Your Vitamin D Status Affects Your Mood, Recent Research Says

Given these findings, it’s no surprise that a significant volume of research has looked into the link between vitamin D status (how low or high your vitamin D levels are in the blood) and mental well-being. A 2020 review highlights that numerous studies have identified that individuals with mood concerns often have lower vitamin D levels. Back in 2010, another paper called for more research on the use of vitamin D supplementation specifically for supporting our emotional health, calling it a “simple and cost-effective solution for many” with mood concerns.*

And though there’s still some understanding to gain about all of the exact mechanisms that connect vitamin D and mental well-being, more recent findings propose that the sunshine vitamin’s role in the regulation of melatonin and serotonin, two hormones crucial for mood, is certainly part of it.* Preclinical research also reveals that vitamin D helps buffer the brain from oxidative stress and inflammatory pathways (e.g., cytokines).*

Now, a new systematic review of 15 studies published in the peer-reviewed journal Clinics furthers the case for the importance of vitamin D in mental well-being, calling out that a breadth of research shows consistent links between the fat-soluble nutrient and overall mood and feelings of anxiousness.* According to the researchers, current evidence gives us good reason to believe that increasing circulating vitamin D levels can have a notable impact on mood health, particularly in young people.* They also call out that having a vitamin D status of lower than 20 ng/ml (which is considered clinical deficiency, i.e., the situation for approximately one-third of American adults!) contributes to the risk of suboptimal mental well-being.

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