Vitamin D and its Connection to Mental Health and Depression
Posted on 02/22/19: Addiction Treatment \ Health Tips
Over 300 million people in the world suffer from depression — that’s about the size of the population of the United States. Depression is also connected to substance abuse. In fact, about two in 10 Americans who have anxiety, depression or other mood disorders also suffer from some form of substance abuse.
Recent scientific studies have shown there’s a link between depression and low levels of vitamin D in the blood. Does this mean vitamin D supplements can potentially assist in treating depression? The blog below outlines the possibility for that: let’s read and find out.
The Role of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for your health. It helps you maintain healthy bones, healthy tissues, and prevents infections and autoimmune diseases from developing and/or becoming worse. It also plays a role in mental health by helping with proper neuron function. Researchers know there’s a connection between vitamin D and depression, but they don’t know if vitamin D supplementation on its own can cure depression. It definitely won’t hurt, but with what we know now depression can’t be successfully treated with vitamin D alone.
An estimated 1 billion people in the world have low vitamin D levels. You get vitamin D from your diet (eating foods like fatty fish, cheese and vitamin D fortified milk) and from exposure to sunlight (the recommended amount is 5-30 minutes a day). If you don’t think you get enough sun exposure (let’s say you work day shifts and your only free time to be out is at night) you should probably have your vitamin D level checked. Your doctor may recommend supplements if you aren’t receiving enough exposure on your own.
Can Vitamin D Treat Depression?
There’s been a lot of research on vitamin D and depression, but so far the results are mixed. Certain studies suggest that supplements may assist in the treatment of depression for patients with low vitamin D levels. Other studies don’t recommend supplementation for treating depression.
Researchers aren’t completely sure how this relationship works: whether low levels of vitamin D cause depression or whether depression lowers levels. But they have agreed that they need more studies to reach a solid conclusion, and this type of research is very appreciated as depression is something that many individuals suffer with and sometimes prescription medication isn’t the appropriate solution for everyone.
Current treatments for depression include medication and therapy (such as cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT). If your doctor has given you anti-depressants, we’re not telling you to take supplements instead as they’re not a cure for depression. But it can’t hurt to maintain good levels of vitamin D in your body through sun exposure or additional supplements. Your mood will also improve if you spend some time in the sun, maybe doing yoga or going for a jog outside. With an average of 299 sunny days a year, Scottsdale, Arizona, is one of the sunniest places in the U.S. Spending some time here will help keep your vitamin D levels up.
Don’t Rely on Vitamin D Supplements as a Treatment for Depression
Scientists don’t know if vitamin D is an effective treatment for depression, so rely on your mental health professionals to recommend a therapy for depression and addiction. At Sober Living AZ, we’ve developed rehab programs specifically for patients with dual diagnosis. If you or a loved one is struggling from depression and/or mood disorders, call us today and find out more about our programs.
Content for Sober Living Arizona by Cohn Media, LLC. Passionate and creative writing and broadcasting, covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment and technology. Advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best. www.cohn.media
If you or someone you know needs help with addiction, contact Sober Living of AZ now to get the help you need. Sober Living offers an acclaimed recovery environment that merges upscale and luxury accommodations with affordability, clinical expertise and an unwavering commitment to patient care and aftercare. Call us now at 602-737-2458.