Therapy Thursday: Vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of the most influential vitamins for mental and physical health. It is not only important for proper bone growth, but it actually aids in the functioning and development of different parts of your brain. Since there are receptors for this vitamin in virtually all of your muscles and tissue, Vitamin D deficiency can have many negative effects.
Most people know that Vitamin D can come from the sun, this is one of the reasons why Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is common during the winter months of the year. SAD is also known as seasonal depression. There is less sunlight during these months which then changes the levels of Vitamin D in your brain. This can then translate to a mood change. Vitamin D deficiency is also common in adults who have depression as well as schizophrenia.
Though this may be true for adults, there is little research on the affects of Vitamin D deficiency in children. Regardless of this, it is important to know that Vitamin D receptors are everywhere in your body which makes this vitamin essential for any bodily function no matter how old you are.
It is also important to know if you are one of the populations at risk for Vitamin D deficiency. Those who have celiac disease, are obese, or have liver disease are at higher risk for developing a deficiency in Vitamin D. The elderly as well as adolescent population is also at a higher risk for this.
Since the weather is becoming nicer and spring has finally sprung, I challenge you to immerse yourself in the sunshine. There are plenty of positive effects of Vitamin D from the sun including helping fight depression and anxiety as well as other physical diseases. Just don't forget to wear sunscreen!
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