Vitamin D is essential for human health. The vital substance is responsible for bone formation, the immune system, and critical metabolic processes, among other things. More precisely, sunlight causes the human body to form valuable vitamin D.
But what are the functions of vitamin D, and why can a vitamin D deficiency cause depression? Read with us what influence vitamin D can have on depression.
What is vitamin D, and how do people absorb it?
As already mentioned, vitamin D is a vital substance responsible for bone formation, the immune system, and essential metabolic processes. Although it is called a vitamin, it is not one at all. Vitamins usually have to be ingested through food, but the human body can produce most of the vitamin D.
The need for vitamin D is mainly covered by the sun. If sunlight reaches the skin, the body is stimulated to produce vitamin D. About 80 to 90 percent of vitamin D supply occurs in this way.
However, you can also get vitamin D from food. However, you would have to consume unrealistic portions in minimal amounts to cover the need for vitamin D through food. The human body is also very good at storing vitamin D.
For this reason, you don’t have to worry immediately in winter if you don’t get sunlight for weeks.
What is depression?
Everyone has phases when they don’t feel good. Those affected are, therefore, in a low mood. If this condition persists for an extended period, it is called depression.
Around 5.3 million people in Germany now fall ill with depression over the year. Most of those affected report a depressed, depressed mood and an inner emptiness. They also lose interest in their hobbies, meeting family or friends, and everyday activities.
Whereby the everyday things cost her a lot of effort. Depression also leads to rapid fatigue and exhaustion.
Vitamin D for the psyche
However, vitamin D also plays a vital role in people’s psychological well-being. Finally, it has a significant impact on producing certain messenger substances such as dopamine, adrenaline, and nor adrenaline. These messengers can primarily regulate mood and activity.
If there is too little vitamin D in the body, the adrenal glands release more messenger substances that lead to exhaustion and tiredness. Vitamin D could help with depression; this statement has been researched for some time. In any case, there is probably a connection between vitamin D deficiency and depression.
If you suffer from a severe vitamin D deficit, taking vitamin D tablets can help. However, taking the sun vitamin, which is supposed to brighten the mood, has not been scientifically proven. In this regard, adequately controlled studies are still lacking.
If you feel exhausted and depressed during the winter, you may be suffering from winter depression. This winter depression is triggered by too little sun. In this case, too, it was investigated whether vitamin D has an influence.
Recognize a vitamin D deficiency
If you suspect a vitamin D deficiency, you should pay attention to the typical symptoms. A vitamin D deficiency symptoms can be hair loss, increased susceptibility to infections, poorly healing bone fractures, mood swings, tiredness, and muscle weakness. A vitamin D deficiency can be simulated with a blood test.
A blood test can sometimes cost 20 to 30 euros. In some cases, the costs are even covered by health insurance. However, we recommend that you do not obtain vitamin D drops yourself.
An overdose of vitamin D can have dangerous consequences. If you want to correct a vitamin D deficiency, you should first and foremost get outside more and let the sunshine on your skin. Just 10 to 20 minutes of sunlight can help replenish the vitamin store.
However, how long you should ultimately stay in the sun depends on your skin type and time of year. If you have very light skin, even a shorter period will suffice. On the other hand, darker skin types need to sunbathe a little longer.
If you suffer from a significant deficiency, your doctor will recommend taking vitamin D drops or capsules.
Activate the feel-good substances in the brain with vitamin D
Vitamin D may help fight depression by helping the human brain produce serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood. Especially in winter, many people, therefore, resort to foods that contain vitamin D.
Depressed people often have low vitamin D levels. According to recent studies, a low vitamin D level doubles the risk of developing depression. Compensating for vitamin D deficiency can help alleviate the symptoms.
After all, the vitamin is essential in regulating the brain messenger serotonin. Serotonin activates the reward system and can create a positive mood. The sun vitamin also protects your nerve cells. As a rule, you do not need to take any supplements if you are between 20 and 60 years old and you go out into the fresh air regularly.
However, additional preparation should be taken if you belong to a particular risk group. People who stay indoors because they are bedridden or infirm, the elderly to prevent bone disease, people with dark skin, or people who cover almost their entire body with clothing belong to a particular risk group.