Low Vitamin D May Affect Your Mood, Memory and More

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Can getting adequate vitamin D prevent or reverse some mood and memory problems? The newest study, from the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis, suggests it may. In a study of 80 older healthy adults, half the group had mild cognitive impairment and half did not. The study found that in both groups, people with low blood levels of vitamin D were more likely to be diagnosed with poor mood (mild depressive symptoms such as lack of interest or indecisiveness) than people with adequate blood levels. And Vitamin D deficiency was also linked to poor performance on two tests designed to measure thinking skills like memory, judgment and problem-solving.  (Wilkins, CH et al: Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 2006; 14:1032-1040.)

More definitive research is needed, but for now, there are plenty of good reasons to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D, such as stronger bones, reduced risk for falls, and protection against the development of colon, breast and prostate cancers. Some 25% to 54% of all adults over age 60 are low in vitamin D. Those who get less sun year round, like those in northern climates, are most likely to be deficient. Bundling up and using sunscreen also reduce your body’s ability to use the sun to make vitamin D.

Current research suggests that 500 IU of vitamin D daily may be enough throughout the year, but during winter, some may need 700 IU of D daily.  If you’re concerned about not getting enough vitamin D, you can eat more fish and consume vitamin-D fortified foods, including milk. But supplements of vitamin D are the most reliable insurance, especially if you are not regularly exposed to sunlight.

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5 responses to “Low Vitamin D May Affect Your Mood, Memory and More”

  1. h miracle says:

    Vitamin D is more important than most people realize. I live in southern AZ, am outside a lot, and still was found to have a Vit D deficiency! Using sunscreen when in the sun blocks formation of Vitamin D. My doctor told me to getting 20 minutes of sun per week on a large area of your body (such as arms and legs) is all it takes to keep your D levels optimized – but don’t wear sunscreen while doing it.

  2. […] 6. Be happy: You’ve likely heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD. It’s the condition of feeling depressed and ‘blue’ during the darker winter months, and it’s thought that this is due to lack of the sunshine vitamin. Read up on how low vitamin D levels can impact your mood. […]

  3. […] Source http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/low-vitamin-d-may-affect-your-mood-memory-and-more […]

  4. […] 6. Be happy: You’ve likely heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD. It’s the condition of feeling depressed and ‘blue’ during the darker winter months, and it’s thought that this is due to lack of the sunshine vitamin. Read up on how low vitamin D levels can impact your mood. […]