Making sure you’re getting enough sunlight exposure to have healthy Vitamin D levels is a crucial factor in treating depression or keeping it at bay. One previous study found that people with the lowest levels of Vitamin D were 11 times more prone to being depressed than those who had normal levels. Vitamin D deficiency is actually more the norm than the exception, and has previously been implicated in both psychiatric and neurological disorders.
Vitamin D receptors have been identified throughout the human body, and that includes in your brain. Researchers have located metabolic pathways for Vitamin D in the hippocampus and cerebellum of the brain, areas that are involved in planning, processing of information, and the formation of new memories.
Sufficient Vitamin D is also imperative for proper functioning of your immune system to combat inflammation, and other research has discovered that depressed people tend to have higher levels of inflammation in their brains.
Vitamin D is paramount to optimal thyroid function, and depression is a well-known symptom of low thyroid function. Be sure to ask your doctor to check your “25-OH vitamin D” level (NOT “1,25-OH vitamin D” level). Although normal range is 30 to 100, studies have shown that people with levels in the 70-80 range have the lowest incidence of flus/colds, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and diabetes. Levels should be monitored periodically since vitamin D is one of the few vitamins that can reach toxic levels, and of course, you want to make sure you are never deficient in vitamin D.