Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is one of the most important vitamins for your body. Unlike other vitamins that are found in food, it can only be absorbed by the human body via sunlight or through dietary supplements. The importance of maintaining a regular intake of vitamin D is essential for many reasons: heart health, healthy bone growth, and also mental health and well-being.
Vitamin D Basics
The vitamin best known for building bones is not limited to this one function. In fact, it is essential for maintaining your overall body and brain health. Optimal levels of vitamin D in your body can help boost your mood and improve your overall brain functions, while improving your well-being in general. The vitamin is involved in the healthy regulation of as many as 900 human genes.
Vitamin D Deficiency
People who do not have the optimal levels of vitamin D in their body are prone to certain cancers while also being highly affected by mood disorders and depression. There has been a strong link found between mood disorders and depression and the deficiency of vitamin D. It has been found that vitamin D tends to increase the level of serotonin in the body, the mood boosting neurotransmitter. This is perhaps the reason that the people with a deficiency of vitamin D in their body are often the victims of mood disorders and depression.
Recommended Daily Dose of Vitamin D
The current recommended daily dose of vitamin D is 400 IU. However, experts suggest that it is well below the actual physiological needs of this vitamin in most individuals. It is suggested that adults should take at least 2000 IU of vitamin D on a daily basis. It is also recommended that you undergo vitamin D blood test every 6 months to know where you stand.
Where to Get Vitamin D?
The best source of vitamin D is sunlight. Direct exposure to sunlight for 10-30 minutes can boost vitamin D levels in your blood. In case you are not exposed to sunlight on a daily basis, consider buying a vitamin D lamp for your home or work to ensure you do not face a deficiency of the much-needed vitamin.
If you are highly deficient in vitamin D, you should consult with your doctor and start taking a vitamin D supplement. Your health care consultant will advise you about the dose you need. You should start taking the supplements right away if you want to steer clear of the problems lack of vitamin D can pose to your body and mind.
Other Mood Boosting Vitamins
In addition to vitamin D, some other vitamins are found to help boost the mood. Omega-3 fatty acids, tryptophan, folate, magnesium, and B vitamins are found to help boost your mood. Chocolate and low glycemic foods are also mood boosters.
If you are always in a bad mood, consider getting your vitamin D levels checked to make sure you are not deficient