How Vitamin D Impacts Your Mental and Emotional Wellness
It is no secret that vitamin D is essential for overall health. But what many people don't know is that vitamin D also plays a significant role in mental and emotional wellness.
In this article, we will explore how vitamin D impacts our mental and emotional health, and we will answer some common questions about this important nutrient. Also, if you live in areas where it is difficult to obtain naturally, look out for Vitamin D lights bulbs that you can use to help increase your level and absorption.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that the body produces when ultraviolet rays from the sun hit the skin. It can also be found in food and supplements. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, which are necessary for strong bones and teeth.
It's important to have enough Vitamin D because it impacts your overall health in many ways. Vitamin D has been linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions. Additionally, research suggests that Vitamin D may impact your mental and emotional wellness.
Vitamin D and depression
Vitamin D has been shown to play a role in mood and depressive symptoms. In one study , people with low levels of vitamin D were more likely to have depression than those who had adequate levels.
Low levels of vitamin D have also been linked to anxiety. One study  showed that people with vitamin D deficiencies were twice as likely to suffer from an anxiety disorder.
Vitamin D has also been shown to improve cognitive performance. The study  showed that people with Alzheimer’s disease who took vitamin D supplements improved their cognitive function.
If you’re feeling down or anxious, it may be worth checking your vitamin D levels. If you’re deficient, taking a supplement may improve your mood and cognitive function.
Risk factors for vitamin D deficiency
Risk factors for vitamin D deficiency include many common conditions. Below are some of the most common risk factors:
- Living in a northern climate
Living in a northern climate can put you at risk for vitamin D deficiency, as the lack of sunlight can limit your body's ability to produce vitamin D.
- Having dark skin
People with darker skin are at a higher risk for vitamin D deficiency, as their skin absorbs less sunlight than people with lighter skin.
- Being obese
Obesity can interfere with your body's ability to absorb vitamin D from the sun.
- Being elderly
As you age, your body becomes less efficient at converting vitamin D into its active form.
If you have any of the risk factors above, it's important to talk to your doctor about whether you should be tested for vitamin D deficiency.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency and depression
There are many symptoms of vitamin D deficiency and depression. Some of the most common symptoms include:
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of both vitamin D deficiency and depression. If you are feeling excessively tired, even after getting a good amount of sleep, you may be suffering from one of these conditions.
- Sleep problems
People who are deficient in vitamin D or who suffer from depression often have difficulty sleeping. They may find themselves tossing and turning all night, or they may wake up frequently throughout the night.
- Low mood
A low mood is another common symptom of both vitamin D deficiency and depression. If you find yourself constantly down or unhappy for no apparent reason, you may want to get your vitamin D levels checked.
- Difficulty concentrating
If you are having difficulty concentrating or focusing on tasks, it may be because you are deficient in vitamin D or suffering from depression.
- Muscle pain
Muscle pain is another common symptom of both vitamin D deficiency and depression. If you find yourself constantly experiencing muscle pain, you may want to get your vitamin D levels checked.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor to rule out other possible causes. Vitamin D deficiency and depression can both be serious conditions that impact your quality of life. If you think you may be suffering from either condition, please see a doctor as soon as possible.
Treating vitamin D deficiency and depression
Treating Vitamin D deficiency and depression is not as straightforward as one would think. Vitamin D levels and depressive symptoms tend to fluctuate throughout the year, so it can be difficult to determine if low vitamin D is the cause of a person's depression or just a coincidence.
First of all, it is important to get a blood test to determine if you have a vitamin D deficiency. If you do, your doctor will likely prescribe a vitamin D supplement. However, before starting any type of treatment, it is important to speak with your doctor about the possible risks and benefits.
There are a few different ways that vitamin D can be taken as a supplement, including:
- Sun exposure
- Vitamin D supplements
- Vitamin D light bulbs
Sun exposure is the best way to get your daily dose of vitamin D, but not everyone can get outside and sunbathe for 30 minutes every day.
But if you live in a colder climate or have a job that keeps you inside all day, taking a vitamin D supplement is the next best option. Just be sure to read the label carefully, as not all vitamin D supplements are created equal. Some contain high levels of Vitamin A, which can be harmful in large doses. Look for a supplement that has 400-800 IU of vitamin D and less than 25% of the daily value for vitamin A.
If you have trouble remembering to take your vitamin D supplement every day, consider using a vitamin D light bulb. These special bulbs emit ultraviolet light that is absorbed by the skin, which in turn triggers the body to produce vitamin D.
Whichever method you choose, be sure to get your blood levels checked regularly to ensure that you are taking enough vitamin D to improve your mental and emotional wellness.
Vitamin D is important for many aspects of your health, including your mental and emotional wellbeing. If you think you might be deficient in vitamin D, talk to your doctor about getting a blood test to check your levels. You can also increase your vitamin D intake by spending time in the sun and eating foods that are rich in this nutrient. Taking care of your mental and emotional health is important, and vitamin D can help!
- Justin Thomas, Fatme Al-Anouti. Sun Exposure and Behavioral Activation for Hypovitaminosis D and Depression: A Controlled Pilot Study. - Community Ment Health J. 2018 Aug;54(6):860-865. doi: 10.1007/s10597-017-0209-5. Epub 2017 Nov 21.
- M Bičíková, M Dušková, J Vítků, B Kalvachová, D Řípová, P Mohr, L Stárka. Vitamin D in anxiety and affective disorders. - Physiol Res. 2015;64(Suppl 2):S101-3. doi: 10.33549/physiolres.933082.
- Khanh Vinh Quôc Lu'o'ng, Lan Thi Hoàng Nguyên. The beneficial role of vitamin D in Alzheimer's disease. - Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2011 Nov;26(7):511-20. doi: 10.1177/1533317511429321. Epub 2011 Dec 27.