The Sunshine Vitamin and The Winter Blues
Did you know that depression and the “winter” time blues are more commonly seen in the cold, dreary snowy months because our stores of Vitamin D are low or depleted due to a lack of sun exposure. Actually most people are Vitamin D deficient year round but more symptoms of D deficiency show up in the winter. Vitamin D is necessary to help our brains function optimally and maintain a positive mental outlook. Symptoms of depression are worse when a person is Vitamin D deficient.
By Patty Douglas RN, BSN, CCT
Vitamin D deficiency is another reason we see more colds, pneumonia and flu in the wintertime. Vitamin D is so crucial in the fight against infections, that our immune system does not even start to attack an infection until it has sent a signal for Vitamin D to get out there first and lead the fight!! So if you don’t have enough Vitamin D running around, then your body cannot properly fight off the many germs out there waiting to make you sick!!
The best way to make sure you are getting enough Vitamin D is to take a good quality supplement of Vitamin D3 daily. Your doctor can order a blood test 25 OH Vitamin D that will tell you exactly how much Vitamin D your body has stored. The range for this blood test is 30 to100 ng/ml and ideally your number should be greater than 50 to ensure that the winter blues don’t get you down.