Vitamin D has become something of a super-vitamin these days.
Many people swear by it for their immunity, as a cancer-preventative, and in some cases to even help with seasonal allergies.
But could it also contribute to your mood?
Some very interesting findings out of a study published in the December 2006 edition of the American Journal for Geriatric Psychiatry indicate it might.
Researchers from Washington University analyzed a group of 80 older adults (mean age of 74.79 years) and assessed their mood via clinician’s diagnosis and the depression symptoms inventory.
What they found were that the odds of having an active mood disorder was 11.69 times greater in those adults who were found to be deficient in vitamin D than those who were sufficient.
It is important to note, however, that they could not establish that a lack of vitamin D is associated with the clinical diagnosis of major depression, only that it was associated with an active mood disorder. The clinicians involved in the research were not formally trained in psychiatric diagnosis, so they were unable to go so far as to reach that conclusion.
What does this tell us?
First of all, it gives us an indication as to the role of vitamin D in mood, at least in older adults, but possibly in others as well. Further research is definitely needed to make that assessment.
Beyond that, though, it could give us a window into perhaps a very simple way to address some mood issues, at least minor ones.
Vitamin D is a vitamin that is synthesized internally when we are exposed to sunlight. Many people suffer from seasonal affective disorder, which is a disorder that strikes mood in colder months when less sunlight and time spent outdoors is to be found.
Could addressing some mood disorders, at least more minor ones, be as simple as getting outside and getting a little sun? Could that ultimately be why vitamin D is being found to play a role? Are we just spending too much time indoors?
This study gives us an indication that it might be possible, although it doesn’t conclude that.
However, given the number of people who anecdotally experience an uplift in mood from getting outside and getting some sun, we may be seeing a more complete picture forming.
In any case, while these are my own personal inferences of the data, the benefits of proper vitamin D levels are beginning to become overwhelming. So be sure to talk to your licensed health care practitioner to find out how you can make your vitamin D levels optimal, safely.
Who knows, maybe it’s as simple as going outside!
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