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Study: Low Vitamin D Leads to Depression, Chronic Pain

Elizabeth Renter
January 28th, 2014
Updated 05/06/2014 at 10:08 pm
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sunshine vitamin d 263x164 Study: Low Vitamin D Leads to Depression, Chronic PainJust in case you need another reason to pine for sunny days, new research from Loyola University in Chicago reveals once again that low vitamin D levels could lead to depression, chronic pain, and other symptoms. The study only adds to the growing body of research indicating the wide-reaching effects of the sunshine vitamin.

The study was aimed at exploring the link between depression and pain that is associated with diabetes and vitamin D deficiency. The researchers looked at the effects of vitamin D2 supplementation on depressed women. Their symptoms were analyzed over a period of six months, during which time they took a weekly dose of 50,000 IU of vitamin D2.

Initially, 74 percent complained of numbness in the hands and another 61 percent complained of pain in their legs and feet. But only three months into the study, these symptoms improved.

“Pain is a common and often serious problem for women with type 2 diabetes and depression,” said one of the lead researchers, Tom Doyle of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Loyola. “While further research is needed, D2 supplementation is a promising treatment for both pain and depression in type 2 diabetes.”

Though the study looked specifically at D2 supplementation, vitamin D2 is actually seen as an inferior product to D3, according to many sources. Further, the vitamin D synthesized from sunlight exposure is the best way to get it.

Read: Vitamin D Benefits

This isn’t the first study to link vitamin D and depression. One, in 2006, found that elderly people with lower levels of vitamin D were 11 times more likely to be depressed than those with healthy levels of the sunshine vitamin in their body.

Other studies have linked vitamin D to the treatment of anxiety and schizophrenia.

It’s been suggested that vitamin D may be directly related to the regulation of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory benefits could play a role in fighting depression.

We know that a sunny day does good things to our mood, but this research indicates it could be more than just the bright light and warmer conditions that are influencing our sunny disposition—the increased vitamin D could be having a significant impact on our nervous system as a whole.

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  • marinus berghuis

    I have been aware of the vitamin D and how we get it for many years.
    How do you change people’s habits when they are indoctrinated from day one to cover up. I now live in Tonga, super religious and always dressed with only the hands and faces showing. They even use umbrella’s to keep the sun off their heads.
    50% of the people are diabetic and when I tell them to expose their bodies to the sun for 20 minutes every day and NOT to shower for some 4 hours after, they think I am nuts. However the hospital is crammed full every day and so called health units all over the place for a population of 105000.. TV discussions every day about playing sport and the medical mafia telling them to check up all the time without telling them to get under they eye of KING SOL that would cure them without pills.
    So how about educating doctors so they can inform their patients.

    Ren Berghuis

    • John Cook

      It’s so sad what the Christian missionaries did to the people of Tonga (and much of the pacific). I’m glad you are there to spread better information Ren.