Your Lack of Vitamin D is Making You S.A.D

Your Lack of Vitamin D is Making You S.A.D

Seasonal depression

As the days grow shorter and the sunlight becomes scarce, many of us may start to feel the winter blues, clinically known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). While there are various ways to combat this condition, one of the most effective yet often overlooked methods is through proper vitamin supplementation, particularly Vitamin D + K. Let’s talk about how effective supplementation and lifestyle modifications during the cold-weather months can help you combat SAD.

Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder is more than just a case of the winter blues. It’s a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons, beginning and ending at about the same times every year.

Symptoms typically start in the fall and continue into the winter months.

During these shorter days, many of us get less exposure to sunlight, leading to lower levels of Vitamin D. Because Vitamin D receptors are found in many parts of the brain, including areas linked to depression, this decrease can cause a myriad of problems, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.

Symptoms of SAD may include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Low energy and sluggishness
  • Sleep disruptions
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Feeling agitated or sluggish
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Frequent thoughts of death or suicide

Studies show that up to 45% of the world’s population has critically low Vitamin D levels, but 80% of Dr. Brooke’s Functional Medicine patients initially test deficient.

Vitamin D is integral in regulating mood and warding off depression. In people with SAD, Vitamin D supplementation has been found to improve mood by influencing the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects mood, appetite, and sleep.

Are you Taking the RIGHT Vitamin D Supplement?

While Vitamin D supplementation can be a game-changer for those suffering from SAD, it’s not without its caveats. One of the lesser-known risks of Vitamin D supplementation is its potential to contribute to arterial calcification if taken in high doses without adequate Vitamin K.

Vitamin D facilitates calcium absorption in the gut, which is essential for bone health. However, without the balancing effect of Vitamin K, this calcium can deposit in the arteries rather than in the bones, leading to arterial calcification. This condition can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Vitamin K helps to regulate the use of calcium in the body.

It activates proteins that help bind calcium to the bones and teeth and prevents it from being deposited in the arteries. Thus, taking Vitamin K alongside Vitamin D ensures that the absorbed calcium is used effectively and safely.

Recommendations for Safe Vitamin D Supplementation

1. Get Your Levels Checked: Before starting any supplement regimen, it’s advisable to get your Vitamin D levels checked by your PC or a Functional Medicine practitioner. This will help in determining the right dosage for you.

2. Opt for D3 with K2: When choosing a supplement, look for Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). It’s more effective than D2 (ergocalciferol) in raising blood levels of Vitamin D. Also, ensure it includes Vitamin K2, which is more effective than K1 in preventing arterial calcification. 

Visit our FullScript Store to purchase the ideal Vitamin D + K supplement. 

3. Monitor Your Intake: Avoid excessive doses of Vitamin D. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for most adults is 600-800 IU/day, but your doctor may recommend a higher dose if you are deficient.

4. Consider Diet and Lifestyle Changes: Alongside supplementation, try to get natural sunlight exposure whenever possible. Include Vitamin D-rich foods in your diet, such as fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified foods. Don’t forget foods high in Vitamin K, like green leafy vegetables, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

5. Regular Health Check-ups: Regular check-ups with your healthcare provider are essential, especially if you are on a high-dose Vitamin D supplement.

6. UV Light – Add a mood lamp or UV lamp to your desk or personal space. 

Vitamin D supplementation can be a powerful tool in combating SAD, it’s essential to do so responsibly. Balancing Vitamin D with Vitamin K is crucial to ensure that the benefits of supplementation are maximized without compromising arterial health. 

Remember, supplements are just one part of a holistic approach to health. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sunlight exposure are equally important in maintaining overall well-being, especially during the darker months of the year.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or for use in diagnosis or treatment.