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Vitamin D Helps Manage Depression

Did you know that increasing your Vitamin D can take the edge off your depression?

There is a growing body of evidence that links many mental health conditions to dietary deficiencies. 

Check out this 2010 study called "Where all the sunshine?" Researchers combed over many studies that analyzed the connection between Vitamin D deficiency and depression, and ideas for treatment. 

"Groups who are at risk for vitamin D deficiency include the elderly, adolescents, obese individuals, and those with chronic illnesses (e.g., diabetes)," the report states. "Interestingly, it is these same groups that have also been reported to be at risk for depression."

I've also seen in my research that there are other entire groups of people who naturally run low on Vitamin D: infants, pregnant and lactating women, people who live in Northern latitudes, people who avoid the sun, etc. 

Plus, there may be medical factors that keep you from getting enough Vitamin D, such as chronic renal failure, problems with absorbing nutrients after bariatric surgery, biliary tract disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Celiac disease, inflammatory bowel diseases, etc. 

So what can you do?

This report promotes the same recommendations I give to my patients: exercise outdoors in the sunlight, eat a varied and diverse diet (here's a quick list of the most Vitamin-D-rich foods), and take a supplement.

I recommend you take Vitamin D3, not D2. And if you're already taking Vitamin A, know that it counter-acts against Vitamin D. (This should be on your radar if you take Cod Liver Oil or Retinol.) 

In short, if you're being evaluated for Depression, make sure your doctor checks your Vitamin D levels as well. You may be able to save yourself a lot of time and money!

Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Hope Mental Health, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. She sees children, adolescents, and adults.  Ms. Woodland with her background in nursing, prefers a holistic and integrative approach to mental health care that addresses the mind and body together. While Ms. Woodland provides medication management services in all her patients, she believes in long-lasting solutions that include a number of psychotherapies, namely cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy, attention to lifestyle, evidenced based alternative psychiatric care and spirituality. If you’d like to gain control over your mental health issues, call Hope Mental Health at 208-918-0958, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an initial consultation.

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