Vitamin D3 for Seasonal Affective Disorder

by on October 9, 2010
in Vitamins

We all know that energized feeling from being exposed to bright sunlight and that depressed feeling on rainy days. The winter in many parts of the world presents a mental and physical challenge for some of its inhabitants. An estimated five to ten percent of the population suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is characterized by extreme fatigue, overeating especially of sugary foods and mental depression.

Vitamin D is called the “Sunshine Vitamin” since exposure of the skin to sunlight is required for its synthesis in the body. There is evidence that low Vitamin D3 levels in the winter may in part be responsible for SAD. Therefore, Vitamin D3 supplementation may be useful in fighting SAD.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

Seasonal Affective Disorder is characterized by:

  • debilitating fatigue
  • overeating
  • craving for starchy and sugary foods
  • weight gain
  • depression
  • symptoms start in the fall and resolve in the spring
  • 75% of sufferers are women

Recommended Vitamin D3 Supplement

What Causes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

Individuals with SAD typically have low levels of a key substance that regulates mood called serotonin.

People with chronic depression are also low in this substance.

Often the SAD sufferer is prescribed the same medications given to those with depression like Prozac.

These medications work by increasing available serotonin levels.

There is some suggestion that Vitamin D3 supplementation can increase serotonin levels without the side effects of antidepressant prescription drugs and with many other health benefits.

How Should I Supplement with Vitamin D3 for SAD?

  • take only the D3 form of the vitamin and NOT the D2 form
  • start taking in early fall
  • take 1000 mg in the morning with breakfast and 1000 mg with dinner
  • take with some form of fat like eggs, milk, etc.
  • get blood level of vitamin D3 tested to determine if regimen is adequate

Get Your Blood Levels of Vitamin D3 Tested

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Information published on this site is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as medical advice. You should first consult with your physician or other health care providers knowledgeable about your medial history prior to taking any supplements or following any suggestions possibly affecting your health from this site.