Summer has arrived and we are all enjoying the first rays of sunshine. Whether at the park, on the beach, or at home in the garden, getting some sun is fun. Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) have meanwhile discovered a link between Vitamin D known as the “sunshine vitamin” and depression.
Over a period of 4 weeks, David Kerr’s team measured both depressive symptoms and vitamin D in 185 healthy women. They discovered that vitamin D insufficiency was indeed associated with depressive symptoms and that this association can vary, depending on season.
The findings proved an association between low levels of vitamin D and clinically meaningful depressive symptoms. The researchers explained the differences in values between the seasons with higher and lower levels of vitamin D, which vary according to the time of year. After all, vitamin D production is dependent on the strength of UV-B radiation, which is stronger or weaker from one season to the next.
According to Christina Lorenz, President of the European Sunlight Association: Sun is life and we need the power of UV rays to produce vitamin D, for example. This study provides additional confirmation of the importance of vitamin D sufficiency.
Source: Kerr et al. (March 2015) Associations between vitamin D levels and depressive symptoms in healthy young adult women, Psychiatry Res. 2015 May 30;227(1):46-51.