This one of a kind vitamin is essential for pretty much all bodily functions as there are vitamin D receptors in every tissue in the body.
Among the essential bodily functions that require vitamin D are regulating cell growth, upholding immune system and cardiovascular health, and increasing absorption of phosphorus and calcium – allowing for strong bone and teeth growth.
On top of all of that, vitamin D may even play a role in cancer prevention.
With so many of our bodily functions requiring a healthy supply of vitamin D, it should come as no surprise that our mental health also requires a healthy dose of this super vitamin.
Known mental health benefits of vitamin D include:
1. Reduced Risk/Prevention of Depression
Research has found vitamin D receptors on cells in regions of the brain that are linked to depression. This indication of a likely a link between vitamin D and depression has spurred numerous studies which, not surprisingly found a connection with vitamin D deficiency and depression.
One such study found that adults with vitamin D deficiency who received high doses of the vitamin saw an improvement in their depressive symptoms in just 2 months. Dr. James M. Greenblatt M.D, who is certified as both a child and adult psychiatrist writes in an article for Psychology Today that he tests all of his new patients vitamin D levels as he has found that “vitamin D deficiency impairs and prolongs recovery from depression.”
2. Healthy Cognitive Function
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to decreased cognitive performance and mental illness. A study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychology found that vitamin D deficient participants performed significantly worse on two of four standard cognitive tests.
Another study done at Rutgers University showed that people over 60 with vitamin D deficiencies are more prone to losing brain power, as professor Joshua Miller observed, “on average people with low vitamin D declined two to three times as fast as those with adequate vitamin D.”
3. Protection of the Brain
Vitamin D has also been shown to protect the brain by acting as a buffering antioxidant as well as by working as an anti-inflammatory agent against vascular injury. What better reason could you have for going for a quick 15 minutes tan (sunscreen free) than to improve your brain function, elevate your mood and protect that all important brain.
Best Vitamin D?
There are many, many brands of vitamin D, of course. Find one that feels right to you! For the most part, vitamin D is vitamin D, although experts suggest that it is best absorbed when immersed in dietary fat. One company has included healthy fats in it’s vitamin D formula to make better absorption a sure thing.
Study on vit D deficient adults & their depression symptoms after 2 months of taking Vit D: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC506781/IFLScience! http://www.iflscience.com/brain/vitamin-d-may-protect-brain-health