How much vitamin D should I take for depression?

High vitamin D dosages up to 10,000 IU are beneficial for depression in cases of acute vitamin D deficiency. Having normal serum concentrations of vitamin D is beneficial for good mood.

Can vitamin D deficiency cause depression?

According to a 2013 study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, low serum vitamin D levels have been linked to depression. Scientists analyzed vitamin D levels from more than 31,000 participants. They found that people with low vitamin D levels had significantly higher risk for developing depression.[1]

Vitamin D is involved in various brain processes. Also, vitamin D is present in neurons and in the brain. Especially in areas which are involved in the pathophysiology of depression.[2]

Vitamin D supplementation for depression

It’s estimated that about 6.7% of adults in the United States have depression. But, fewer than 25% of people with depression receive treatment.[3]

According to a study, even just one megadose of 100,000 IU can decrease symptoms of depression.[4]

Vitamin D supplementation may be a healthy and cheap way to deal with depression. Most noteworthy, vitamin D supplementation has no side effects. Even high daily dosages of 10,000 IU are safe for treating vitamin D deficiency.

What dosage of vitamin D is beneficial for depression?

Actually, vitamin D deficiency is pretty common, as there are only a few common foods high in vitamin D. It’s estimated that vitamin D insufficiency affects almost 50% of the worldwide population. About 1 billion people have vitamin D deficiency.[5]

The recommended daily intake of vitamin D is only 600 IU for adults. Seniors require higher dosages of 800 IU.

Low daily vitamin D dosages from supplements may not be enough for people with depression, though. For instance, according to a study, a daily dose of 400 IU wasn’t beneficial for women with depression. It wasn’t enough for affecting the mood.[6]

In fact, the Endocrinology Society recommends a minimum dosage of 1,500–2,200 IU for people who don’t have adequate sun exposure in order to maintain adequate vitamin D levels.[7]

Above all, you should regularly check your blood levels of vitamin D3. If you have vitamin D3 concentrations lower than 50 nmol/L (or 20 ng/mL) you may benefit from taking vitamin D supplements. In cases of acute vitamin D deficiency, even high dosages of 10,000 may be necessary.

You can compare prices between a wide variety of vitamin D supplements on iHerb.

After all, vitamin D has many health benefits. It’s beneficial for the skin, muscle growth, and weight loss.

Always consult your healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplement or changing your diet!

Getting vitamin D from the sun is good for depression

Outdoor activities can be beneficial for decreasing mild depression symptoms. Even a 20-minute outdoor walk, 5 times a week, can have beneficial effects on depression.

First, the body produces vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight. We produce up to 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day during the summer or 220 IU during the winter.[8]

Additionally, sun exposure is good for the synthesis of serotonin, which is another beneficial chemical for fighting depression.

Low to moderate exercise can improve our mood as well.

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