Studies Indicate Vitamin D Improves Mental Health

I’ve been wondering how vitamin D and mental illness are related, so I did a search and found that vitamin D does, indeed, play a role in mental illness based on these reasons from the Vitamin D Council’s website:

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

By THERESE J. BORCHARD at PsychCentral

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