If you are like me, you are dreading the snow flying for one reason…the dark days that come along with winter! Since I was a small child, I can remember the absolute dread when all the leaves are off the trees, and the impending feeling of “doom and gloom” with each passing day. Little did we know how important the sun is to our overall health.
While living in Sweden in 1998 I was fascinated to learn about how doctors there treat clinical depression. Prozac was forbidden. You cannot prescribe it in Sweden. But what they did prescribe, and pay for, was a sunny vacation for 2 weeks to the Greek Isles. I could not believe it. But it was true. The Swedes understood the power of the sun to lift people out of their doom and gloom, and put a smile not only on their face, but in their brain.
Now research shows the power of Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, to change how we feel.
Dr. Mercola reports “
The connection between vitamin D and depression is not new. In 2006, scientists evaluated the effects of vitamin D on the mental health of 80 elderly patients and found those with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who received healthy doses.
In the current study, researchers found that intake of more than 400 IU of vitamin D from food sources was associated with a 20 percent lower risk of depressive symptoms compared with intake of less than 100 IU. This was a significant benefit from a very small amount of vitamin D — as 400 IU is far too low to benefit most people (not to mention your body is made to get vitamin D primarily from the sun, not food or supplements, as I’ll explain below).
It now appears as though most adults need about 8,000 IU’s of vitamin D a day in order to get their serum levels above 40 ng/ml, which is the lowest they should be. Ideally your serum levels should be between 50-70 ng/ml, and up to 100 ng/ml to treat cancer and heart disease.”
With these findings, if you live in North America, you might think about getting your blood tested for the Vitamin D levels and taking action if they are low. Your entire mood might change!