Unlike resveratrol, Vitamin D did claim a spot on my Desert Island Supplement List this year, thanks to a constant flow of research supporting its sheer range of benefits—from fighting cancer to protecting bones to improving heart health. And more studies seem to come out in favor of this essential nutrient every day. Like a new one showing vitamin D may be the simplest, safest way to combat depression.
Researchers studied 185 women over a one-month period and found they could use the women’s vitamin D levels to predict depression. Around one-third of the women studied had symptoms of depression, and around half had low levels of vitamin D.
After accounting for factors like body mass index (BMI), diet, exercise, and time spent outside (remember, you get vitamin D from the sun), researchers were able to make a clear connection between vitamin D3 insufficiency and depressive symptoms.
But perhaps the best part of this study? The researchers said “Given the lifespan health risks associated with insufficiency, supplementation is warranted whether or not the modest role of vitamin D in depression observed here generalizes more broadly.”
In other words, vitamin D deficiency is so common—and poses so many other risks—everyone should be supplementing with it, whether or not you suffer from depression.
I couldn’t agree more. Which is why I recommend at least 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day.
P.S. If you want to check out my complete Desert Island Supplement list, refer back to the January issue of Logical Health Alternatives. Subscribers can access this issue—and the complete archive—by visiting www.drpescatore.com and logging in to with your username and password.
“Associations between vitamin D levels and depressive symptoms in healthy young adult women.” Psychiatry Res, epub ahead of print 3/5/15