Hide this

The Depressing Truth About Vitamin D Deficiency

December 30, 2006 | 50,607 views
Share This Article Share

Scientists evaluated the effects of vitamin D on the mental health of 80 elderly patients, half of whom were stricken with a mild case of Alzheimer's disease and the rest of whom had no problems with dementia.

The patients were evaluated using a battery of standard tests. Those with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who received healthy doses. Moreover, 58 percent of patients had abnormally lower vitamin D levels than the mean.

Vitamin D deficiency is common in older adults, and has previously been implicated in both psychiatric and neurological disorders.

If you remain skeptical at all about the beneficial effects vitamin D has on your body, here's a study that shows dramatically what happens to seniors when they avoid getting a healthy dose of sunshine every day.

Getting your vitamin D naturally from safe sunshine exposure is the best way to go, as it works just like a drug to treat all kinds of conditions apart from depression. The LA Times recently called it the ultimate "wonder drug."

Diseases that vitamin D positively influences include:

Vitamin D can also strengthen bones and the immune system, provide pain relief, and prevent schizophrenia. It's truly an amazing chemical; it's actually a hormone rather than, strictly speaking, a vitamin, and the most powerful hormone in your body at that, active in quantities as small as 1/1,000,000,000,000 of a gram.

If you choose to boost your intake of vitamin D in the winter with cod liver oil or any other supplement, however, please be sure to have your blood regularly monitored to ensure you don't overdose.

Vital Votes reader Tom from Grandview, Ohio shares the following story:

"Vitamin D is very important, and sun exposure is indeed the best source. A  good dose of sunshine without use of toxic sunscreen is the best thing for your skin. I do take cod liver oil daily (even in the summer), and I supplement with all the essential vitamins and minerals, as well as many herbal supplements.

"Although I am fair-skinned, and used to get sunburned easily, I no longer experience sunburn, and I have not used a sun-block in over two years. Even after longer than recommended sun exposure I am seemingly unaffected by the sun's damaging rays. Supplementation has made my skin healthier, more supple, and much more resistant to abrasions. Skin injuries heal faster, as well.

"I knew my skin had become healthier, so I put it to the test this year.  Last May, my wife and I vacationed 2 weeks on the equator. I used no sunscreen, spending a great deal of time outdoors during peak solar hours, and I did not burn at all. I tanned slightly, and never experienced sunburn.

"I did not lay out in the sun, as I do not believe that to be wise, but I swam, walked, and played in the sun with no ill effects. Had I done this two years ago, I would have burnt to a crisp. I am a 59 year old builder, and am outside a great deal, so sun exposure is nothing new to me. My sun tolerance ability has improved tremendously.

"Proper diet, good supplementation, and moderate exercise helps in so many ways. This is but one example of their effectiveness."

Other responses to this article can be viewed at Vital Votes, and you can add your own thoughts or vote on comments by first registering at Vital Votes.

How Vitamin D Performance Testing Can Help Optimize Your Health

A robust and growing body of research clearly shows that vitamin D is absolutely critical for good health and disease prevention. Vitamin D affects your DNA through vitamin D receptors (VDRs), which bind to specific locations of the human genome. Scientists have identified nearly 3,000 genes that are influenced by vitamin D levels, and vitamin D receptors have been found throughout the human body.

Is it any wonder then that no matter what disease or condition is investigated, vitamin D appears to play a crucial role? This is why I am so excited about the D*Action Project by GrassrootsHealth. Dr. Heaney is the research director of GrassrootsHealth and is part of the design of the D*action Project as well as analysis of the research findings. GrassrootsHealth shows how you can take action today on known science with a consensus of experts without waiting for institutional lethargy. It has shown how by combining the science of measurement (of vitamin D levels) with the personal choice of taking action and, the value of education about individual measures that one can truly be in charge of their own health.

In order to spread this health movement to more communities, the project needs your involvement. This was an ongoing campaign during the month of February, and will become an annual event.

To participate, simply purchase the D*Action Measurement Kit and follow the registration instructions included. (Please note that 100 percent of the proceeds from the kits go to fund the research project. I do not charge a single dime as a distributor of the test kits.)

As a participant, you agree to test your vitamin D levels twice a year during a five-year study, and share your health status to demonstrate the public health impact of this nutrient. There is a $65 fee every six months for your sponsorship of this research project, which includes a test kit to be used at home, and electronic reports on your ongoing progress. You will get a follow up email every six months reminding you "it's time for your next test and health survey."

Vitamin D Kit
Order button

Where Do We Go From Here?

GrassrootsHealth is now undertaking a new project entitled the Protect our Children NOW! (POC) project. The aim of this project is to acquire participation of at least 500 pregnant women in a community, and to increase their serum levels to the suggested level of at least 40 ng/ml based on the clinical trial by Hollis & Wagner.  In addition, the project will take these results in 2 years and 'march' on the various institutions in the state/government/to the March of Dimes, to demand that action be taken to protect the world's next generation.

Among other items, the projects expected impact is likely to be a reduction in preterm births,(in some cases up to a 50% reduction). The project already has the blessing of the scientists, the physicians at the Medical University of South Carolina (which are implementing it in their practices) and even the insurance company. Any community can implement this and make a difference for themselves and others. For further information contact Jen Aliano, Project Manager, at jen@grassrootshealth.org.

Thank you! Your purchases help us support these charities and organizations.

Food Democracy Now
Mercury Free Dentistry
Fluoride Action Network
National Vaccine Information Center
Institute for Responsible Technology
Organic Consumers Association
Center for Nutrtion Advocacy
Cornucopia Institute
Vitamin D Council
GrassrootsHealth - Vitamin D*action
Alliance for Natural Health USA
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation
The Rabies Challenge Fund
Cropped Catis Mexico