5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) As An Antidepressant

5-HTP is made from a natural substance that is found in the seeds of the Griffonia Simplicifolia plant. This particular plant is a climbing plant that comes from both Central as well as Western Africa. Hydroxytryptophan; which is actually extracted from the seeds of the plant plays an important and natural role in the synthesis of Serotonin. If you’ve been following this blog then you will learn that Serotonin can be very powerful in regulating both sleep and your mood.

Why Take 5-HTP

Some people may consider taking this as a natural supplement as a supplement to an actual, commercially viable anti-depressant. It is actually popular in some parts of Europe as a method to address depression. The reasons can be many, but some people may desire to support a more natural approach to health or have experienced side effects from their current SSRI medication. It’s also important to note that where you may have no or poor success with an anti-depressant med that trying another with the guidance of your health care professional may yield the results that you need.

5-HTP is one natural supplement to consider so long as you consult with your doctor first to make sure that it’s right for you. It can be found in most health food stores, but one thing to remember is that if you find a brand that works for you – stick with it. The truth is that natural supplements are not regulated by the FDA; which means that different natural supplement companies are free to maintain their own dosages of the supplement. Changing from one brand to another may not be a good idea. Always try to stick with one brand consistently.

Uses

5-HTP is taken to help with sleep disorders, eating disorders, depression, anxiety and migraines to name a few. Several trials have been conducted that revealed that taking 50 – 3000 MG consistently for 2 or more weeks can ease the symptoms of depression. Other studies have shown that 5-HTP may be just as effective as most, standard anti-depressant medications.

One thing that you don’t want to attempt is to take both an anti-depressant and Hydroxytryptophan alongside each other, because they can interfere with each other. 5-HTP helps to increase Serotonin production to the brain

5-HTP decarboxylates with Serotonin with an L-amino acid and with the help of vitamin B6 through both the liver (where the majority of Serotonin is produced) and nervous tissue.

Seasonal Depression Test

Been feeling down lately and have some concerns about yourself? Notice that the changing of the seasons really get to you? You might have seasonal affective disorder, but only a doctor can really tell you if you have the mood disorder called SAD.

However, for a starting point this seasonal depression test might help you confirm things; although no internet seasonal depression quiz can be as complete as an evaluation by a medical professional; which is always recommended. You can take the seasonal affective disorder test below.

1) I tend to get the "Winter Blues"
2) When I'm depressed I find that I gain weight
3) I sometimes oversleep and feel tired and draggy throughout the day
4) I've been eating a lot of carbohydrates (breads, sweets, pizza, snacks)
5) When dealing with other people I am very sensitive to their comments and find myself becoming a little emotional.
6) I seem to feel down during the Winter every year or have at least noticed it for the last 2 years.
7) Do you typically feel depressed during Spring and Summer?
8) When I'm depressed I tend to isolate myself from social interactions and just want be home.
9) I tend to withdraw from my friends and family members

My Boyfriend Is Depressed – How Can I Help?

When you’re in a relationship and something is off about the other person it can be very difficult to cope with. If your boyfriend has been depressed as of late, then you already know hard it is on you as well. Again, when two people love each other, they tend to share one heart. So naturally watching your boyfriend
suffer affects you as well.

Can You Help?

You can, but first you need to understand how depression in men can be slightly different than it is in women.

Regardless of male or female, people will experience the similar symptoms of depression, but when it comes to men; the triggers and specific thoughts they have on their mind may be different than what a woman would experience.

Men can experience depression sometimes if they don’t feel as strong as they would like to be. Things like not having a job, not making enough money, not
feeling like they are adequate for a relationship and even issues in the bedroom can affect a man’s mood and behavior.

If a man feels less masculine then this can affect male hormone levels and contribute to depression. But the other issue is that there is a common cliche in society that says that men have to be the strong ones, just like the irritating and burned out suggestion that women belong in the kitchen.

Yes, we still have stereotypes and as a result if a man doesn’t feel like he can match that “model of a man” he will also have a harder time talking about it. Men just aren’t supposed to talk about their feelings, right? Well all humans need opportunities to connect with others and share their thoughts and emotions. It’s healthy.

If Your Boyfriend Is Depressed – Here Are The Best Ways You Can Help

1. Be a true partner. Remember that there is a great person currently masked by sadness.

2. Don’t be pushy. The more you push the further he will pull away.

3. Try to maintain some normalcy for him so he doesn’t feel like he’s losing you too.

4. Be very affectionate and tender if you have that kind of a relationship with him.

5. Treat him as being masculine – no man likes pity.

6. If he’s stressed about money, try not to put him in situations where he would feel that he has to provide in that instant.

7. Gently suggest that he go and speak with a doctor or counselor. This is going to be tricky, because men don’t ever want to feel as though they have to rely on an outside source or get help.

8. Suggest to him that right now he’s obviously depressed and that the end goal is getting through the depression. Address it and then try to help him make a mission of it.

For example, you might say something like:

“I know you feel hopeless deep down inside, but I also know that you used to be happier. This means you can be happy again and there is a way. You are obviously very depressed and maybe a little scared about things. This is very common and all day long people are getting help. Let me reach out with you. I’m your partner – do this for us.”

9. Despite what you are reading here, never point out your boyfriend’s depression as “male depression” or talk about how guys get depressed too.

10. Is there a man that he could confide in some? perhaps an older male who has a lot of life’s experiences and wouldn’t make your boyfriend feel threatened. I can tell you honestly that there have been a few times when I relied upon a sacred kinship with some older males that I looked up to. I can also tell you that what they showed me was that the concerns and emotions a man can have are pretty typical for men. Knowing that can help lift a weight off your shoulder.

11. Are you a religious couple? if not – no big deal, but pastors can make great counselors, can be very kind and make great men for other men to look up to.
They’ve also probably heard just about any problem you can think of, because it’s a part of their job.

12. If there’s enough influence and you can get him to see a doctor, this might be a good step. Also consider whether the doctor or nurse practitioner is a man
or a woman.

In this scenario, your boyfriend might feel more comfortable talking about his bout of depression with a man or a woman, but it should be taken into account.

13. He may need to start taking an antidepressant medication if he isn’t already. If he’s having financial issues, there are a lot of generic medicines out there
that are very affective and super cheap.

Sometimes a person doesn’t have to stay on an antidepressant for very long and then sometimes they need it long term to cope, but regardless – it’s an answer.

Why Is My Boyfriend Depressed?

Here are some of the common causes of depression in men..

Work related stress
Worries about finances
Performance issues in the bedroom
Relationship problems
Not achieving personal goals that are important to your boyfriend
Feelings of loss of identity
Concerns about family
Alcohol abuse
Nicotine withdrawal
Loneliness
Fears of aging

Unfortunately the signs of male depression can also be mistaken for typical, masculine behavior. This can lead you or others to not realizing that your boyfriend is depressed.

Sometimes when men suffer from depression they don’t act particularly sad, but become increasingly agitated, angry, aggressive and conflict-prone.

Erectile Dysfunction & Depression

Depression and stress can cause sexual performance issues in men from erectile  dysfunction to premature ejaculation. In turn, not being able to have quality
love making can make your boyfriend depressed.

Unfortunately, sometimes SSRIs (antidepressants) can cause erectile dysfunction. However, addressing other issues can lead to natural solutions as well. Developing better habits, exercising, starting a healthier diet and avoiding substance abuse can be a good starting point if your boyfriend is depressed.

8 Important Facts Regarding Seasonal Affective Disorder

Winter is fast approaching and we are currently in the very early stages of the month of October. As such, people who struggle with managing their moods during this time are probably already thinking ahead. I thought it would be interesting to share 8 quick facts about seasonal mood disorder and figured that the best way to illustrate this would be to use an infographic.

Keep in mind, my design skills are not the greatest, but I figured a resource that you could take a quick glance over would be helpful in understanding what kinds of people are dealing with seasonal affective disorder.

8 interesting and little known facts about SAD

8 interesting and little known facts about SAD

7 Incredibly Powerful Ways To Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder

 

6 ways you can treat SADFor the millions of people around the world who suffer from S.A.D. it can be very difficult to get excited about the holiday seasons that are coming up soon. Those happy thoughts that relate to Christmas, Thanksgiving & Halloween suddenly creep to the back of the mind instead of being something to look forward to.

The good feelings that are usually associated with gift-giving, festive meals with the family and trick-or-treating are overrun with the fear of going back into a cyclical depressive state brought on by Seasonal Affective Disorder.

This debilitating mental state is made characteristic by unexplainable sadness, overeating do to the feelings of depression and this strong desire to just sleep through everything and miss out on life’s most precious moments. If you are one of the 500,000+ Americans who suffer from S.A.D., or are one of the millions who struggle with it around the world, then this article is for you.

Here Are 7 Very Good Ways To Keep Seasonal Depression At Bay…

When used in combination with one-another you have a better chance of staying happy during this difficult time of the year.

1.  Consume Foods That Are Mood Lifting

Berries are one food source that are powerful against depression.

Berries are one food source that are powerful against depression.

You need to be very mindful of what you eat. Although things like fast food are a convenience they do nothing for our moods. It’s important to keep a diet going of foods that are rich in essential minerals and vitamins. In particular, foods that aid in Serotonin production, Magnesium, Folic Acid, D vitamin and B vitamins will give you the most help.

Good Anti-Depression Foods Include

  1. Blueberries
  2. Broccoli
  3. Tomatoes
  4. Spinach
  5.  Sweet Potatoes
  6. Fish
  7. Yogurt
  8. Asparagus
  9. Avocados
  10. Cashews
  11. Chocolate
  12. Green tea
  13. Oranges
  14. Grapefruit
  15. Kiwi
  16. Walnuts
  17. Bananas
  18. Turkey
  19. Low fat cheeses and milk
  20. Tumeric
  21. Rosemary
  22. Licorice

These foods are a great source of either protein, healthy fats, potassium, trytophan and vitamins. Avoid a diet that may deplete these important nutrients.

2. Avoid Alcohol & Caffeine

Alcohol is a depressant that can make having depression much worse

Alcohol is a depressant that can make having depression much worse

Many of us can’t imagine living without a few “adult beverages” in the evening hours or having a few cups of coffee throughout the day, but consider the fact that both caffeine and alcohol (which is a stimulant) could be your major problem alone.

The issue with drinking alcohol throughout a bout of depression is that it amplifies the sadness and darker feelings. If you’re trying to take action and return to a more positive state, caffeine and alcohol consumption can work against your best efforts.

At least a 3rd of those with depression resort to alcohol as a form of self-medication and teens who struggle with serious depression for a long period of time are more likely to start drinking.

But most critically is the fact that alcohol is in itself a depressant. It can also impair your judgement and cause you to make hasty decisions that could further escalate your depressive state.

 

3. Get Active & Force Yourself To Be On Your Feet

Exercise is a great way to fight off depression

Exercise is a great way to fight off depression

It’s true that when you’re feeling depressed it’s very hard to have the motivation to get up and do things, but the truth is that the more you lie dormant the greater your depressive state can become.

The main issue for most people with Seasonal Affective Disorder is staying fit and active when it’s really cold out or you’re up to your neck in snow.

Here are some methods that you can take advantage of that are both creative as well as rewarding to the body and mind..

  • If there’s snow on the ground, try to be a kid again. Build a snowman, fort or have a snowball fight with your kids and loved ones.
  • Join your local YMCA. This way you can use the indoor track for power walking or sign up for a very affordable class through the Y.
  • Pop a fitness DVD in your player and start working out with it
  • Use a fitness video game. These can be a lot of fun and put you through the paces. Plus some of them feature a virtual coach who can be quite motivating.
  • Take a ballroom dance, martial arts, yoga, Zumba or swim class.

4. Make Yourself Socialize More

Coffee shops, libraries and malls are good places to go when you're depressed

Coffee shops, libraries and malls are good places to go when you’re depressed

I know what you might be thinking. “I’m depressed”, “I don’t like people” or “I’m an introvert” and I hear ya! Truth be told you can be in a social setting without having to socialize or stress yourself out.

It’s important that you don’t isolate yourself from friends, family or even strangers, which is something that people with SAD tend to do. Here’s what to do..

  • Get a library card and make weekly trips to the library. Just sit and read there or get a routine going of checking out and renewing items.
  • Develop a ritual where you go to the coffee shop just to people watch. An OK dose of coffee won’t hurt you and you can relax in the ambiance of the shop.
  • Go window shopping in the mall. The mall can be a tiring place for many people, but 30 – 60 minutes walking around the mall can do wonders; mainly because of the stimulation and the abundance of lighting.
  • Start your holiday gift shopping early and refrain from doing all of it on the internet. Make a list of people to buy for and research online, but make sure to use going to physical store addresses to do your shopping as an excuse to get out and about.

5. Give Back To Others

Doing charitable work and volunteering is exceptional for boosting your mood

Doing charitable work and volunteering is exceptional for boosting your mood

You know the old advice that somewhere around the world right now there is a person who has it worse than you. Boy is that ever true and if you seek out ways to volunteer and help out it can be great therapy.

In fact, not only can helping those in need distract you from your depression it can lift your emotional vibrational state and elevate your mood. Here are some ways that you can make life about others and NOT your depression..

  • Get involved in a food drive
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  • Seek part-time work at a Goodwill
  • Spend time with the elderly
  • Assist at an animal shelter and help with general care of pets
  • Sign up to help out at the local library
  • Get involved with habitat for humanity
  • Ask about ways to assist at museums
  • Become an usher for your local theater

Volunteering can help with your depression in several ways…

  1. It gets you out of the house and away from your “zone of depression”
  2. You can actually meet fantastic people networking in this way, and may find that some of them are volunteering for similar reasons
  3. Helping others raises your feel good hormone levels and makes you feel better about yourself, which if you are depressed is exactly what you need right now.

To learn more ways about how you can help out in your community, there is a fantastic website called Volunteer Match which can hook you up with great places to volunteer.

6. Take Advantage Of Light Therapy

Light therapy is excepted as a method for treating SAD

Light therapy is excepted as a method for treating SAD

One of the most affective ways to treat SAD is to use a light therapy box. SAD lamps, or SAD lights as they are called put out light that imitates natural sunlight. The idea is to sit within a foot or so of this source of light for 15 – 60 minutes depending on the intensity.

Intensities vary depending on the make, brand and model, but usually the output is measured in LUX, which is a light measurement. The ranges are usually 2,500 – 10,000, and many models have different settings.

Even doctors have been prescribing these devices for several years now and many patients report great results. The key is to start early in the season and continue your therapy. You’re not supposed to look directly at the light, but being within it’s glow will allow the source to enter in through the pupils and benefit brain waves.

It’s also important that you get on a routine and stay vigilant to it. Some people may report that using light therapy at night stimulates their brain too much, making it difficult for them to sleep. The best time may be in the morning.

Medical experts aren’t completely sure why light therapy works, but it may have something to do with low vitamin D levels and the fact that the sun’s light has many healthy benefits for our mood.

7. Supplements That May Help With Depression

Some supplements may be of great use to those with depression

Some supplements may be of great use to those with depression

The following supplements are inconclusive in their efficacy during key, clinical research studies, but they are worth giving some thought and everyone is a little bit different. You should however consult your doctor first before trying any of these to make sure that there will not be any complications with any medications that you might already be taking and to make sure that any conditions you might already have will not be affected.

GABA

Gamma -Aminobutyric acid or GABA for short is a chemical that is naturally made in the brain. However you can also take it in pill form to relieve stress and boost mood. It works by blocking certain neurotransmitters and could potentially help in quieting the mind.

SAMe

SAMe is produced by the body using a combination of an amino acid called methionine and an energy molecule known as adenosine triphosphate. It has been studied widely for it’s possible help in treating depression and osteoporosis, but evidence and research are not up to speed as they should be.

When compared to the benefits of anti-depressants, SAMe has not received the attention needed. To determine whether or not an anti-depressant may be affective in treating depression, 4 – 6 weeks are required for conclusion, where as SAMe has only received 3 weeks when comparing it to antidepressant medications.

L-Tyrosine

L-Tyrosine is a precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is commonly known as the “feel good” neurotransmitter. When taking L-Tyrosine on an empty stomach it can work much faster than antidepressant medication, but you should beware. It can increase blood pressure for people who deal with hypertension and may cause anxiety.

But for others it has the potential to combat depression and have a calming effect.

 

 

Antidepressant Medication: Finding The Right Fit

Antidepressant medications are SSRIs, which stands for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. The way Anti-depressant pills work is to increase the neurotransmitter called Serotonin by a cellular process. Serotonin is a monoamine neurotransmitter that is made biochemically through Tryptophan.

Serotonin is made naturally by the body, but a lower level of it is thought to be linked to depression. It is primarily made in the brain and the gastrointestinal tract, with about 80% of it coming from the gastrointestinal tract.

Serotonin is also responsible for mood, appetite, sleep, memory and sexual desire. Too low a level can affect these important components of human life. So antidepressant medication is supposed to help balance the right amount of Serotonin levels that the brain produces to restore normal, biological functions in the human brain and body.

What Are The Most Well Known Antidepressant Medications?

The most well-known SSRIs are as follows..

  • Sertraline also known as Zoloft
  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)

And there are many more. The first mentioned name is the actual name of the drug itself, while names such as Zoloft, Paxil and Prozac are brand names.

What Are The Side Effects Of SSRIs?

Antidepressant medication isn’t perfect and sometimes can cause a person to have certain side effects. The most common side effects of SSRIs can be as follows:

  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Dry Mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Low Sex Drive

In men antidepressant medication can cause erectile dysfunction and in women can reduce sex drive and make it difficult to reach orgasm.

Are Antidepressants Expensive?

Brand name forms of SSRIs can be expensive. Depending on whether you have health insurance or don’t – this is something that can affect the cost of medication designed to treat depression and anxiety.

Costs can range from $40 – $300 per month, depending on the product, what your insurance will cover and the dosage. The numbers presented here are a rough estimate, as you will need to do your own research.

Are Generic Versions Of Antidepressant Pills Available?

Yes, in most cases there are generic versions of SSRIs, which can be a lot cheaper and many times can yield the same benefits, although finding the right medication for you can be trial and error sometimes.

List Of Generic SSRI medications:

  • Citalopram
  • Desvenlaxafine
  • Fluoxetine
  • Mirtazapine
  • Paroxetine
  • Sertraline
  • Escitalopram
  • Duloxetine
  • Buproprion
  • Nefazodone

However it’s important to note that generic versions of these drugs must come at the request of your family practitioner.

Can I Switch Antidepressant Medication To See What Works Better?

Yes, you can, but you need to do so with the close advisory of your doctor. You may find that one antidepressant is not very affective for your situation, or may notice side effects that are not worth the trouble.

However, a doctor is important and necessary to be involved in the process, simply because they are expected to understand the pharmacological information tied to specific SSRIs.

This is of great benefit to you to make sure that there are no conflicts with other drugs you may be taking. It’s also important from the standpoint that your family doctor will be privy to your family medical history and your own, personal medical history.

Figuring out the right antidepressant can be a trial of error, but it’s a working process with your family doctor in working together to find the right fit. The good news is that once you do find a good medication to take, it can greatly help you in controlling anxiety, depression and making your day-to-day life a lot easier.

Is There Such A Thing As Withdrawal If I Stop Taking An Antidepressant?

Yes, although this may not be true for everyone. If you suddenly stop taking your medication then you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as..

  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Returning to an original state of depression

This process is sometimes referred to as antidepressant discontinuation syndrome, and runs a greater chance of taking effect if you have been taking SSRI medication for longer than a period of 6 weeks.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you were addicted to the drug in the first place however. In fact, if you are considering making the choice to get off of your antidepressant medication, it’s wise to consult with your doctor first so that you can monitor the process.

Your doctor may even have you reduce the dosage little-by-little to see what the effects will be.

 

 

 

 

How To Ease Depression Using Meditation

A study carried out by the Journal of the American Medical Association reviewed almost 18,000 previous studies on the effectiveness of meditation as a treatment option for depression. The conclusion was that although meditating isn’t a total treatment for depression it can be just as helpful as anti-depressant medication.

The art of meditation has been observed by many cultures for thousands of years. When one thinks of meditation they usually picture a Buddhist Monk sitting high atop a mountain peak with legs crossed, elbows resting on the knees; thumb and forefinger pinched together. However, many people around the world from all different backgrounds practice meditation.

The benefits of meditating include..

  • Focusing on the now and not being stressed about time
  • Developing a closer bond and understanding of yourself
  • Getting yourself to relax
  • Connecting with a positive place deep inside

Although prayer and meditation can carry the same, powerful energy, meditation is all about silencing the mind and putting oneself in a state of conscious awareness. Even many family doctors will recommend practicing meditation to relieve stress, anxiety and depression, because it’s free and can be quite pleasant.

Using Meditation To Treat Depression

Again, meditating isn’t a perfect cure, but when combined with SSRIs, exercises, a good diet and techniques for seasonal depression – it can be quite the powerful combination.

Here’s what to think about if you are interested in practicing mindful meditation

  • You need to schedule time for yourself. Just 15 minutes can do wonders for your body and mind.
  • Try to be consistent and make a commitment that you will meditate every day for 15 minutes.
  • The research conducted in the study mentioned earlier had several thousand participants meditate for up to 8 weeks and noticed a major change in mood.
  • Try to go somewhere quiet. If you can’t – consider noise canceling headphones.
  • Sit in a comfortable position. It can also help to wear clothing that is soft and light to the skin.
  • Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
  • Breath in deep through your nose and slowly exhale through your mouth. Try to keep your breathing even in tempo, both through the inhale and the exhale. Sometimes it helps to count your breathing.
  • Be aware of your physical body as a whole. Try to be conscious of how your fingers, hands, arms, shoulders, head, legs and feet feel. Feel them getting heavier and heavier until the tension is released and your aren’t reliant on these sensations anymore.

The first few times you attempt to meditate you will notice that your brain is running rampant with crazy thoughts. This is normal. By focusing on your breathing, that little voice in your head will start to disappear and you will eventually reach a state of pure silence and pleasant calm. This is the point of meditating; to release outside bonds.

Meditating takes practice, but gets easier with time. Don’t focus on asking questions, trying to discover a higher power or anything like that. The point of this kind of meditation is relaxation and quiet.

But Will Meditating Help With My Depression?

That cannot be answered blatantly by just saying yes. However, many times when a person comes out of a state of depression they feel that they have a new perspective on life around them. It’s very common to feel a loving state of calm and to feel suddenly uplifted. If you make a commitment to yourself to keep practicing this for the recommended 15 minutes a day, then you may get to experience this feeling more and more.

Set A Timer

Set a timer on your clock or cell phone for 15 minutes. The first time that you meditate you’ll probably be focused on when the timer is going to go off and you may feel a little impatient and think “this is taking too long”. This is normal, but after a few tries you will most likely be amazed at how quickly the 15 minutes flew by.

Because the process can be so pleasant and a person may want more of this feeling, many people choose to up the time and go with 30 minutes and sometimes more.

Is Meditation Dangerous?

No, and it’s certainly not hypnotherapy like we typically think of. In real hypnotherapy you are in control of yourself and can come to whenever you like. Meditation is much like this. It’s simply a point of relaxation to reach and you can pull out of it with no effort. It is extremely harmless.

One Final Tip

Some people may find that having ambient music helps them relax and to get into the right state. There are many CDs designed to be played at places like massage clinics. These should be perfect for relaxing if you’re interested.

 

 

Is There A Link Between Vitamin D And Depression?

Vitamin D is sometimes referred to as the Sunshine vitamin, because it can be absorbed and synthesized through the skin with proper sunlight. It also can be acquired through diet and taken in supplement form to promote healthy levels. The most important two types of this vitamin are D2 & D3. Despite popular belief, it is not an actual essential vitamin, because it can also be implemented through a healthy exposure to the sun. Any vitamin that is essential means that it can only be obtained and put into use through diet.

D is in charge of making the absorption of Zinc, Calcium, Phosphate, Magnesium and Iron possible.

Although the link between D and depression remains inconclusive, it has some very important health benefits.

First Consider The Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency

  • Muscle fatique
  • skeletal pain
  • Cognition issues with the elderly
  • Greater risk of cardiovascular disease

And some studies hint at the possibility that vitamin D may be helpful in preventing M.S., as well as type 1 & 2 diabetes. If you cannot consume milk, are a strict vegan or do not get enough natural sunlight then you can run the risk of vitamin d deficiency.

Does Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Depression?

Evidence is not conclusive, but some research does show a link between low vitamin D levels and depression. The issue is that it is uncertain whether or not a low level of D can cause depression or if having depression causes a low presence of D.

Research has however shown that it is very imperative to the basic functionality of both the body and the brain. In fact, many receptors in the brain do utilize this vitamin and a great number of these receptors are located in specific regions of the brain that have a direct link with depression.

A 2008 research that was carried out in Norway revealed that participants who had low traces of vitamin D in their blood stream had a stronger presence of depression and it’s symptoms. For more details please see https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/depression/.

It’s also been estimated that 1 in 4 people suffer from a deficiency of vitamin D. Part of the issue is that for many people around the world, getting an ample amount of sunlight is difficult. This is because for many, the Winter and Fall process can drag on for up to 6 months out of the year; making it more challenging to get enough sunlight.

Studies have shown promise in using light therapy throughout this time to improve mood and do away with Seasonal Depression. Whether there is a link between this and vitamin D is uncertain, but some sources have shown that getting more D3 can help.

One thing seems to be quite clear. If you already have depression, increasing the amount of D in your body does not seem to show any harm or side effects.

Best Food Sources Of Vitamin D

Although you can take D3 supplements there are also some organic food sources that promote healthy levels.

  • Fatty fishes
  • Cod liver oil (can be taken as a supplement)
  • Herring, Mackerel, Salmon, Tuna, Catfish, Sardines
  • Milk and Soymilk
  • White Mushrooms
  • Tofu
  • Vitamin D fortified orange juice
  • Fortified cereal
  • Eggs
  • Spinach
  • Shitake mushrooms

Not a whole lot of foods are good sources of D. You’ll find most of them that do relate to seafood, while other forms that you can buy in your local grocery store such as cereals, grains and juices are fortified with D. For vegans or anyone who is concerned that they cannot get enough of this vitamin, D supplements are a great solution. Sunshine is another thing to consider getting more of as well.