Vitamin D and Depression

Vitamin D is not only useful for maintaining physical fitness, it also helps in maintaining mental fitness and this can be explained by understanding the relationship between vitamin D and depression. Vitamin D is required for proper growth of bones, muscles and nervous system and hence, there is a direct relation between deficiency of vitamin D and depression.

Deficiency of vitamin D may not only cause depression, it may also cause various other mental illnesses including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Deficiency of vitamin D and depression thus need to be avoided. One can easily avoid any deficiency of vitamin D by consuming vitamin D rich food items including fruits and vegetables. However, our own body also produces Vitamin D in presence of direct sunlight. Thus, it is necessary to know about the appropriate amount of vitamin D for a healthy body. In general, a newly born child requires just 400 IU of vitamin D while a grown up person from age 1 year to age 70 years requires about 600 IU of vitamin D regularly. Furthermore, an elderly person above age 70 years needs to take 800 IU of vitamin D to remain fit and healthy. This is because of the fact that with ageing, our nervous system starts deteriorating and we require to provide more calcium and vitamin D for its protection and maintenance.

Problems of vitamin D and depression and other similar issues start increasing at elderly ages. However, deficiency of vitamin D may affect a person at any age and deficiency of vitamin D and depression are closely related. This is why any person at any age may suffer depression. To avoid deficiency of vitamin D and depression, a person may consume such products regularly that are rich in vitamin D. However, it should also be noted that excess of vitamin D may also cause certain health problems. One can take fortified milk, fortified cheese, fortified margarine, fortified fruits juices, and oranges for attaining vitamin D. Vitamin D is of two types, vitamin D2 is produced by plants in presence of sunlight, while the other vitamin D or vitamin D3 is produced by animals in presence of direct sunlight. Even humans produce vitamin D3. It should be noted that excess of vitamin D2 produced by plants may not cause any serious side effect. But excess of vitamin D3 may cause vitamin D toxicity. Yet, to attain proper amounts of vitamin D, one can take vitamin D rich non vegetarian foods such as tuna, salmon, and sardine fishes that are rich source of vitamin D.

The relationship between vitamin D and depression is not the only reason to take proper care of vitamin D requirements. Vitamin D is also important because proper amounts of vitamin D help our body to prevent at least seventeen types of cancers. Along with improving our mental health and working of nervous system, vitamin D also helps in strengthening our immune system. By taking proper care of vitamin D and depression, one can easily attain better health and physical fitness.