Did you know that vitamin D plays a critical role in your mood?
Most people know that it is key for bone health and immune support, but the fact that it can have an effect on your mood is often overlooked.
A lot of research is now showing that vitamin D is important for brain health.
According to the National Library of Medicine, about 40-50% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D. With the rise of mood disorders it shouldn’t be too surprising that these two things are linked. Now that we’re becoming aware of the connection, this is something we should pay close attention to.
How does this connection work?
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that the connection between vitamin D and your mood lies in the neurotransmitter, serotonin.
Serotonin is responsible for your feelings of well being: it’s what is at the core of you feeling calm, cool and collected. A lack of serotonin can lead to feelings of anxiety or depression.
The process of creating serotonin in your body starts with tryptophan, which is an amino acid, usually derived from protein you consume. When you consume those proteins, you also require carbohydrates to allow the amino acids to enter into the brain.
The studies are unearthing incredible connections…
Researchers are now finding that vitamin D could be critical to this conversion process that allows the amino acids into your brain, where it then helps to create neurotransmitters like serotonin.
Researchers are continually backing up the fact that your mood is dependent on monoamines, which are a group of neurotransmitters. This group, made up of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, is responsible for how your brain operates when it comes to feeling good.
The connection of vitamin D to helping create these vital monoamines shows you just how important vitamin D can be to those feel good moods you’re looking for.
Check out this interesting study…
A study done by Oregon State University really helps to back this information up: they looked at 185 female participants, all in college, between the ages of 18 and 25. They started out by measuring their vitamin D levels, and found that most of the participants were deficient: “Many women in the study had vitamin D levels considered insufficient for good health, and the rates were much higher among women of color, with 61 percent of women of color recording insufficient levels, compared to 35 percent of other women. In addition, more than a third of the participants reported clinically significant depressive symptoms each week over the course of the study.” (2)
They monitored these women for a period of time, lasting more than a year, and paid attention to how their vitamin D levels fluctuated, especially during the different seasons.
Naturally, with the absence of as much sunlight, vitamin D levels were significantly lower in the winter. What they measured next, were symptoms of depression and other mood disorders in correlation to the vitamin D levels throughout the year. They found that there was a definite relationship between when vitamin D levels and mood indicators were low. This was substantiated through the year and using multiple angles of study.
These other studies are also finding connections:
Psychology Today also noted these studies in support of vitamin D’s effect on mood disorders:
- “A study in the Netherlands found that low levels of vitamin D correlated with symptoms of major and minor depression in 169 individuals ages 65 or older.
- An English study that included 2070 people ages 65 and older concluded that vitamin D deficiency is associated with depression in northern countries although major depression was only seen in individuals with the most severe deficiencies.
- In one study adults with vitamin D deficiency who received high doses of the vitamin saw an improvement in their depressive symptoms after two months.
- A small study with 9 women, all of whom were vitamin D deficient or insufficient, found that a daily dose of 5,000 IU of vitamin D significantly improved their depression symptoms.” (1)
It’s important to note that these studies (there have been numerous ones) have not yet mapped out exactly why this happens or what the links all are. However, they have certainly established that a link exists between vitamin D and the monoamines that are responsible for your moods.
So, should you run out and get yourself from vitamin D?
Yes, you should, because it will help to benefit your bones through better calcium absorption, immune system and even your mood.
If you can, have a look at PuraTHRIVE’s Liposomal Vitamin D, which is combined with K2, for truly potent and absorbable nourishment that your body can use right away.