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