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This Important ‘Vitamin’ is Actually a Hormone That Reduces Depression

Posted Aug 14 2013 7:45am

By Patricia Worby

The more we learn about Vitamin D the more important it seems to be; not only is it a profound anti-cancer molecule,  it’s also a natural anti-depressant and immune system stimulator which may help to prevent MS and diabetes.  In this three-part series we explore the importance of this vital nutrient and learn about the dangerous health risks to people that don’t get enough of it.

In my first blog I looked at sources of Vitamin D and its anti-cancer properties. We all know that sunshine makes us feel good and there is good reason for this as the brain and skin produce melatonin and serotonin that induce a feeling of well-being and alertness in response to sunlight . We also know that when the days are shorter and sunlight is in small supply, winter depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can affect us. Broad spectrum lamps have been shown to be effective in relieving the symptoms of SAD. Unfortunately this light does not stimulate vitamin D production in the skin.

Various studies have shown that supplementing with high-dose Vitamin D (up to 4000 IU) increases well-being and decreases depression. The fact that supplements normally combine Vitamin D3 with omega-3 oil means that you get the benefit of both. One caution to keep in mind, as with all vitamin and mineral supplements, it’s a good idea to get your levels tested by a doctor or nutritionist to avoid improper dosage.

Along with many other types of cell in the body, the immune system has been discovered to have the ability to make calcitriol, the activated form of vitamin D, suggesting that exposure to solar radiation may have a role in preventing and treating autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, D hormone receptors on the red and white blood cells get confused when they don’t have enough D, and they start attacking our body by mistake.  All of the autoimmune diseases: multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and ulcer­a­tive colitis, are related to low D hormone.

As was mentioned in Part 1 of this series, vitamin D may be a powerful anti-cancer agent; as our white blood cells travel through our bod­ies while we sleep at night, they seek out and attack can­cer cells. The occurrence of breast, colon and prostate can­cer are believed to be related to low D levels. Women with breast can­cer who are advised against taking hormones (referring to estrogen) would still benefit from taking vitamin D, as the proper levels will help the body’s own immune system fight cancer.

Even type-2 or non-insulin-dependent diabetics may benefit from higher vitamin D levels as it may help prevent the vascular complications (poor circulation in the feet and macular degeneration of the eyes) commonly associated with diabetes.

A recent study in the UK showed an alarmingly high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency during winter and spring: 87.1% of the subjects had a deficiency. These studies have been repeated in other countries where similar deficiencies have been found to the point where the world’s leading expert on Vitamin D, Michael Holick has claimed ‘vitamin D deficiency is our most common health challenge globally.’

So what actions can we take to make sure we’re in control of our Vitamin D levels? STAY TUNED for the third part of this three-part series to find out!

I am a holistic therapist based in Southampton, UK, using the principles of naturopathic medicine to treat chronic conditions such as chronic fatigue/ME, anxiety, depression, hormonal imbalance, insomnia and chronic pain. I am a passionate believer in treating the cause of disease not just the symptoms; usually a combination of nutritional deficiency, toxicity and unresolved emotional trauma. I offer treatment packages which include nutritional medicine, hypnotherapy, massage and EFT to transform your life. Contact me: +442380321766, Skype: patricia.worby

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