not included in the main review but only to support some recommendations, we make at the end. We also included systematic reviews and meta-analyses addressing focused research questions related to the focus areas, and the original articles included in these reviews were not examined separately. Based on these criteria and after eliminating duplicates, 148 articles were identified for potential inclusion, and after their full texts were examined, 61 papers were included in the present review after elimination of articles other than original research papers or those not relevant to the focus areas of the present review. All the three authors participated in study selection and reached a consensus regarding the papers to be included in the review. We neither performed a risk of bias assessment for individual studies nor computed effect estimates, as this was meant to be a narrative review.
Who Suffers From Depression
Whether youre feeling a little blue or are unable to get out of bed in the morning, youre not alone. Depression is a major public health issue worldwide, impacting more than 264 million people, according to the World Health Organization.
In the U.S., the statistics are just as staggering. The governments National Institute of Mental Health says that more than 17 million U.S. adultsover 7% of all adultshad at least one major depressive episode in 2017. For adult women, the prevalence of major depressive episode was nearly 9% versus just over 5% for men. Those individuals in the 18-25 age range experienced the highest level of a major depressive episode.
And thats not even taking into account mild or moderate depression.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites these 2019 statistics from the National Health Interview Survey:
And those statistics are prior to COVID-19. According to one study published in September 2020 in JAMA, depression symptoms in the U.S. tripled during COVID-19 compared to prior to the pandemic.
A new report from Mental Health America , a community-based non-profit organization, claims over 47 million American adults experience mental illness, ranging from mild to serious, with 57% of those adults not receiving treatment.
Here are few more key findings from the MHA report.
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In her post, Bosworth notes her initial shock at the diagnosis revealed by a blood test. How can a seemingly healthy 30-year-old woman, who is a professional chef and makes quite a point to responsibly sourced food and eat healthy have vitamin deficiencies? she writes. Since she knew the cause wasnt a dietary issue, she went in search of more tests. Later, genetic testing revealed two genetic mutations that make Bosworths body unable to absorb B12 and D as efficiently as most people can.
But there are a few other common causes of these deficiencies that people should be aware of, notes Sonpal.
In the U.S., the most common cause of this issue is an autoimmune condition called pernicious anemia, says Sonpal. Typically, to absorb B12 properly, your body creates a protein compound that binds to the B12 in your diet and acts as an usher to get the vitamin into the small intestine where it can be absorbed. With pernicious anemia, your body creates antibodies over time that destroy those usher cells. Without a date to the prom, the B12 just gets pooped out, Sonpal says.
Crohns disease, celiac disease, and a condition called small intestine bacterial overgrowth are also fairly common issues that make your body unable to properly absorb vitamins.
Other Physiological And Psychosocial Factors
Another angle of viewing diet and depression involves old age, which is a time of vulnerability to unintentional weight loss, a factor that is often linked to increased morbidity and premature death. Anorexia of aging may play an important role in precipitating this, by either reducing food intake directly or reducing food intake in response to such adverse factors as age-associated reductions in sensory perception , poor dentition, use of multiple prescription drugs, and depression. Marcus and Berry reviewed malnutrition occurring in the elderly, in both institutional and community settings, due to refusal to eat. They suggest physiologic changes associated with aging, mental disorders such as dementia and depression, and medical, social, and environmental as causative factors. Currently to tackle the problem of depression, people are following the alternative and complementary medicine interventions. CAM therapies are defined by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine as a group of diverse medical and health systems, practices, and products that are not currently considered to be a part of conventional medicine. Mental health professionals need to be aware that it is likely that a fair number of their patients with bipolar disorder might use CAM interventions. Some clinicians judge these interventions to be attractive and safe alternatives, or adjuncts to conventional psychotropic medications.
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The Hidden Symptom Of Vitamin Deficiencies: Anxiety
Now you know one of the often-overlooked symptoms of vitamin deficiencies: anxiety. While not all anxiety is due to vitamin deficiency, meeting your recommended levels of vitamin intake is an important step for your mental health.
If you read this post and think you may be deficient in certain vitamins, talk to your doctor and search our site for useful next steps.
Impact Of Other Factors On Vitamin D Status
Individuals obtain vitamin D either exogenously, from dietary sources, or endogenously, from activation of a subcutaneous vitamin D precursor by ultraviolet rays . Dietary sources can be obtained through naturally-occurring vitamin D in foods, fortification of foods with vitamin D, and a vitamin D supplement. As vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient, metabolism requires normal digestion and absorption of fat. Subcutaneous synthesis is stimulated by exposure to sunlight though this effect varies based on the amount and duration of exposure, latitude, season, and race .
Optimal vitamin D status is hampered by several factors. The limited number of naturally rich foods with this nutrient causes some groups to be at risk for inadequacy . The optimal daily requirement for various age groups is under scientific debate . The current Adequate Intake , which is part of the Dietary Reference Intakes , is 200 IU/day for both women and men from infancy to age 50 400 IU/day for those between 5170 years and 600 IU/day for those > 70 years . Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended increasing the daily intake of vitamin D to 400 IU/day for all infants, children, and adolescents .
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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
Nutrients Needed For Optimal Brain Function
Vitamin D regulates the production of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine, and plays a vital role as an important hormone for brain function. Vitamin D deficiency manifests in a variety of ways including fatigue, muscle weakness, hair loss, back pain, poor skin healing, bone pain, and mood changes.
Foods to Recommend: A diet rich in vitamin D natural sources such as eggs, fatty fish , mushrooms, fortified foods , goat cheese, and gluten-free oats should be consumed.
Vitamin B deficiency can contribute to depression, anxiety, and mood swings. It is associated with a disruption in the nervous system as well as the circulatory system. B12/B9, or folate, is at the forefront of mood management. People fighting depression tend to have lower levels of folate in the blood.
Foods to Recommend: Folate is present in dark green vegetables, beans, peas, citrus fruits, and legumes .
The deficiency of magnesium is known to increase many symptoms related to mental disorders, such as agitation, anxiety, irritability, confusion, insomnia, headache, hallucinations, and depression.
Foods to Recommend: Include magnesium-rich foods, such as pumpkin seeds, dark organic chocolate , and almonds, into the diet at least three times a day to help alleviate some stress.
Foods to Recommend: Oily fish are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats can also be found in flaxseeds and walnuts this is the work of divine interventionwalnuts look like the brain.
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