There are studies on vitamin D and depression that say it works and others that say it does not. We propose another theory that enhances the current thinking.
There is the added science on the benefits of light and its relationship to depression. The question is, what works and what does not?
The bad news: Reported in 1993, Supplementation with 400 IU of vitamin D did not appear to affect levels or changes in mood scores.
The problem was that first, vitamin D2 was used and not enough to make a difference. It was a bad study. It was bad science. Ooops, it happens.
Second, they used the wrong test, 1,25(OH)2D3 (calcitriol), The test that should have been used is the 25(OH)D, which is the best measurement. This means there is some good news. Some studies show that there is a positive vitamin D and depression connection.
Remember, association does not mean causation. The various diseases associated with low vitamin D levels are not necessarily caused by low vitamin D levels. At the end we propose a third causative factor or a third associated condition in the progression of diseases and conditions. With low vitamin D and depression as with other diseases, there is often low CG syndrome which can be improved with boosting glutathione.
In a paper: Vitamin D and Depression
it reported that vitamin D is essential for numerous reasons, including bone health.
Some studies (not all) show that low levels of vitamin D are significantly associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms. However, cross-sectional studies do not establish low serum vitamin D levels as the cause.
Note: This paper obviously did not read some of the other research showing that vitamin D supplementation did help some.
The effectiveness of supplementing vitamin D for depression cannot be adequately assessed from the studies.
The study concluded….Current evidence does not definitively demonstrate that vitamin D deficiency one of the causes or a risk factor in depression or that vitamin D is an effective therapy for depression.
In a paper titled, Seasonal Affective Disorder and Other Mental Processes Are Improved by Vitamin D3... There is no question that both sun light and light that does not have vitamin D producing UVB provides mood improving benefits. Light, vitamin D and Psychiatry
Vitamin D3 Enhances Mood in Healthy Subjects During Winter, a 1998 study found that vitamin D3 significantly improved the positive affect and there was evidence of a decrease in negative affect. This involved using 400 and 800 IU of Vitamin D3.
Average serum 25(OH)D closer to 50 in non the depressed.
Artificial lights help with SAD even if they do not help vitamin D.
Vitamin D: What We Know in General
The elderly and those in nursing homes often have vitamin D levels (25(OH)D) levels in the insufficiency range. Note that this was from European research.
Numerous studies show the low vitamin D and depression association. There is also an association with several other conditions and diseases including but not limited to...
Muscle Function Disturbances
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Some types of Cancer
Of course, depression could be associated with each of these conditions.
The paper also noted that supplementation with vitamin D reduces blood pressure in hypertensive patients, improve blood glucose levels in diabetics, improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
Heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and low bone mineral density all have an association with depression. The simple explanation is that vitamin D deficiency causes or is responsible for these illnesses. Yet all of these diseases and conditions are multifactorial. There may be a third cause or complex of causes.
With so many diseases and conditions that have a relationship with low vitamin D levels, it may seem like vitamin D is a cure all or at the least a cure many. It should be noted that with these same diseases and additional ones are also associated with Low CG Syndrome. These same diseases and conditions are also improved by improving glutathione levels.
Vitamin D is one of the co-factors of glutathione production.
Vitamin D and Depression: Conclusions
The bottom line is that vitamin D does not help everyone with depression.
There is no question we need vitamin D. The best source is the sun. However, even in Hawaii, half of the youth did not have enough vitamin D. In the Northern regions, there are seasonally associated decreases in serum vitamin D.
Supplementation is essential. The best supplementation is from natural food sources and then from actual supplements.
Then, since vitamin D is involved in the production of, used by and works in conjunction with glutathione, it is also essential to boost your glutathione.
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Glutathione has a high affinity for water. Simply put, if we are dehydrated our bodies may not make as much as they could. Or, what we do make may be less effective.
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