Sun­light, vi­ta­min D and de­pres­sion

Tempo - - Editorial - Marilyn C. Aray­ata

“EVEN the dark­est night will end and the sun will rise” (Vic­tor Hugo). Af­ter two ty­phoons, who does not have a re­newed ap­pre­ci­a­tion of sun­light? The over-all at­mos­phere be­comes bright, thus af­fect­ing our mood. Ex­po­sure to sun­light re­port­edly helps the brain pro­duce more sero­tonin, a nat­u­ral anti-de­pres­sant. Sun­light, as we were all taught, is a source of Vi­ta­min D which is needed for de­vel­op­ment of bones and mus­cles.

One study found that Vi­ta­min D de­fi­ciency is associated with de­pres­sion. This is why a pub­lic health ad­vice for Eng­land rec­om­mends Vi­ta­min D sup­ple­ments dur­ing au­tumn and win­ter months. (The dosage de­pends on age and other fac­tors, so a doc­tor must be con­sulted.)

Si­mon Sped­ding’s claim is in har­mony with this: “The as­so­ci­a­tion be­tween de­pres­sive dis­or­ders and Vi­ta­min D de­fi­ciency from a lack of sun ex­po­sure is well es­tab­lished and was first noted two thou­sand years ago, there­fore we con­sid­ered the ev­i­dence for the ef­fec­tive­ness of Vi­ta­min D sup­ple­men­ta­tion. Vi­ta­min D is a unique sec­os­teroid hor­mone formed mainly by pho­to­syn­the­sis, so an in­door life­style and sun-avoid­ance leads to de­fi­ciency….” (US Na­tional Cen­ter for Biotech­nol­ogy In­for­ma­tion)

Har­vard’s School of Pub­lic Health says, “Be­ing ‘D-fi­cient’ may in­crease the risk of a host of chronic dis­eases, such as os­teo­poro­sis, heart dis­ease, some can­cers, and mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis, as well as in­fec­tious dis­eases, such as tu­ber­cu­lo­sis and even the sea­sonal flu”. Be­ing af­flicted with any of these dis­eases – be­sides be­ing a real med­i­cal prob­lem af­fect­ing all as­pects of life – is also a risk to de­vel­op­ing de­pres­sion, so bask in the sun – but avoid too much ex­po­sure, es­pe­cially be­tween 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

*** Like and share this col­umn to inspire and equip more peo­ple!

Marilyn Aray­ata: in­spi­ra­tional au­thor, colum­nist, speaker, and for­mer DLSU-D fac­ulty, your part­ner in pre­vent­ing bul­ly­ing, de­pres­sion, and sui­cide. E-mail mcaray­ Like the Hope Boost­ers Face­book Page for nuggets of hope and in­spi­ra­tion.

Al­ways read TEMPO for ar­ti­cles that in­form, inspire, and equip!

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