Seasonal Affective Disorder and Your Vitamin D Levels

Depression can sometimes be categorized as a seasonal disorder. In colder months, when the sun is not as prevalent amongst the clouds, people may experience SAD (Season Affective Disorder). 

Researchers believe a lack of vitamin D obtained through the sun’s UV rays can often be to blame for the lackluster feeling we may experience during this time.  In fact, the theory of vitamin D deficiency related to Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD has become more concrete than ever before.

According to a study published online in Psychiatry Research in March of 2014, “Low serum levels of vitamin D are associated with clinically significant symptoms of depression in otherwise healthy individuals.”

The study assessed healthy women for a period of one month, and found that a third of the participants had depressive symptoms which were predicted by their vitamin D deficiency. 

“After taking into account season, body mass index, race/ethnicity, diet, exercise, and time outside, the researchers found that lower vitamin D3 levels across the study period predicted clinically significant depressive symptoms (P < .05). The only other factor to predict depressive symptoms was use of antidepressants,” according to an article published by Medscape Medical News on the subject. 

Vitamin D supplementation is usually low-cost, easy to take, and according to doctors quoted in the study, “low-risk.” As always, check with your physician for proper vitamin D recommendations based on your respective health history.

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