News & tips on health, fitness and nutrition

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Vitamin D and Mental Health

Vitamin D does play a role in mental illness based on these reasons from the Vitamin D Council's website:

  1. 1. Epidemiological evidence shows an association between reduced sun exposure and mental illness.
  2. 2. Mental illness is associated with low 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels.
  3. 3. Mental illness shows a significant comorbidity with illnesses thought to be associated with vitamin D deficiency.
  4. 4. Theoretical models (in vitro or animal evidence) exist to explain how vitamin D deficiency may play a causative role in mental illness.
  5. 5. Studies indicate vitamin D improves mental illness.

Here's even more details, according to the Vitamin D Council:
* Mental illness has increased as humans have migrated out of the sun.
* There is epidemiological evidence that associates vitamin D deficiency with mental illness. Two small reports studied the association of low 25(OH)D levels with mental illness and both were positive.
* Depression has significant co-morbidity with illnesses associated with hypovitaminosis D such as osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
* Vitamin D has a significant biochemistry in the brain. Nuclear receptors for vitamin D exist in the brain and vitamin D is involved in the biosynthesis of neurotrophic factors, synthesis of nitric oxide synthase, and increased glutathione levels--all suggesting an important role for vitamin D in brain function. Rats born to severely vitamin D deficient dams have profound brain abnormalities. 

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