As you may know, vitamin D is one of the essential nutrients that our body needs to stay physically healthy and strong. Well, recent research shows that this "sunshine vitamin" might also be important for our mental health — especially as we age.
A December 2018 study published in The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine found that a vitamin D deficiency was linked to an increased risk of depression for older adults. Researchers analyzed nearly 4,000 adults aged 50 years or older to find out their vitamin D status as well as their risk of developing depression over a four-year follow-up period.
The results were striking, to say the least. Researchers found that vitamin D deficiency was associated with a whopping 75 percent increase in risk of developing depression in four years' time. Even when the researchers excluded participants who were on anti-depressant medication and vitamin D supplementation, the findings didn't change much.
So why does vitamin D deficiency have such a strong link to increased risk of depression? Researchers think that vitamin D may potentially have a direct effect on a person's brain. Considering that the brain can change quite a bit for someone who develops depression later in life, researchers suggest that vitamin D might have a protective effect in reducing such changes.
If you're concerned that you or someone you love is low in vitamin D, it might be worth your time to learn some common signs of vitamin D deficiency. If some or all of those symptoms apply to you or one of your loved ones, talk to a trusted doctor about options for treatment. A health professional may recommend supplements or possibly eating more foods high in vitamin D, such as salmon, eggs, and healthy cheese.
You deserve to be happy and healthy, especially as you approach your golden years.
Next, learn about some of the tastiest superfoods that can help you live longer in the video below: