Vitamin D3 does even more than publicized – it enhances mental health
by Paul Fassa
(NaturalNews) Most of us know that vitamin D3 helps prevent almost anything from flu to cancer by strengthening our immune systems. But little has been publicized about D3’s potential for preventing or getting out of depression. Recent studies link D3 deficiencies to depression. And there is some, who speculate how D3’s physiological protections directly affect moods.
D3 Depression studies and speculations
Several studies indicate the potential for preventing and treating mental disorders such as depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), anxiety, and schizophrenia. Though the studies are not considered conclusive, the fact that there is a connection with vitamin D and mood is apparent. You can view some of the study overviews here: http://www.improve-mental-health.co…
Another study among the elderly in 2006 showed that those with lower levels of vitamin D were up to 11 times more likely to be depressed than those with healthy vitamin D blood levels.
There is speculation that vitamin D deficiency may directly affect the balance of dopamine and norepinephrine receptors, which can lead to symptoms of depression. Other speculation revolves around Vitamin D3’s immune regulating responses to prevent inflammation, which is often linked with anxiety or depression.
An immune response that’s too strong can cause inflammation, as well as a response that is not enough allows inflammation to occur. As an immune system regulator, vitamin D3 boosts or dampens immune responses as needed to help prevent inflammation.
Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormonal activity), and hyperthyroidism has often been discovered among older depressed men and women.
In addition to regulating the immune system up or down as needed, so too does D3 regulate the stress hormone glucocorticoid. Too much or too little of this hormone is associated with mental disorders.
Vitamin D3 provides an enzyme essential for creating catecholamine neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. These neurotransmitter imbalances are associated with bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, and of course, depression.
It’s also known that the summer sun, which has the highest amount of UVB vitamin D3 creating rays, increases serotonin levels. Summertime is the time to ditch any skin cancer paranoia and get plenty of reasonable direct sunlight to the skin.
Reviewing D3 in general
Although the label vitamin D3 is widely accepted, it is not just a vitamin. It is also a prohormone, which acts as a support to existing hormones or as a precursor for more hormonal production.
Vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol is synthesized by the action of the sun’s or tanning lamp’s ultraviolet B (UVB) spectrum with 7-dehydrocholesterol molecules in our skin. Most vitamin D3 supplements are created by exposing the 7-Dehydrocholesterol molecules of lanolin from sheep’s wool to UVB rays.
Of course, winter is an obvious time to take high doses of D3 supplements. Blood serum levels of D3 can be tested to ensure what dosage you may need for your body’s optimum health. But around 5000 international units (iu) or more per day is not unusual for many. Not to worry, apparently it’s difficult to OD on D3.
It’s nice to know you can strengthen and stabilize your moods and protect your mental health, in addition to many other physiological health benefits, with Vitamin D3.