Can vitamin d deficiency cause depression and fatigue ?
This question comes into the mind, when any person with depressive symptoms, taking vitamin D as supplements.
Vitamin D is essential for Happiness. This line itself tells that vitamin D help with depression.
When you think of Vitamin D, most of the time you think about health of bone.
It is well known that, vitamin D is necessary for healthy bones, prevention of brittle bone and osteoporosis (weakness of bone).
Certain mental health problems like depression, cognitive dysfunction are associated with deficiency of vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency has also been seen in muscle diseases and certain specific cancer cases.
Latest studies in previous years suggest that, there is a link between depression and vitamin D deficiency.
There are numerous neurosteroids present in the brain which function and develop normally. Vitamin D is one of such molecule, present throughout the brain and spinal fluid.
Receptors of vitamin D are found in important areas of brain like substantia nigra. This is the site responsible for production of dopamine.
Although, not conclusive evidence, but still it proves a connection between psychological disorders and vitamin D deficiency.
Can vitamin d deficiency cause depression and fatigue ?
Vitamin D is not a single molecule. It comes in various forms. Skin in our body produces a special compound 7-dehydrocholesterol. Ultraviolet rays of the sun converts this molecule into vitamin D3. Now this vitamin D3 goes into the liver, where it converts into 25 hydoxyvitamin D. This form now reaches to kidney where it converts finally into active compound 1,25dihydroxy Vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency leads to some common symptoms. These are-
Frequent infections resulting in lower our immunity.
Vitamin D helps in fight against infections particularly flu and cold. It is also proved during this pandemic, which is commonly associated with respiratory infections.
2-Weak bones and bone pain
Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium from our food as a result protects bone from becoming weak.
3-Tiredness and fatigue
Deficiency of vitamin D leads to disturbance of sleep, therefore body becomes tired all the time.
4-Low mood, loss of interest in the work are the main symptoms of depression. These symptoms are associated with deficiency of vitamin D.
Although vitamin D deficiency may not be the cause of direct depression, but it has been seen that vitamin D supplementation is responsible for improvement of depressive symptoms.
Main cause of vitamin D deficiency:
There are numerous factors, which cause deficiency of vitamin D. But still main cause is avoiding day light and staying indoor most of the times.
During colder months, there is scarcity of sun light as a result, there is minimal exposure to sun light. Thereby body produces less amount of vitamin D.
Across the globe, every Government suggests that every person should take daily vitamin D supplement specially during the winter and autumn. It helps in keeping teeth, bones and muscles healthy.
Daily requirement of vitamin D is 10 micrograms for children and adults.
Person at risk of vitamin D deficiency and breastfeeding and pregnant lady also comes under this category.
Those babies who are under one year old need nearly 8.5-10 micrograms of vitamin D in a day.
Though sunlight is still the best way to get vitamin D, yet other sources are also available, which are rich in vitamin D. These are red meat, egg yolks, oily fish, fortified foods etc. Can vitamin d deficiency cause depression and fatigue ?
While sunlight is the best way to enrich your vitamin D levels, it can also be found in naturally oily fish, red meat, liver, egg yolks and some fortified foods.
The main benefits of this recommended amount of vitamin D is to take proper balanced nutrition which prevent bone deformities like bone pan and rickets.
Now one question comes into the mind. How we will tackle vitamin D deficiency, since main source of vitamin D is sunshine, and there are limited food sources, which are rich in this nutrient.
Between 11 am-2pm, daily for nearly 20 minutes, sunshine is quite enough for daily requirement of vitamin D, therefore vitamin D is also called as sunshine vitamin.
Does vitamin D helps with depression ?
Now again comes to our basic question, Does vitamin D helps with depression? It has been seen that sunlight is directly linked to good mood and decrease in symptoms of depression.
This sunshine is responsible production of one happy hormone, which is popularly known as serotonin. Serotonin helps in the improvement of mood and mental health.
Does vitamin D helps with seasonal depression ?
As the name suggest, this type of depression is more common in a particular season specially in winter, when there is less amount of sunlight in surrounding during Day time.
Sunlight provides vitamin D that helps in seasonal depression by helping person with depression and anxiety.
Milk is also a good source of vitamin D. Apart from other nutrients available in milk, it is also a good source of a special protein, known as tryptophan.
Tryptophan helps in sound and better quality of sleep. Taking 6-7 hour of regular good and sound sleep at night is very important for decreasing the symptoms of depression.
Salmon fish is a very source of Omega -3 fatty acid and vitamin D. These two compounds have been positively linked to improving symptoms of depression.
If you are taking salmon fish twice a week, it will not improve your mood but also maintain health of your heart.
Though, Vitamin D is considered as an important nutrient for our health, but does vitamin D helps with depression, it is still researched as its role in regulating symptoms of depression. Vitamin D helps in modulating the various mood centers of our brain.
But some question still unanswered. In depression, vitamin D deficiency has been seen. But no supportive and conclusive evidence tell vitamin D deficiency is a direct cause of depression.
Supplementing Vitamin D has shown an improvement in depressive symptoms, but not to such extent that makes it proper treatment.
But despite these arguments, Vitamin D is still an important nutrient for our overall health.
Depression is a such harsh reality in today’s daily fast-paced life. It is very important to be fit both physically and mentally.
Healthy life style is main part of this. We should not ourselves into indoors every time. Our laziness prevents us from outdoor activities. Proper sound sleep, regular exercise and taking balanced diet and lastly taking daily sunlight still are the best way to be feel happy.