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Vitamin deficiency causes depression: Is Nutritional Deficiency Causing Your Depression? — Beata Lewis MD


Is Nutritional Deficiency Causing Your Depression? — Beata Lewis MD

While the sun is allows us to make Vitamin D in our skin, concerns about skin exposure to sun usually require that we get vitamin D from other sources. Fish like salmon, herring, and sardines have reasonable levels of Vitamin D as well as vegetarian sources like egg yolks and mushrooms. In general vitamin D may need to be take as a supplement though as it is hard to stay at sufficient levels with sun and food alone.

2- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: There’s a good reason why you hear health and nutrient experts advocate for increased consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids. They are essential for healthy brain cell functioning and the reduction of inflammation, and work by preventing trans fats from entering your neural system.

Foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, herring or mackerel, oysters, egg yolks, flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts. Algae is another option for vegetarians and vegans and can be found in supplement form. In general our bodies can use the animal sources of omega 3s more easily than the vegetarian sources.

3- Folate: While you’ve likely heard of folic acid, you might be less familiar with folate. Both are forms of vitamin B9. Folate is the natural form and easier for humans to use than the synthetic folic acid. Along with other B vitamins, folate helps to clear homocysteine–a byproduct found in the bloodstream and associated with cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and other conditions. Folate also works to support serotonin production.

Beans, peas, lentils and leafy greens such as spinach, kale and arugula are great sources of folate.

4- B Vitamins: Lack of B vitamins can have a significant influence on your overall psychological wellbeing. Vitamins B6 and B12 have been proven to boost skin and nail health, reduce stroke risk and support mental health function. According to one study, more than a quarter of severely depressed women were found to be deficient in B12.

Proteins such as fish, poultry, red meat, and eggs, as well as whole grains, legumes and bananas are rich in B vitamins. B12 can only be obtained from animal based sources, so vegetarians need to be particularly mindful of monitoring their B12 levels and supplementing B12.

5- Magnesium: Essential in over 600 metabolic functions, magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body. It is vital to brain functions such as stress response, recovery and repair. It is only second to iron as the most common nutritional deficiency in developed countries.

Dietary sources of magnesium include whole grains, nuts, leafy green vegetables and dark chocolate. However, much of our soil has been depleted of magnesium making it increasingly difficult to achieve a sufficient level through diet alone and supplements may be a way to guarantee adequate intake.

6- Zinc: Another mineral, zinc is essential to regulating the brain and body’s response to stress. With the highest concentration of zinc in our body’s found in the brain, it is central to healthy brain function. Not only is it is responsible for activating your central and peripheral nervous system, but it is also required for neurotransmitter, enzymatic and hormonal processes. In addition to depression, zinc deficiency has been linked to anxiety, schizophrenia and eating disorders.

Common sources of zinc include meat, poultry, oysters, spinach, pumpkin seeds, raisins and dark chocolate.

7- Iron: Iron is critical to all bodily functions as it carries oxygen throughout the bloodstream.  It is also the most prevalent nutritional deficiency in developed countries, and is more common in women than men. Symptoms of iron deficiency can present as similar to those of depression, such as mental and physical fatigue, low mood and irritability. Low levels of iron may also trigger panic symptoms resulting in a panic attack.

Iron-rich foods include shellfish eggs, beans, red meat, organ meats such as liver,  spinach and broccoli. If you have fatigue or emotional symptoms it is important to get your blood checked for blood counts, iron levels and ferritin level and if you are anemic, then to follow up the supplementation with another test to make sure that the anemia is resolving.

Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust

Some mental health problems, particularly types of depression, have been linked to vitamin and nutritional deficiencies. However, even if you eat regularly and have a balanced diet you may still be affected. The B-complex vitamins, for example, are essential to mental and emotional well-being. They cannot be stored in our bodies, so we depend entirely on our daily diet to supply them. B vitamins are destroyed by alcohol, refined sugars, nicotine, and caffeine which is why people may be deficient in these. 

Here are some examples of B-complex vitamins:

Vitamin B1 (thiamine): The brain uses this vitamin to help convert glucose or blood sugar into fuel, and without it the brain rapidly runs out of energy. This can lead to fatigue, depression, irritability and anxiety. Deficiencies can also cause memory problems, loss of appetite, insomnia, and gastrointestinal disorders. The consumption of refined carbohydrates, such as simple sugars, drains the body’s B1 supply.

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): Symptoms of deficiency are fatigue, chronic stress, and depression.

Vitamin B12: Because vitamin B12 is important to red blood cell formation, deficiency leads to an oxygen-transport problem known as pernicious anaemia. This disorder can cause mood swings, paranoia, irritability, confusion, dementia, hallucinations, or mania, eventually followed by appetite loss, dizziness, weakness, shortage of breath, heart palpitations, diarrhoea, and tingling sensations in the extremities. Deficiencies take a long time to develop, since the body stores a three- to five-year supply in the liver. Older people are more prone to B12 deficiencies.

Folate: Low levels of Folate have been associated with depression

As well as vitamin deficiencies mental health problems can be associated with low levels of some minerals.

How do I correct a nutritional imbalance?

If you are worried that you may have a serious nutritional problem you should make an appointment to discuss it with your GP. Otherwise there are some things you can do to help yourself.

  • Reduce or eliminate, alcohol, nicotine, refined sugars or caffeine as much as possible.
  • Eat a balanced diet including plenty of fresh green vegetables (especially the brassica family – broccoli, cabbage, sprouts etc) and oils (such as those found in oily fish) can be helpful.
  • Taking vitamin supplements (B complex tablets) can be helpful, but make sure you get good professional advice first. Don’t take any of the B vitamins on their own – always take a B complex tablet (with B12, B5 and folate)! If you are not sure what to take it’s best to get advice.

Nutritional deficiencies do not disappear overnight, but adopting some of these strategies will help set you on the right course to help your recovery.

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What Is Depression?


Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home.

Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:

  • Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Loss of energy or increased fatigue
  • Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., inability to sit still, pacing, handwringing) or slowed movements or speech (these actions must be severe enough to be observable by others)
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Symptoms must last at least two weeks and must represent a change in your previous level of functioning for a diagnosis of depression.

Also, medical conditions (e.g., thyroid problems, a brain tumor or vitamin deficiency) can mimic symptoms of depression so it is important to rule out general medical causes.

Depression affects an estimated one in 15 adults (6.7%) in any given year. And one in six people (16.6%) will experience depression at some time in their life. Depression can occur at any time, but on average, first appears during the late teens to mid-20s. Women are more likely than men to experience depression. Some studies show that one-third of women will experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime. There is a high degree of heritability (approximately 40%) when first-degree relatives (parents/children/siblings) have depression.

Depression Is Different From Sadness or Grief/Bereavement

The death of a loved one, loss of a job or the ending of a relationship are difficult experiences for a person to endure. It is normal for feelings of sadness or grief to develop in response to such situations. Those experiencing loss often might describe themselves as being “depressed.”

But being sad is not the same as having depression. The grieving process is natural and unique to each individual and shares some of the same features of depression. Both grief and depression may involve intense sadness and withdrawal from usual activities. They are also different in important ways:

  • In grief, painful feelings come in waves, often intermixed with positive memories of the deceased. In major depression, mood and/or interest (pleasure) are decreased for most of two weeks.
  • In grief, self-esteem is usually maintained. In major depression, feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing are common.
  • In grief, thoughts of death may surface when thinking of or fantasizing about “joining” the deceased loved one. In major depression, thoughts are focused on ending one’s life due to feeling worthless or undeserving of living or being unable to cope with the pain of depression.

Grief and depression can co-exist For some people, the death of a loved one, losing a job or being a victim of a physical assault or a major disaster can lead to depression. When grief and depression co-occur, the grief is more severe and lasts longer than grief without depression. 

Distinguishing between grief and depression is important and can assist people in getting the help, support or treatment they need.

Risk Factors for Depression

Depression can affect anyone—even a person who appears to live in relatively ideal circumstances.

Several factors can play a role in depression:

  • Biochemistry: Differences in certain chemicals in the brain may contribute to symptoms of depression.
  • Genetics: Depression can run in families. For example, if one identical twin has depression, the other has a 70 percent chance of having the illness sometime in life.
  • Personality: People with low self-esteem, who are easily overwhelmed by stress, or who are generally pessimistic appear to be more likely to experience depression.
  • Environmental factors: Continuous exposure to violence, neglect, abuse or poverty may make some people more vulnerable to depression.

How Is Depression Treated?

Depression is among the most treatable of mental disorders. Between 80% and 90% percent of people with depression eventually respond well to treatment. Almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms.

Before a diagnosis or treatment, a health professional should conduct a thorough diagnostic evaluation, including an interview and a physical examination. In some cases, a blood test might be done to make sure the depression is not due to a medical condition like a thyroid problem or a vitamin deficiency (reversing the medical cause would alleviate the depression-like symptoms). The evaluation will identify specific symptoms and explore medical and family histories as well as cultural and environmental factors with the goal of arriving at a diagnosis and planning a course of action.

Medication: Brain chemistry may contribute to an individual’s depression and may factor into their treatment. For this reason, antidepressants might be prescribed to help modify one’s brain chemistry. These medications are not sedatives, “uppers” or tranquilizers. They are not habit-forming. Generally antidepressant medications have no stimulating effect on people not experiencing depression.

Antidepressants may produce some improvement within the first week or two of use yet full benefits may not be seen for two to three months. If a patient feels little or no improvement after several weeks, his or her psychiatrist can alter the dose of the medication or add or substitute another antidepressant. In some situations other psychotropic medications may be helpful. It is important to let your doctor know if a medication does not work or if you experience side effects.

Psychiatrists usually recommend that patients continue to take medication for six or more months after the symptoms have improved. Longer-term maintenance treatment may be suggested to decrease the risk of future episodes for certain people at high risk.

Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” is sometimes used alone for treatment of mild depression; for moderate to severe depression, psychotherapy is often used  along with antidepressant medications. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been found to be effective in treating depression. CBT is a form of therapy focused on the problem solving in the present. CBT helps a person to recognize distorted/negative thinking with the goal of changing thoughts and behaviors to respond to challenges in a more positive manner.

Psychotherapy may involve only the individual, but it can include others. For example, family or couples therapy can help address issues within these close relationships. Group therapy brings people with similar illnesses together in a supportive environment, and can assist the participant to learn how others cope in similar situations .

.Depending on the severity of the depression, treatment can take a few weeks or much longer. In many cases, significant improvement can be made in 10 to 15 sessions.

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is a medical treatment that has been most commonly reserved for patients with severe major depression who have not responded to other treatments. It involves a brief electrical stimulation of the brain while the patient is under anesthesia. A patient typically receives ECT two to three times a week for a total of six to 12 treatments. It is usually managed by a team of trained medical professionals including a psychiatrist, an anesthesiologist and a nurse or physician assistant. ECT has been used since the 1940s, and many years of research have led to major improvements and the recognition of its effectiveness as a mainstream rather than a “last resort” treatment. . 

Self-help and Coping

There are a number of things people can do to help reduce the symptoms of depression. For many people, regular exercise helps create positive feeling and improves mood. Getting enough quality sleep on a regular basis, eating a healthy diet and avoiding alcohol (a depressant) can also help reduce symptoms of depression.

Depression is a real illness and help is available. With proper diagnosis and treatment, the vast majority of people with depression will overcome it. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, a first step is to see your family physician or psychiatrist. Talk about your concerns and request a thorough evaluation. This is a start to addressing your mental health needs.

Related Conditions

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) was added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) in 2013. A woman with PMDD has severe symptoms of depression, irritability, and tension about a week before menstruation begins.

Common symptoms include mood swings, irritability or anger, depressed mood,  and marked anxiety or tension. Other symptoms may include decreased interest in usual activities, difficulty concentrating, lack of energy or easy fatigue, changes in appetite with specific food cravings, trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, or a sense of being overwhelmed or out of control. Physical symptoms may include breast tenderness or swelling, joint or muscle pain, a sensation of “bloating,” or weight gain.

These symptoms begin a week to 10 days before the start of menstruation and improve or stop around the onset of menses. The symptoms lead to significant distress and problems with regular functioning or social interactions.

For a diagnosis of PMDD, symptoms must have occurred in most of the menstrual cycles during the past year and must have an adverse effect on work or social functioning. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is estimated to affect between 1.8% to 5.8% of menstruating women every year.

PMDD can be treated with antidepressants, birth control pills, or nutritional supplements. Diet and lifestyle changes, such as reducing caffeine and alcohol, getting enough sleep and exercise, and practicing relaxations techniques, can help. 

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is similar to PMDD in that symptoms occur seven to 10 days before a woman’s period begins. However, PMS involves fewer and less severe symptoms than PMDD.

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder is a condition that occurs in children and youth ages 6 to 18. It involves a chronic and severe irritability resulting in severe and frequent temper outbursts. The temper outbursts can be verbal or can involve behavior such as physical aggression toward people or property. These outbursts are significantly out of proportion to the situation and are not consistent with the child’s developmental age. They must occur frequently (three or more times per week on average) and typically in response to frustration. In between the outbursts, the child’s mood is persistently irritable or angry most of the day, nearly every day. This mood is noticeable by others, such as parents, teachers, and peers.

In order for a diagnosis of disruptive mood dysregulation disorder to be made, symptoms must be present for at least one year in at least two settings (such as at home, at school, with peers) and the condition must begin before age 10.  Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder is much more common in males than females. It may occur along with other disorders, including major depressive, attention-deficit/hyperactivity, anxiety, and conduct disorders.

Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder can have a significant impact on the child’s ability to function and a significant impact on the family. Chronic, severe irritability and temper outbursts can disrupt family life, make it difficult for the child/youth to make or keep friendships, and cause difficulties at school.

Treatment typically involves psychotherapy (cognitive behavior therapy) and/or medications. 

Persistent Depressive Disorder

A person with persistent depressive disorder (previously referred to as dysthymic disorder) has a depressed mood for most of the day, for more days than not, for at least two years. In children and adolescents, the mood can be irritable or depressed, and must continue for at least one year.

In addition to depressed mood, symptoms include:

  • Poor appetite or overeating
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Low energy or fatigue
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor concentration or difficulty making decisions
  • Feelings of hopelessness

Persistent depressive disorder often begins in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood and affects an estimated 0.5% of adults in the United States every year. Individuals with persistent depressive disorder often describe their mood as sad or “down in the dumps.” Because these symptoms have become a part of the individual’s day-to-day experience, they may not seek help, just assuming that “I’ve always been this way.”

The symptoms cause significant distress or difficulty in work, social activities, or other important areas of functioning. While the impact of persistent depressive disorder on work, relationships and daily life can vary widely, its effects can be as great as or greater than those of major depressive disorder.

A major depressive episode may precede the onset of persistent depressive disorder but may also arise during (and be superimposed on) a previous diagnosis of persistent depressive disorder.


Physician Review By:

Felix Torres, M.D., MBA, DFAPA
October 2020

Vitamin D Deficiency: Symptoms & Treatment


Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency

What is vitamin D deficiency?

Vitamin D deficiency means that you do not have enough vitamin D in your body. Vitamin D is unique because your skin actually produces it by using sunlight. Fair-skinned individuals and those who are younger convert sunshine into vitamin D far better than those who are darker-skinned and over age 50.

Why is vitamin D so important?

Vitamin D is one of many vitamins our bodies need to stay healthy. This vitamin has many functions, including:

  • Keeping bones strong: Having healthy bones protects you from various conditions, including rickets. Rickets is a disorder that causes children to have bones that are weak and soft. It is caused by a lack of vitamin D in the body. You need vitamin D so that calcium and phosphorus can be used to build bones. In adults, having soft bones is a condition called osteomalacia.
  • Absorbing calcium: Vitamin D, along with calcium, helps build bones and keep bones strong and healthy. Weak bones can lead to osteoporosis, the loss of bone density, which can lead to fractures. Vitamin D, once either taken orally or from sunshine exposure is then converted to an active form of the vitamin. It is that active form that promotes optimal absorption of calcium from your diet.
  • Working with parathyroid glands: The parathyroid glands work minute to minute to balance the calcium in the blood by communicating with the kidneys, gut and skeleton. When there is sufficient calcium in the diet and sufficient active Vitamin D, dietary calcium is absorbed and put to good use throughout the body. If calcium intake is insufficient, or vitamin D is low, the parathyroid glands will ‘borrow’ calcium from the skeleton in order to keep the blood calcium in the normal range.

What are the health effects of vitamin D deficiency?

Getting enough vitamin D may also play a role in helping to keep you healthy by protecting against the following conditions and possibly helping to treat them. These conditions can include:

What are the sources of vitamin D?

You can get vitamin D in a variety of ways. These can include:

  • Being exposed to the sun. About 15-20 minutes three days per week is usually sufficient.
  • Through the foods you eat.
  • Through nutritional supplements.

What does sunlight have to do with getting enough vitamin D?

There are health benefits of sunlight. Vitamin D is produced when your skin is exposed to sunshine, or rather, the ultraviolet B (UV-B) radiation that the sun emits. The amount of vitamin D that your skin makes depends on such factors as:

  • The season: This factor depends a bit on where you live. In areas such as Cleveland, OH, the UV-B light does not reach the earth for six months out of the year due to the ozone layer and the zenith of the sun.
  • The time of day: The sun’s rays are most powerful between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • The amount of cloud cover and air pollution.
  • Where you live: Cities near the equator have higher ultraviolet (UV) light levels. It is the UV-B light in sunlight that causes your skin to make vitamin D.
  • The melanin content of your skin: Melanin is a brown-black pigment in the eyes, hair and skin. Melanin causes skin to tan. The darker your skin, the more sun exposure is needed in order to get sufficient vitamin D from the sun.

What does your diet have to do with getting enough vitamin D?

Vitamin D doesn’t occur naturally in many foods. That’s why certain foods have added vitamin D. In fact, newer food nutrition labels show the amount of vitamin D contained in a particular food item.

It may be difficult, especially for vegans or people who are lactose-intolerant, to get enough vitamin D from their diets, which is why some people may choose to take supplements. It is always important to eat a variety of healthy foods from all food groups. The vitamin content of various foods is shown in the following table.

Vitamin D content of various foods

FoodVitamin D content in International Units (IUs) per serving
Cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon1360
Swordfish, cooked, 3 ounces566
Salmon (sockeye) cooked, 3 ounces447
Tuna, canned in water, drained, 3 ounces154
Orange juice fortified with vitamin D, 1 cup137
Milk, vitamin-fortified, 1 cup115-124
Yogurt, fortified with 20% of the daily value of vitamin D, 6 ounces80
Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 2 sardines46
Liver, beef, cooked, 3 ounces42
Egg yolk, 1 large41
Cereal, fortified with 10% of the daily value of vitamin D, 1 cup40
Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce6

Source: Vitamin D. Health Professionals. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet. National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. August 7, 2019.

It is important to check product labels, as the amount of added vitamin D varies when it is artificially added to products such as orange juice, yogurt and margarine.

How much vitamin D do you need?

In healthy people, the amount of vitamin D needed per day varies by age. The chart below shows the often-cited recommendations of the Institute of Medicine, now the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. It is important to know that these are general recommendations. If your doctor is checking your blood levels, he or she might recommend higher or lower doses based on your individual needs.

If you have osteoporosis, your doctor might suggest a blood test of your vitamin D levels. The amount of vitamin D supplement can be customized for each person, based on the results. For many older patients, a vitamin D supplement containing anywhere between 800 to 2000 IUs daily, which can be obtained without a prescription, can be both safe and beneficial. It is important to speak with your doctor about your individual needs.

People by ageRecommended dietary allowance (IU/day)Upper level intake (IU/day)
Infants 0-6 months*4001,000
Infants 6-12 months*4001,500
Children 1-3 years old6002,500
Children 4-8 years old6003,000
People 9-70 years old6004,000
People over 70 years old8004,000
Females 14-50 years old, pregnant/lactating6004,000

*refers to adequate intake vs recommended dietary allowance of the other age groups.

Symptoms and Causes

What causes vitamin D deficiency?

Vitamin D deficiency can be caused by specific medical conditions, such as:

  • Cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease: These diseases do not allow the intestines to absorb enough vitamin D through supplements.
  • Weight loss surgeries. Weight loss surgeries that reduce the size of the stomach and/or bypasses part of the small intestines make it very difficult to consume sufficient quantities of certain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. These individuals need to be carefully monitored by their doctors and need to continue to take vitamin D and other supplements throughout their lives.
  • Obesity: A body mass index greater than 30 is associated with lower vitamin D levels. Fat cells keep vitamin D isolated so that it is not released. Vitamin D deficiency is more likely in obese people. Obesity often makes it necessary to take larger doses of vitamin D supplements in order to reach and maintain normal D levels.
  • Kidney and liver diseases: These diseases reduce the amount of an enzyme needed to change vitamin D to a form that is used in the body. Lack of this enzyme leads to an inadequate level of active vitamin D in the body.

What other factors can lead to vitamin D deficiency?

  • Age: The skin’s ability to make vitamin D lessens with age.
  • Mobility: People who are homebound or are rarely outside (for example, people in nursing homes and other facilities) are not able to use sun exposure as a source of vitamin D.
  • Skin color: Dark-colored skin is less able to make vitamin D than fair-colored skin.
  • Human breast milk: A woman’s breast milk only contains a small amount of vitamin D. Often infant formulas also only include a small amount of D also. Therefore infants are at risk of not receiving enough vitamin D. This is especially true for infants who are only fed breast milk.

Can medications cause a vitamin D deficiency?

Yes. Vitamin D levels can be lowered by certain medications. These include:

Always tell your doctor about the drugs you take and any vitamin D supplements or other supplements or herbs/alternative health products that you take.

What are the signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?

Severe lack of vitamin D causes rickets, which shows up in children as incorrect growth patterns, weakness in muscles, pain in bones and deformities in joints. This is very rare. However, children who are deficient in vitamin D can also have muscle weakness or sore and painful muscles.

Lack of vitamin D is not quite as obvious in adults. Signs and symptoms might include:

  • Fatigue.
  • Bone pain.
  • Muscle weakness, muscle aches, or muscle cramps.
  • Mood changes, like depression.

Diagnosis and Tests

How is a vitamin D deficiency diagnosed?

Your doctor can order a blood test to measure your levels of vitamin D. There are two types of tests that might be ordered, but the most common is the 25-hydroxyvitamin D, known as 25(OH)D for short. For the blood test, a technician will use a needle to take blood from a vein. You do not need to fast or otherwise prepare for this type of test.

What do vitamin D test results mean?

There are some differing opinions about what levels of vitamin D work the best for each person. Laboratories might use different numbers for reference. Please discuss your results with your doctor.

How often do you need to get your vitamin D levels checked?

Doctors do not usually order routine checks of vitamin D levels, but they might need to check your levels if you have certain medical conditions or risk factors for vitamin D deficiency. Sometimes vitamin D levels can be checked as a cause of symptoms such as long-lasting body aches, a history of falls or bone fractures without significant trauma.

Management and Treatment

How is vitamin D deficiency treated?

The goals of treatment and prevention are the same—to reach, and then maintain, an adequate level of vitamin D in the body. While you might consider eating more foods that contain vitamin D and getting a little bit of sunlight, you will likely be told to take vitamin D supplements.

Vitamin D comes in two forms: D2 and D3. D2, also called ergocalciferol, comes from plants. D3, also called cholecalciferol, comes from animals. You need a prescription to get D2. D3, however, is available over the counter. It is more easily absorbed than D2 and lasts longer in the body dose-for-dose. Work with your doctor to find out if you need to take a vitamin supplement and how much to take if it is needed.

Can you ever have too much vitamin D?

Yes. You can get too much vitamin D if you overdo the supplements. Interestingly, you cannot get too much vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D toxicity is, thankfully, quite rare but can lead to hypercalcemia and together the symptoms can include:

  • Nausea.
  • Increased thirst and urination.
  • Poor appetite.
  • Constipation.
  • Weakness.
  • Confusion.
  • Ataxia (a neurological condition that may cause slurring of words and stumbling).

Do not take higher-than-recommended doses of vitamin D without first discussing it with your doctor. However, your doctor might recommend higher doses of vitamin D if he or she is checking your blood levels and adjusting your dose accordingly. Also, be cautious about getting large doses of vitamin A along with the D in some fish oils. Vitamin A can also reach toxic levels and can cause serious problems.


How can I help prevent vitamin D deficiency?

The goals of treating and preventing the lack of vitamin D of treatment and prevention are the same—to reach and keep an adequate level of vitamin D in the body. Your healthcare provider will let you know if you need to take or keep taking vitamin D supplements. If so, they will also let you know how much you should take. You might also want to consider:

Eating more foods that contain vitamin D: See the vitamin D food sources table included in this article. Keep in mind that foods alone usually don’t meet the daily recommended levels of vitamin D.

Getting some exposure to sunshine—but not too much: Exactly how much sun exposure is needed isn’t clear. 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure two to three times a week to the face, arms, legs or back may be all that is needed to absorb a suitable amount of vitamin D. You might need more sun exposure (especially in early spring and late fall) if:

  • You are older.
  • You have a darker skin color.
  • You live in northern climates.

The use of sunscreen, and standing behind a window, prevents vitamin D from being produced in the skin. However, you should remember that too much sunshine increases the risk of skin cancer and ages the skin. That is why taking an appropriately dosed D supplement is far safer than intentionally getting routine sun exposure.

Best Vitamins to Help With Depression

Depression is a mood disorder, and it’s one of the most common mental health conditions that people experience. Different terms used to refer to depression include major depressive disorder and clinical depression. While many people require clinical treatment and perhaps pharmaceutical medications to treat the symptoms of depression, there are also certain vitamins that can be helpful for depression. Along with vitamins for depression, there are also natural supplements for anxiety and depression that can be helpful for treating symptoms of these co-occurring disorders.

Symptoms of depression include significant changes in feelings, thoughts and behaviors, including loss of interest in activities that a person previously enjoyed and an ongoing, persistent feeling of sadness. Depending on the severity of the depression, a person may experience different physical and emotional problems related to the disorder.

Article at a Glance:

  • In addition to antidepressants and therapy, medical professionals may recommend vitamin supplements for depression.
  • Vitamin B-3 and Vitamin B-9 can help people with depression because B vitamins help the brain manage moods.
  • Vitamin D, melatonin and St. John’s Wort are recommended for seasonal depression.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and vitamin C may also help with depression.
  • Vitamins are not a replacement for medical treatment but may improve its effectiveness.

Depression isn’t something that a person can snap out of, and it’s more than situational or temporary sadness. Along with the sadness and loss of interest, other symptoms of depression can include:

• Feeling a sense of emptiness or unhappiness
• Changes in appetite including eating more or less than is typical
• Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
• Anxiety
• Restlessness
• Changes in sleep patterns
• Feelings of anger or irrational outbursts
• Problems with concentration or decision-making
• Thoughts of suicide or death
• Pain that isn’t explained or doesn’t seem to have an apparent cause

While the reasons for depression aren’t fully understood, certain factors may play a role in combination with one another. Some of the factors that could contribute to depression include:

• Changes in the brain
• Imbalances of certain brain chemicals and neurotransmitters
• Changes in hormones related to pregnancy, thyroid issues, menopause or other similar conditions.
• A family history of depression

When someone has untreated depression, it can lead to serious complications related to lifestyle as well as physical and mental health. Possible complications of depression may include:

• Excessive weight gain
• Physical pain
• Development of a co-occurring substance use disorder involving alcohol, drugs or both
• Problems with relationships and family
• Isolation
• Self-harming behaviors, such as cutting
• Suicidal thoughts, attempts or suicide

There are different treatments for depression. Many people find that a combination of treatments works well, but they should always follow the advice of their doctor. Some people may use antidepressants, which can alleviate some of the underlying issues that contribute to depression, such as chemical imbalances in the brain. Counseling can help people with depression cope with stress and other triggers.

It may be beneficial to combine traditional treatments like antidepressants and therapy with natural remedies as well. A medical professional may recommend certain supplements, herbs and vitamins for someone with depression. It is important to work with a doctor or therapist to determine which supplements and vitamins could be most helpful for the treatment of depression symptoms. So, what vitamins are good for depression?

Best Vitamins for Depression

B vitamins play an important role in helping the brain produce adequate levels of the chemicals required to manage mood and other functions, according to the Mayo Clinic. If someone has low levels of B-vitamins and in particular B-12, they may be more likely to experience symptoms of depression. B-vitamin deficiencies are often seen in people who have depression.

Even without a specific disorder, it can become increasingly difficult for a person’s body to absorb enough vitamin B-12 as they age. Depression can often include symptoms of fatigue, and B-vitamins can help combat that. B-12, in particular, is known for being important to reduce fatigue.

Some of the foods that contain high levels of B-12 include fish, lean meats, eggs, poultry and milk. Certain breakfast cereals may be fortified with B-12 as well. B-12 supplementation can help if someone is a vegan or vegetarian or may not be getting enough of the vitamin for any reason.

Other B vitamins for depression, or vitamins that play a role in brain health include:

  • Vitamin B-3. Also referred to as niacin, Vitamin B-3 is relevant to the production of serotonin, which is an important brain neurotransmitter that helps with the communication between brain cells. In people with depression, serotonin levels may be low. If someone has a deficiency of vitamin B3, they may see a negative effect on their mood. For people with depressive symptoms, a dose of 20 mg of B-3 each day can be helpful.
  • Vitamin B-9. Folate and folic acid are also called vitamin B-9. Vitamin B-9 is something pregnant women are advised to supplement with, and even women who aren’t actively trying to become pregnant but could are often told to take it as a supplement. During pregnancy, vitamin B-9 can help lower the risk of certain brain-related birth defects. This vitamin is also important for mood regulation because it helps with the synthesis of serotonin.

Vitamins for Seasonal Depression

Seasonal depression is something many people experience. Also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), this mental health condition is linked to changes in seasons. Many people will start to experience symptoms of SAD in the fall, and these symptoms may continue through the winter. Someone with SAD may feel moody, fatigued or low in energy.

Some of the reasons a person may experience seasonal depression include low serotonin levels that may be related to reduced exposure to sunlight and changes in a person’s biological rhythms that can occur in the fall and winter. If someone has major depression or bipolar disorder, their symptoms may become worse in the fall and winter, and people who live further from the equator may be more likely to have this disorder.

Treatments for seasonal depression can include medication, exposure to light and therapy. Vitamins for seasonal depression can also help alleviate or reduce symptoms. Vitamin D is one vitamin in particular that a doctor may recommend for someone experiencing seasonal depression. Vitamin D is produced by the body after sunlight exposure. During fall and winter months when sunlight exposure may be minimal, supplementing vitamin D can improve mood and reduce the symptoms of SAD.

Along with vitamins, other supplements could be useful to treat symptoms of SAD. These supplements include 5-hydroxytryptophan, or 5-HTP. This nutritional supplement can help increase the brain’s production of serotonin, alleviating general symptoms of depression. Tyrosine is another supplement that may help the brain create chemicals called enkephalins that can boost mood.

Melatonin helps the body know when to sleep and when to be awake. Imbalanced melatonin levels can contribute to symptoms of seasonal depression and fatigue. While this hormone is created in the body naturally, it can also be taken in supplement form to reduce symptoms of SAD.

St. John’s Wort is another herbal supplement that has long been used to help with symptoms of depression and SAD. However, because St. John’s Wort may interfere with the effectiveness of certain medications, it’s important to consult with a medical professional before using it.

Other Natural Vitamins for Depression

Along with the vitamins and supplements listed above, other natural vitamins for depression may include:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the function and health of the brain. Natural sources of Omega-3s include certain fatty fish such as salmon, as well as seeds and nuts.
  • Magnesium. According to the Nutrition Reviews journal, nearly half of all adults in the U.S. experience some level of magnesium deficiency. This deficiency can cause sleep problems like insomnia, constipation and muscle tension. It can also cause symptoms of depression and other mood disorders because magnesium is important for the production of feel-good hormones in the brain.
  • Vitamin C. Supplementing with vitamin C can help improve both mood and cognitive function. Studies have also indicated vitamin C may help reduce symptoms of anxiety as well as depression.

While depression is a serious medical condition, it is fortunately treatable. Vitamins for depression shouldn’t be used as a replacement for medical treatment, but they can be used in conjunction with professional treatment to improve its effectiveness. Nutrition often plays a critical role not only in physical but also mental health.

Related: Finding Support for Depression & Addiction through Teletherapy

If you’re looking for healthy ways to manage depression, the Nobu app can help. It is free and for anyone that is looking to reduce anxiety, work through depression, build self-esteem, get aftercare following treatment, attend teletherapy sessions and so much more. Download the Nobu app today!

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

The association between low vitamin D and depressive disorders

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  • How Vitamins Can Help Mental Health And Mood-Boosting Qualities

    Taking vitamin supplements has long been recognized as a great way to improve your physical health. After all, even if you eat a healthy diet full of nutrient-dense foods, there are still some vitamins and minerals you might not be getting, or some you need just a little more of to be at your healthiest. For example, many individuals take fish oil supplements if they do not consume salmon and other oily fish regularly. Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is known to promote heart health, reduce inflammation, and improve healthy brain function. If you know you aren’t eating fish at least twice a week, fish oil could be a useful supplement.

    Check out our Wellness Wednesday series.

    While it’s common knowledge that vitamins promote physical health, fewer people know that the vitamins and minerals entering our bodies affect our mental health, too. When it comes to health and nutrition, it is truly impossible to separate our minds from our bodies.  The two are inextricably linked — when one is neglected, the other may suffer. Taking vitamins that support a healthy body can also support mental health and brain function.

    When our bodies experience certain vitamin deficiencies, it can cause our organs to grow weak and work less effectively. When our organs aren’t functioning properly, we are more likely to develop various conditions and ailments which can drastically affect our well-being, both physical and mental. The brain is an organ too, and it requires certain nutrients to function. There are several important vitamins and minerals that support the body’s biochemical reactions and promote the healthy function of brain cells and neurotransmitter pathways.

    What are neurotransmitters?

    Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers of the brain.

    A vitamin deficiency of any of these important nutrients could negatively impact both physical and mental health. Micronutrients have a powerful effect on the body and have many health benefits. For lots of people experiencing depression or other mental health disorders, there are several natural supplements for mental health which could be helpful when combined with the right medication and psychotherapy.

    The Best Vitamins for Mental Health

    Depression is a mood disorder affecting over 17 million people in the U.S. today, and that number only reflects the reported cases. There are far more people experiencing depression who don’t seek treatment. Depression is typically treated with medications and psychotherapy. However, some lifestyle changes can help treat and prevent depression as well, including the regular consumption of certain vitamins, minerals, and herbs. Some common vitamins known for improving mental health and supporting brain function are:

    B Vitamins

    B vitamins are some of the best vitamins for mental health. B vitamins are known for their mood-altering properties. They can help fight fatigue, improve your memory, and allow you to function all-around with more clarity. Deficiencies in B vitamins, including Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), and B12, can lead to depression, anxiety, fearfulness, and irritability.

    B12 and folate (B9) are important vitamins for maintaining a healthy nervous system. Vitamin B12 and folate are needed for producing norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. Norepinephrine and serotonin are neurotransmitters in the brain which influence mental behavioral patterns and moods. Dopamine is another type of neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of pleasure, motivation, achievement, and stimulates your natural reward center. Low levels of either of these chemicals can lead to depressive symptoms.

    Eating a diet of vitamin B-rich foods, as well as taking daily supplements could improve mental health, may help improve mood, and reduce depression and anxiety in many individuals. Foods like fish, lean pork or beef, poultry, eggs, whole-grains, nuts, and milk are high in B vitamins.

    Vitamin C

    Vitamin C might just be the most “mainstream” or well-known of all vitamins. Many people are aware of vitamin C and its immune-boosting properties. Even those of us least familiar with the different vitamins and their uses are likely to take a vitamin C tablet or drink a glass or two of orange juice when we feel cold or flu symptoms coming on.

    What fewer people know is that vitamin C also plays an important role in mental health. While the link between vitamin C and mood might be surprising, many people who are deficient in vitamin C experience depression and chronic fatigue. Conversely, even people with normal vitamin C levels in their system found that taking additional vitamin C improved their mood and cognitive function. Some research has also shown that vitamin C can help lower anxiety symptoms.

    Taking vitamin C supplements and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C, like citrus fruits and red peppers, can have an impact on mood, energy levels, and anxiety. However, if you are taking oral vitamin C supplements, make sure to stay within the 2,000 milligrams recommended daily amount.

    Vitamin D

    Vitamin D is another great natural supplement for mental health. Vitamin D contributes to healthy brain function, among other health benefits. Studies have shown that when tested, many people experiencing depression are also experiencing lower-than-normal vitamin D levels. On the other hand, people with low levels of vitamin D in their system are more likely to experience bouts of depression, anxiety, and other mental conditions than other people with normal levels of vitamin D.

    Sunlight is the primary source of vitamin D for most people. People living in warm, sunny places are less likely to have vitamin D deficiencies. Conversely, people living in more northern climates, where the sun is scarce for months at a time, are more likely to be vitamin D deficient due to low sun exposure. Vitamin D deficiency is common amongst people who are suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). If you experience more depressive symptoms during low sunlight months, vitamin D supplements could be especially beneficial.


    Micronutrient and mineral deficiencies are a huge problem worldwide and can lead to numerous health conditions, including depression. Zinc is a mineral found throughout the human body, as well as in other animals. Meat, poultry, legumes, dairy, and whole grains all have relatively high levels of zinc.

    Zinc is an essential trace element related to many biological and biochemical functions, including the immune system and metabolism, as well as brain growth and development. Research has shown that low zinc levels can lead to reduced brain function and other behavioral disturbances. Taking zinc supplements can be effective in reducing depressive symptoms, especially in women. Some studies have shown that when combined with the proper medication, zinc has positive effects in treating ADHD. Zinc is especially effective in treating mental health conditions and depression when combined with magnesium.


    Magnesium is another important mineral found in the human body which is critical in regulating and calming the nervous system. Increased magnesium intake can reduce depression, premenstrual syndrome in women, and hypertension in children with ADHD.

    Several studies have shown that low magnesium levels are linked to depression. While more research is needed before we can understand exactly how and why magnesium affects mental health, one possible reason is that magnesium regulates gut microbes, which are linked to the hippocampus. Taking magnesium supplements can help regulate unhealthy gut microbes which contribute to depressive symptoms.

    Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    Omega-3 fatty acids are found in most fish and some marine algae. However, they are most prevalent in oily fish like salmon, herring, and sardines. Scientists started researching the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on mood disorders when they discovered that depression is less common in nations that traditionally eat a diet rich in fish. Fatty acids can easily travel through cell membranes where they can interact with molecules responsible for regulating mood. They also improve cell membrane fluidity and influence neurotransmitter function, all of which contribute to an improved mental state.


    Saffron is a brightly colored, fragrant spice commonly used in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. It is made from the dried petals of a flower called the Saffron Crocus. Saffron has been shown to boost levels of the mood-enhancing neurotransmitter, serotonin. Supplementing with saffron can significantly reduce symptoms of depression by increasing serotonin levels. However, more research is needed to understand the full scope of saffron’s ability to treat mental health conditions.

    Holistic Mental Health Care at Sage Neuroscience Center

    At Sage Neuroscience Center, we understand that mental health is different for everyone. Each individual is unique and deserves custom treatment. Having knowledge and access to a variety of treatment options is crucial, and so is educating yourself about the various lifestyle changes that might positively affect your mental health. To learn more about how vitamins and other natural supplements help improve mental health, contact the team here at Sage Neuroscience Center.


    *Editor’s Note: This post was originally published Published on: Feb 4, 2014  and has been updated Mar 11, 2021

    Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

    Bryan Krumm is a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner whose goal is to provide evidence-based treatment, according to the best standards of practice, utilizing the most current research to maximize therapeutic outcomes and incorporating the patient as an active part of their care. Bryan is particularly interested in PTSD and medical cannabis. Outside of work, Bryan is into music, politics, and philosophy.

    Read Bryan Krumm’s Full Bio |   Browse All Articles Written by Bryan Krumm

    90,000 Hypovitaminosis. How to overcome the spring lack of vitamins – Ministry of Health PMR

    In the offseason, we often notice that we feel bad – we started to catch colds more often, get tired quickly, hair began to fall out, the skin peels off and sometimes even our appetite disappears. The thought immediately arises about the lack of vitamins in the body. Kristina Gavlovskaya, therapist of the Moscow polyclinic №1, explained how to replenish the elements useful to the body.

    What is hypovitaminosis and vitamin deficiency.What is the difference between them?

    – Hypovitaminosis is a painful condition that is a lack of any one or a whole group of vitamins at once. This can cause serious disturbances in the functioning of the body. If treatment is not started on time, such a condition can turn into vitamin deficiency – the complete absence of some groups of low molecular weight organic compounds. Diseases such as scurvy, rickets, etc. may develop.

    Hypovitaminosis is seasonal, most often observed in winter and spring.This condition does not become chronic and is easily compensated for by changing the diet or treating the underlying disease. That is, it is not necessary to say that most of us suffer from vitamin deficiency, but almost every second person has hypovitaminosis, especially during the off-season.

    What are the main causes of seasonal vitamin deficiencies?

    – There are many reasons for a lack of vitamins, and for each of the hypovitaminosis, this reason will be different. Factors common to all vitamin deficiency states include various conditions leading to a deficiency or impaired absorption of vitamins and microelements, their increased consumption and destruction.So, the cause of hypovitaminosis can be a restriction in the diet of certain foods, the use of refined carbohydrates, polished cereals, fine flour, the exclusion of fresh vegetables and fruits, a monotonous diet. Violation of the ratio of essential nutrients (restriction of animal protein and fat and an increased content of carbohydrates) will also cause impairment of the absorption of vitamins.

    The cause of hypovitaminosis can be serious diseases (especially of the digestive system – in this case, the absorption of vitamins is impaired), taking certain medications (mainly antibiotics).Lack of fat-soluble vitamins develops when fat is limited in the diet. Also, one should not forget that the metabolism of vitamins and microelements in the body is closely interrelated, the lack of one vitamin can cause metabolic disorders of the rest.

    The use of only refined products (sugar, butter, refined rice, bread made from fine flour) also affects. Thus, there is a decrease in the amount of niacin, vitamins B1, B2. Also, the cause of hypovitaminosis is an illiterate approach to processing / storing food, limiting physical activity and bad habits.With a lack of sunlight, vitamin D decreases and, as a result, slows down the absorption of calcium. Also, the factors for the development of vitamin deficiency should include :

    • Deficiency of vegetables / fruits, berries in the diet.
    • Unbalanced diet (long-term lack of proteins, reduced fat, excess carbohydrates).
    • Seasonal lack of vitamins in food.
    • Labor factor. With strong physical exertion and neuropsychic stress, the need for vitamins increases significantly.
    • Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and other chronic diseases.
    • The use of drugs for a long time (for example, antibiotics, anti-tuberculosis, etc.).
    • Stress.

    Who is affected by hypovitaminosis?

    – The first victims of hypovitaminosis in the spring are children and adolescents during the period of intensive growth, pregnant and lactating women, patients with acute infectious diseases, people with pathology of the gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system and others.And also some vegetarians and people who play intensively in sports.

    How to identify a lack of vitamins?

    – This condition can manifest itself in different ways, but most often such a diagnosis is accompanied by the presence of only one or several symptoms:

    – the skin begins to coarse and peel off, brittle nails and dandruff appear;

    – the skin of the joints of the elbow and knee is compacted and cracked;

    – mucous membranes lose their natural color, gums bleed;

    – constant apathy is observed, sleep is disturbed, general weakness;

    – lips dry and crack;

    – vision is lost;

    – nail plates change color, transverse grooves appear on them;

    – tooth enamel becomes too sensitive;

    – frequent infections and colds

    – digestion is disturbed.

    How often should you be tested for the level of vitamins and minerals?

    – An analysis for vitamins and trace elements is prescribed if there is a suspicion of their deficiency or excess. The type of research and the frequency with which it must be carried out is determined by the doctor. As a rule, the presence of vitamins and minerals in the body is recommended to be taken once a year to the following categories of patients: people engaged in hard physical labor or professional sports; children and adolescents; To old people; suffering from chronic diseases; sticking to a mono diet for a long time.In addition, it is desirable to pass such an analysis for women at the stage of pregnancy planning, nursing mothers, as well as patients with reduced immunity, signs of hypovitaminosis.

    How to determine which element is missing in the body? What are the symptoms?

    – Our body is an excellent translator and immediately signals the absence of any vitamin. Irritability, upset gastrointestinal tract, dermatitis and muscle weakness – all these are the main calls from the body weakened without vitamins.External beacons should not be missed either – hair and skin have faded, it has become worse to see at dusk – this may be hypovitaminosis. Drowsiness and depression are caused by a lack of niacin (vitamin PP) in the body. Lack of vitamin C will quickly backfire on a person with increased fatigue, decreased performance, a tendency to viral infections and bleeding gums. Vitamin B1 hypovitaminosis leads to constant muscle weakness and pain. If there is little B6 – poor appetite, apathy, sleep disturbance.Although specific types of vitamin deficiencies are characterized by specific features, in general, spring vitamin deficiency in children is manifested by such signs as increased fatigue or irritability (often tearfulness), decreased appetite, sleep disturbances, etc.

    Another reason for hypovitaminosis is insufficient sunlight. In winter conditions, ultraviolet rays are not always able to break through in sufficient quantities to produce vitamin D in humans. When a deficiency of this element occurs, constant fatigue, lack of sleep, frequent colds, irritability, muscle weakness and cramps, and decreased appetite are formed.

    How to fill the deficit?

    – A lot of vitamin A in fish oil, eggs, fatty fish, cottage cheese, butter and milk. B vitamins are found in meat and cereals. At the same time, nutritionists recommend taking them in combination with vitamins of group A, because they work well as a team.

    Vegetable oils will help saturate the body with vitamin E. Especially useful are olive, flaxseed, walnut oil. The source of vitamin C in spring is not only expensive overseas fruits, but also rose hips, rowan and sea buckthorn fruits.If the above food products do not give the desired result, you can resort to taking vitamins in the form of tablets.

    But, nevertheless, the best methods of prevention are a balanced diet, proper nutrition, competent physical activity, sleep and rest, walks in nature, good mood and a positive attitude towards life.

    how to gather strength after winter

    Singing of birds, the first drops, buds are about to bloom, but the arrival of spring is not at all happy for many.Fatigue, irritation, loss of appetite. According to doctors, in the offseason, well-being can really worsen. People call these symptoms spring depression.

    Woke up in the morning already tired. The state that Dmitry describes is well known to many in the spring. Poor appetite, unreasonable sadness, it is impossible to collect thoughts. Are these symptoms of a serious illness or just an off-season blues?

    “I can sleep a lot of hours, but at the same time I do not get enough sleep and I go all day lost,” Dmitry Koyushev complains.

    Attacks of spring apathy begin to resemble an epidemic, the main reason for which is a lack of sun, and with it vitamin D, without which the nervous system cannot fully function. This is what doctors prescribe in the first place. He can improve the condition, but not for everyone. When taking any vitamins, as well as medicines, a doctor’s consultation is required. And vitamins cannot become a panacea; it is necessary to change the way of life.

    “You need to eat fractionally, at least 4-5 times a day, in sufficient quantity.Get enough sleep. And what is important, what has been proven necessary is adequate physical activity: evening walks that will calm you down, disperse the blood and give a load that will improve the functioning of blood vessels and tissues, “explains Aleksey Bessmertny, allergist, immunologist.

    Wait for good weather to start walking, the tactics are wrong, the doctors assure. Moreover, the forecast is disappointing.

    “In the spring you can only count on warmth. Atmospheric warmth will not come until the third decade of April,” warns Roman Vilfand, director of the Hydrometeorological Center of Russia.

    Russia’s chief meteorologist explains that it is not surprising that lead clouds make people feel depressed. After all, nature itself at this moment is at odds with itself.

    “The fact is that the area of ​​low pressure is called atmospheric depression. And, of course, a person also develops a depressive state,” explains Roman Vilfand.

    But if bad weather has become much more upsetting than last year, this is a reason to seriously listen to yourself.In this case, real clinical depression may be hidden behind the blues. A psychotherapist should be consulted if there are three main symptoms.

    “Motor retardation, it becomes more difficult for a person to move. Secondly, lethargy, when a person starts to complain that it is harder to think, new ideas do not come to mind. And the third sign is a low mood,” says Zurab Kekelidze, chief psychiatrist of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Director of the State Scientific Institute of Forensic and Social Psychiatry named afterV.P. Serbian.

    The good news is that depression affects no more than 7 percent of the population, and simple techniques will help to cope with the usual apathy: go to a dance lesson, listen to your favorite music, surround yourself with colors. Thirst for the sun makes Muscovites even go to color therapy sessions, when bright diode light is directed directly into the face.

    Nutritionists also support the theory of color. The brightest foods will help you quickly get rid of vitamin deficiency.

    “This is a storehouse of B vitamins.This is what we are trying to get rid of – depression, bad mood, spring vitamin deficiency. All this is in the greenery, “explains Svetlana Titova, dietitian.

    To restore strength, you need to add to the menu winter varieties of apples, avocados and red oranges, which contain three times more vitamins than orange ones. And if you really want something sweet, it is better to choose dried fruits and not to confuse them with candied fruits.

    Eating stress with chocolate is also not a taboo. But not a cheap bar with palm oil, but a quality dark one.Cocoa beans help in the production of happiness hormones – endorphins and serotonin. But eating dark chocolate is a lot difficult, so such a fight against despondency will not hurt the figure.

    Vitamin B1 (thiamin)

    B vitamins are micronutrients that are required by the body in very small quantities, they are necessary for normal metabolism, energy production.

    Russian synonyms

    Anti-beriberi factor, aneurin, anti-neuritis factor.

    Synonyms English

    B 1 ​​ (thiamine), vitamin F, aneurin, thiamine diphosphate (TDP) – physiologically active form.

    Research method

    High performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry.


    ng / ml (nanogram per milliliter).

    What biomaterial can be used for research?

    Venous blood.

    How to properly prepare for the study?

    1. Do not eat for 2-3 hours before the study, you can drink clean non-carbonated water.
    2. No smoking for 30 minutes prior to examination.

    General information about the study

    B vitamins are micronutrients that the body needs in very small quantities. They play an important role in metabolism and energy production. Vitamins are essential for maintaining healthy skin, bones, muscles, internal organs and the nervous system.An analysis of B vitamins determines their content in the blood or urine and helps to assess the patient’s nutritional balance.

    Vitamin B 1 ​​ is a coenzyme that helps the body produce energy. It participates in the metabolism of glucose, amino acids and alcohol, is necessary for the normal functioning of the nervous system, heart and muscles. Foods rich in vitamin B 1 ​​: cereals, grains, bran bread, potatoes, pork, seafood, nuts, legumes.

    The level B 1 ​​ is determined by a test for thiamine in the blood or a test for transketolase (functional analysis for thiamine).

    With a lack of vitamin B 1 ​​ diseases such as:

    • wet beriberi – severe vitamin deficiency causing cardiovascular failure,
    • dry beriberi – causes peripheral neuropathy,
    • hemorrhagic polioencephalitis, or Wernicke-Korsakov’s disease, is accompanied by mental changes.

    Vitamins of group B enter the body along with food and are used as needed, and their excess is excreted in the urine.Because they are water-soluble, the body can only store them in very small amounts and must be supplied regularly from food.

    The causes of vitamin deficiency can be:

    • insufficient provision of the body with B vitamins,
    • inability to assimilate and process vitamins,
    • eating food that suppresses the activity of vitamins,
    • deficiency of other vitamins or minerals, which interferes with the absorption of vitamin B,
    • increased need for vitamin.

    Vitamin B deficiency occurs mainly among patients suffering from malnutrition, chronic alcoholism, malabsorption and other gastrointestinal diseases; these are, for example, those who have undergone gastric bypass surgery, and patients with celiac disease, as well as the elderly. Avitaminosis also occurs with some chronic diseases, cancer, unbalanced diet and prolonged diarrhea. Pregnant women with a restricted diet, as well as their fetus, are especially at risk of vitamin B deficiency.In addition, occasionally a child may have a congenital metabolic disorder that interferes with the proper absorption of the vitamin.

    Symptoms associated with a deficiency of B vitamins may be characteristic of this particular group, or may be nonspecific, especially with moderate vitamin deficiency. Since there is usually a lack of several vitamins at once, multiple symptoms may occur at the same time. Common symptoms of vitamin deficiency include rash, dermatitis, sore tongue, decreased sensitivity, tingling and burning sensation in the palms and feet, anemia, fatigue, and rapid mood swings.

    The toxic effect of B vitamins is rare, usually it is associated with the use of a greatly exceeded dose of the vitamin. High concentrations of certain B vitamins can affect the liver and nervous system.

    What is the research used for?

    • For detection of vitamin B deficiency 1 ​​ with characteristic symptoms.
    • To check for vitamin deficiency in patients in whose life there are factors that threaten a lack of B vitamins (malnutrition, malnutrition, intravenous nutrition, undergone gastric bypass surgery).
    • For testing for vitamin deficiency in patients suffering from alcoholism or chronic diseases causing malabsorption, such as celiac disease.

    When is the study scheduled?

    • For symptoms of vitamin B deficiency:
      1. rash, dermatitis,
      2. sore tongue, sores on the lips or mouth, cracks in the corners of the mouth,
      3. numbness, tingling or burning in hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy),
      4. anemia,
      5. fatigue, insomnia,
      6. 90 025 irritability, memory problems, depression.

    • In addition, this test can be prescribed if the patient is at increased risk of vitamin deficiency. The high-risk group includes chronic alcoholics, patients who are malnourished, as well as those with celiac disease and other malabsorption diseases.
    • The toxic effect of vitamin B is very rare, therefore, an analysis to identify the toxicity of the vitamin is practically not prescribed.High concentrations of some B vitamins can affect the liver and nervous system.

    What do the results mean?

    Reference values: 2.10 – 4.30 ng / ml.

    Low levels of vitamin B 1 ​​ may indicate a deficiency, but the analysis cannot judge whether it is caused by an insufficient intake of the vitamin or the body’s inability to absorb and use the available vitamin B 1 ​​.Moreover, as a rule, the patient has a lack of several vitamins at once.

    If the level of the vitamin is normal, then the observed symptoms are probably caused not by vitamin deficiency, but by other reasons.

    High levels of vitamin B have been associated with vitamin toxicity. It is very rare and is usually the result of high doses of vitamin supplements.

    Download an example of the result

    Also recommended

    How to prevent vitamin deficiency in the spring?

    Avitaminosis is a disease resulting from prolonged malnutrition, which lacks any vitamins.
    Causes of vitamin deficiency
    Causes of vitamin deficiency:

    – Violation of the intake of vitamins from food due to improper nutrition, insufficient or poor-quality nutrition.
    – Disruption of the digestive processes or disruption of the functioning of organs directly related to digestion.
    – Intake of antivitamins, such as syncumar, dicumarol, drugs used in the treatment of increased blood clotting.
    – Peculiarities of children’s metabolism.
    – Metabolic peculiarities in the elderly.

    Symptoms of vitamin deficiency
    The main symptoms of vitamin deficiency:

    – severe awakening in the morning;
    – sleepiness, which is guarded throughout the day;
    – lethargy, fatigue;
    – poor concentration of attention, absent-mindedness, inability to hold information for a long time in the head;
    – irritability for any reason;
    – depression;
    – deterioration of the skin condition, excessive dryness of the skin, chapped and reddened skin in the corners of the lips;
    – lowered immunity, frequent colds.

    Symptoms of vitamin deficiency for the most important vitamins
    Symptoms of vitamin A deficiency: due to the fact that vitamin A plays an important role in the functioning of the organs of vision, its deficiency immediately affects the functioning of the eyes. You may experience the so-called “night blindness”, that is, at dusk you will see much worse, dryness of the mucous membrane may appear, which manifests itself as a feeling of discomfort and the desire to rub the eyes, even small sores on the mucous membrane of the eyes may appear.Skin condition also depends on the amount of vitamin A in the diet. Therefore, with a lack of it, the skin becomes dry, peeling appears on its surface, hair follicles can become inflamed, and small abscesses can appear. If the child lacks vitamin A, then he will develop worse, gain weight and height more slowly, and disturbances in the functioning of the nervous system may appear. Lack of vitamin A also affects the functioning of the immune system, so you will start to get sick more often.

    Symptoms of vitamin B deficiency. With a lack of B vitamins, you will experience insomnia, mood swings, constipation or diarrhea, and lack of appetite are possible.The mucous membranes of the oral cavity will become inflamed, so-called “seizures” will appear in the corners of the mouth, a sharp decrease in body weight is possible, you will become difficult to endure even the lightest physical activity, episodes of headache will become more frequent.
    Symptoms of vitamin C deficiency. From the slightest blow and even touch, bruises will remain on your body, the gums will begin to bleed, minor hemorrhages in the joints are possible. The mucous membranes of the mouth and genitals change their structure, vision deteriorates. You will feel weak all the time.
    Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. If this vitamin is not enough for babies, then they develop rickets, the child sweats a lot, his skeleton is not formed correctly, his teeth grow slowly, he is weak and inactive. Adult patients with vitamin D deficiency face rapid tooth decay, brittle bones, pain in the musculoskeletal system. Lack of vitamin D can lead to the development of serious diseases such as cancer, arterial hypertension and diabetes mellitus.
    Symptoms of vitamin E deficiency. Vitamin E plays an important role in the functioning of the genital area, therefore, with a lack of it, a person first of all feels disruptions in the functions of the reproductive organs.In addition, with vitamin E deficiency, fatty degeneration of liver cells begins.
    Symptoms of vitamin deficiency PP. Lack of this vitamin primarily affects the digestive system. You will feel an aversion to food, there will be a constant feeling of dryness in your mouth, there may be vomiting, various stool disorders, the stomach stops producing gastric juice. The general condition of such a patient is serious, involuntary muscle contractions may occur, but this, of course, in especially advanced cases. Lack of vitamin PP causes redness of the skin, darker areas of the skin may appear on the face and hands, the skin loses its smoothness.

    Treatment of vitamin deficiency
    The first thing to start when treating vitamin deficiency is the introduction of vitamins. The main method of introducing vitamins is to eat them. Of course, there are also vitamin injections, but they are usually used for acute and severe diseases.

    Therefore, if the cause of vitamin deficiency is not proper nutrition, then you need to review your diet and add foods containing vitamins to it.Foods that do not need to be boiled, stewed, or fried are best suited for nutrition. That is, fresh vegetables and fruits. There is no point in giving up meat in the same way, because it contains a huge amount of vitamins and minerals that the body needs.
    If vitamin C deficiency occurs, then it is necessary to consume as much lemons, oranges as possible, a large amount of vitamin C and sauerkraut and rose hips. By the way, you can make a real healing drink from it.To do this, brew 2 tbsp. tablespoons of fruits in a glass of boiling water, cool, add freshly squeezed lemon juice and can be consumed. Such a drink is especially useful in spring, when the lack of vitamins is felt more acutely. Although, vitamin C deficiency, when a person lacks this particular vitamin, is quite rare.
    Vitamin B vitamin deficiency is treated only with vitamin preparations, but the high content of this group of vitamins in milk, eggs, meat, fish, that is, in animal products. Also, vitamins of this group are found in peas and beans.
    It is possible and even necessary to buy complex vitamins at the pharmacy that are suitable for age and take them regularly. You cannot save on vitamins, since good vitamins will not be cheap. For the treatment of vitamin deficiency, biologically active additives can also be used, only necessarily from a well-known manufacturer.
    It also happens that vitamin deficiency is not due to nutrition, but to the body’s inability to absorb vitamins, so treatment here will not lead to a good result, and taking vitamins is just a waste of money.In this case, the right decision would be to consult a doctor, who will prescribe the correct treatment for the disease, which led to the fact that vitamin deficiency appeared.

    Nutritionists have determined who is more susceptible to vitamin deficiency

    18:18, 22 March 2019

    Fatigue and depression are frequent guests in the spring.This is due to the lack of vitamins, which begins to manifest itself especially sharply in March. How to recognize the deficiency of nutrients in the body, why the first hypovitaminosis overtakes vegetarians and what foods to lean on to cheer up, build muscle and restore shine to the hair, the Podmoskovye Today correspondent found out.


    First, it should be clarified: in the title, that painful condition that manifests itself in the spring due to the lack of the necessary amount of vitamins in the body, we name a little incorrectly.More precisely, everyone calls him differently. It will be more correct – hypovitaminosis. Avitaminosis is a much more terrible term. It means the complete absence of any useful substance or substances and is often the cause of serious diseases – rickets, scurvy. When a mistake has crept into speech, it is difficult to establish.


    According to Inna Pichugina, the chief freelance nutritionist of the Ministry of Health of the Moscow Region, children and adolescents during the period of intensive growth, pregnant and lactating women, patients with acute infectious diseases, pathology of the gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system risk becoming the first victims of vitamin deficiency in the spring. other.And also, oddly enough, some vegetarians and people who play sports intensively. The fault may be stingy, monotonous food.

    – Hypovitaminosis is also a frequent companion of smokers and alcohol lovers. Because of harm to health, – continues Pichugina.


    Our body is an excellent translator and signals the absence of any vitamin to us immediately. Nervous irritability, upset gastrointestinal tract, dermatitis and muscle weakness – all these are the main calls from the body weakened without vitamins.External beacons should not be missed either – hair and skin have faded, it has become worse to see at dusk – this may be hypovitaminosis.


    If you have any of the symptoms, be sure to consult your doctor! They can also be caused by more serious diseases.


    – Drowsiness and depression are caused by a lack of nicotinic acid (vitamin PP) in the body. Just don’t confuse it with nicotine! This vitamin has nothing to do with cigarettes, – Inna Pichugina specifies.

    A lack of vitamin C will quickly backfire on a person with increased fatigue, decreased performance, a tendency to viral infections and bleeding gums. A common problem is when a man goes to the gym but cannot build muscle mass. Despite intensive training and specialized foods. This is a sign of vitamin D deficiency.


    “In the spring, all women, and men, want to look good,” continues the nutritionist.- Many people cut back on their diet in order to tidy up their figure for the summer, but lack of nutrients negatively affects their appearance. To restore healthy shine to hair and to the skin – freshness, vitamins B, E, A and C are needed.

    There is a lot of vitamin A in fish oil, eggs, fatty fish, cottage cheese, butter and milk. B vitamins are found in meat and cereals. At the same time, nutritionists recommend taking them in combination with vitamins of group A, because they work well as a team.

    Vegetable oils will help saturate the body with vitamin E. Especially useful are olive, flaxseed, walnut oil. The source of vitamin C in spring is not only expensive overseas fruits, but also rose hips, rowan and sea buckthorn fruits.

    To compensate for the lack of vitamin D will help … an early spring vacation in warm countries. If, of course, there is such an opportunity.


    Mineral and vitamin complexes help to “feed” the body suffering from a lack of nutrients.But you don’t have to spend crazy money on elite dietary supplements. Modern domestic vitamins are no worse than foreign ones, says Inna Pichugina.

    – There are three largest manufacturers of substances for vitamin and mineral complexes all over the world, explains the nutritionist. – Manufacturers buy raw materials from them and produce products under their own brand. Our domestic manufacturers buy the substance from Holland and make very good quality vitamin complexes on the spot.


    The expert reminds: women need to choose vitamin and mineral complexes with a high iron content. And for those planning a pregnancy, it is extremely important to take folic acid.

    “If a person is worried about irritability, discomfort of the gastrointestinal tract, it is imperative to visit a doctor,” concluded the chief freelance nutritionist of the Ministry of Health of the Moscow Region Inna Pichugina. – In addition, it is important to know if you are allergic to any vitamin.

    – Avitaminosis is a disease that is a complete lack of vitamins in the human body, – said the Minister of Health of the Moscow Region Dmitry Matveev. – It is necessary to fight this ailment with the help of a balanced diet, a healthy lifestyle and a complex of vitamins. However, you should not self-medicate, it is important to seek help from a specialist who will give all the necessary recommendations.

    90,000 Why there is depression even in spring and how to avoid it

    With the onset of the long-awaited warm days, everything around begins to blossom.It would seem that Kazakhstanis should be in a good mood, but many during this period begin to be overcome by melancholy and loss of strength. Avitaminosis, weakening of immunity and exacerbation of chronic diseases against this background can provoke the onset of depression. Without noticing it, people begin to experience constant headaches, sleep is disturbed, and appetite is lost. These first symptoms indicate that the body is malfunctioning, it needs rest and timely care.

    Within the framework of the project of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan “Deni sau olt – kuatty memleket!” read an interview with Zhanat Takenov, a neuropathologist, head of the department of physiotherapy and water mud therapy at the National Center for Neurosurgery, on how to recognize depression and what to do in this case.


    Zhanat Toleubaevich, why is the topic of depression and chronic fatigue relevant today? Is there any medical explanation for this?

    Zhanat Takenov

    I believe that chronic fatigue and a person being in a bad mood are associated with high workload and a hectic pace of life. People have to work two or three jobs, there is no clear time management and time for personal interests.All this, as a result, results in apathy, fatigue. Patients who come to me complain of constant headaches. After the examination, it turns out that there are no medical disorders. The problem is nervous system breakdown, constant stress and erratic work schedules. The body has no time to rest, and it fails. It can be difficult to convince a patient that he is not physically sick, he just needs to rest, take a relaxing water treatment and start taking care of himself.


    Does this state only occur in spring or does it happen at any time of the year?

    Zhanat Takenov

    Yes, in the spring and autumn the state of fatigue and depression intensifies, there is an exacerbation.But now I see that people can be bothered by headaches, periodic mood swings, blues and despair for a whole year. Moreover, successful and adequate people, sometimes working on weekends and without vacations, on whose shoulders a great responsibility, loans and obligations, can be subject to such a state. They are examined, take all kinds of tests, but the problem does not go away. In the medical sense, there is the term “hypochondria” – when patients are concerned about their condition, looking for all sorts of causes of the disease and are already living in their “disease”.She overcomes them psychologically. And more often such patients already believe that they have oncology, and diagnose themselves using the Internet.


    Do you immediately notice that the person is already depressed? Maybe there are some basic external symptoms?

    Zhanat Takenov

    In some cases, a person with signs of chronic fatigue and beginning depression is given out by dull eyes, a frightened look, despair on his face.After a heart-to-heart talk, it turns out that he is worried about personal problems, recent stress experienced, they may burst into tears at the doctor’s appointment. Interestingly, patients initially come to a neurologist with chronic pain in the head, back and even in the region of the heart. Sometimes they complain of anxiety, fear and loneliness. After the tests and computed tomography, it turns out that “inside” the patient is healthy. And if the pain persists and does not lend itself to drug treatment, you need to “heal the soul.”Of course, we are trying to treat together with psychologists and psychotherapists.


    And how to “heal the soul” effectively? It is often advised to spend time outdoors, walk, play sports. But these banal advice does not always help, the person still returns to his state.

    Zhanat Takenov

    As regards our neurosurgery center, we prescribe so-called relaxing treatments to patients to strengthen the nervous and vascular systems using physiological and water treatments.For example, a hot tub, a Charcot shower have a beneficial effect on the body and relieve chronic stress.

    I don’t think the advice on fighting and preventing depression is trivial. They become so only when a person does not follow them. Lack of discipline and the desire to get the result right away – that’s the patient’s problem. This does not happen, any treatment needs a period. When patients are offered to go in for active sports, go to physiotherapy, they do not believe me. Many have excuses that there is not enough time for this.But in order to be in good shape and overcome depression, you need discipline, responsibility for your health.


    Unfortunately, many hide their condition, thinking that depression is a shame. And the problem is not being solved, but is getting worse. What would you advise in such cases?

    Zhanat Takenov

    Yes, unfortunately, it is in our mentality that it is a shame to seek help from a psychologist or psychotherapist, someone is afraid of publicity of the problem.After all, not everyone can be convinced that they need the help of a specialist, due to the fact that they do not want to believe in their depression. If the media promotes not only a healthy lifestyle, timely care for their physical and mental health, but also timely appeals to specialists – psychotherapists or psychologists – depression can be avoided. But it is also not worth encouraging the population to “swallow” problems with pills, as we risk growing an infantile society that can become addicted to drugs.


    Many patients with psychological disorders are prescribed antidepressants. How do they affect the brain, are they addictive?

    Zhanat Takenov

    There are side effects in all drugs. But if you drink antidepressants as prescribed by a doctor and in the correct dosage, there will be no addiction, but only a positive effect. The mechanism of action is varied.But only a specialist will understand the correct appointment. For example, in some antidepressants, the mechanism of action is to reuptake serotonin. And this, as you know, is the hormone of happiness.


    What neurological diseases can a person develop after prolonged depression or stress?

    Zhanat Takenov

    In recent years, scientists have proven that stress plays an important role in the development of serious diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.In short, these are neurological diseases characterized by pronounced impairment of memory and coordination of movement. In general, depression can cause heart disease, metabolic disorders, and diabetes mellitus. Patients’ family relationships deteriorate, it is already difficult for them to adapt to society. They may also face a lack of understanding of their condition among others. There are times when suicidal thoughts develop. Therefore, it is very important at the initial stage for specialists to identify the causes of depression and fatigue.


    Give three advice to those who are now in a difficult psychological state?

    Zhanat Takenov

    Do not be afraid to contact good specialists. Know that there is always a way out. Don’t despair.

    The Ministry of Health reminds: sports, proper nutrition and disease prevention are faithful helpers in the fight against depression.

    90,000 Spring came together with depression | Articles

    Spring depression, or seasonal affective disorder, as doctors call this condition, is an unpleasant thing. The sun is shining, nature is renewing, and in my soul there is impenetrable darkness, there is no appetite, everything hurts, sleep does not go, I am not sweet to myself. Science has been arguing about the reasons for this paradox for many years. There are many hypotheses: winter fatigue, vitamin deficiency, hormonal changes in the body for the summer, lack of oxygen, excess light after a dark winter… One thing is clear – one cannot put up with the spring depression, one must resist by all available means. And if he himself did not cope, call medicine for help.

    The soul suffers, and the stomach hurts

    Depression is often hidden under the guise of other diseases. A person experiences pain in the heart, stomach, intestines, discomfort in the back, skin problems, hair loss, etc. A detailed examination does not show any abnormalities, they begin to treat him, but nothing helps.He goes to another doctor, the third, the fourth, often walks like this for years. Experienced doctors believe that up to 10% of regular patients in polyclinics do not suffer from bodily ailments, but rather depression. On the other hand, depression can be a symptom of dangerous illnesses. It has recently been established, for example, that increasing depression in the elderly may be a harbinger of stroke or heart attack.

    By sex and age

    Depression affects the weaker sex almost twice as often as the strong one.Either this is a mystery of a gentle female soul, or the reason is banal – men are less likely to seek help from a psychologist. The wives of the new Russians are at risk. Many of them do not work, devoting time to themselves or dissolving in the interests of the husband. Gradually, their world shrinks to the size of a fitness center, beauty salon and their own home, and the spouse becomes the only object of attention. Because of the slightest conflict with him, the world collapses, negative emotions overwhelm. The second risk group is young mothers caring for a baby.Hard work, great emotional stress, constant anxiety for the baby is a small enough reason for the world to turn black. Another two risk groups are divorced and single women over 40. In young people, depression peaks between the ages of 16 and 19. But if young men at this time are more often drawn into antisocial forms of behavior, then girls often drive the problem inside, surrendering to despair completely.

    And here genes are to blame

    Whether a person will suffer from depression or not, genes also determine.One of them is in charge of the production of two important hormones – norepinephrine and serotonin. They are responsible for delivering nerve signals to parts of the brain that are involved in the formation of emotions, behavior, and neural regulation. A mutation in this gene reduces the production of serotonin by 80%, which is also called the “hormone of joy”. Moreover, antidepressant drugs hardly work on such people. Another gene “controls” the transport of serotonin in the brain. It can be different: the long version of the gene prevents the development of depression, as it delivers the “joy hormone” quickly and accurately.But the short – mutant – gene works poorly, in such people depression develops twice as often.

    From Tsung to Beck and back

    There are many tests, questionnaires and scales for detecting depression. Among the most popular are the Tsung test and the Beck scale, which allow a person to assess their own condition. The Beck scale is very large, but you can find it on the Internet if you want. The test, invented by psychologist William Tsung, is somewhat simpler – for each of his 20 questions, you can give one out of four possible answers: “very rarely”, “rarely”, “often”, “almost constantly.”Give yourself a score of 1 to 4 accordingly.

    1. I feel more nervous and anxious than usual.

    2. I feel fear for no reason at all.

    3. I get upset or panic easily.

    4. I have a feeling that I cannot get myself together and pull myself together.

    5. I have a feeling of complete well-being, I feel that nothing bad will happen to me.

    6. My arms and legs are shaking and shaking.

    7. I have headaches, neck and back pains.

    8. I feel weak and get tired quickly.

    9. I am calm, I can sit quietly without any effort.

    10. I have a feeling of a rapid heartbeat.

    11. I have attacks of dizziness.

    12. I have attacks of weakness.

    13. I breathe freely.

    14. I have numbness and tingling in my fingers and toes.

    15. I have stomach pains and bowel upsets.

    16. I have frequent urge to urinate.

    17. My hands are usually dry and warm.

    18. My face burns and turns red.

    19. I fall asleep easily and sleep deep, refreshing sleep.

    20. I have nightmares.

    A score from 35 to 40 means that you are not depressed; from 41 to 45 – there is depression, but in a mild form; from 46 to 65 – you need the help of a specialist.

    9 rules of peace war with depression

    1. Take a piece of paper, divide it in half with a vertical line.On the left, write down everything that worries you point by point. On the right are the reasons for this. For example: I don’t sleep well. Reason: I can’t help thinking about … Find the arguments why this is wrong and write them down.

    2. To change your priorities, come up with a new, interesting, but achievable goal. For example: “go to a friend’s weekend in another city” or “buy a new tracksuit.” Describe in detail on paper all the stages of how you will implement it.

    3. Spring depression – it’s time to start “all over again”.Change your daily routine: start visiting the pool, include an evening walk in your daily routine in any weather, etc.

    4. Try to give yourself and your loved ones a little joy every day: a movie ticket, a new book, a good manicure, cooking a new dish, etc.

    5. On a day off, allow yourself a “holiday of laziness” – sleep well, take a fragrant bath, go to the hairdresser.

    6. Try to change something in the apartment: move furniture, buy a new curtain or rug for the hallway, transplant flowers.

    7. In the evening, write down a detailed plan for tomorrow, trying not to leave free time in it.

    8. Invite a close friend to a cafe or to your home – and thoroughly complain to each other about all your troubles, even, maybe, cry together until you yourself feel funny.

    9. Remember that certain medications, such as birth control, cause mood swings. Perhaps they need to be changed. If these measures do not help, it is worth contacting a psychotherapist.Vivacity salad, pleasure juice If bouts of spring blues are more frequent, pay attention to your diet. Be sure to include a multivitamin in it. Try to avoid both low-calorie diets and heavy, fatty and sugary foods. Limit yourself to strong tea and coffee. Eat more foods that contain iodine – cauliflower, seaweed, sea fish. Be sure to prepare salads with fresh vegetables, herbs (parsley, celery, leeks, etc.), garlic, nuts. Dark chocolate, dried apricots, bananas, oranges and other citrus fruits cheer up.Oriental spices are also good – they can be used to season both ready-made dishes and fresh salads, desserts. Do not forget about freshly squeezed juices – not only fruit, but also vegetable juices: carrot, cabbage, beetroot. Add a few sprigs of parsley to your juicer or blender.

    Correct diagnosis is made 5 out of 100

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 110 million people worldwide suffer from depression. How many in Moscow is unknown, we do not keep such statistics, and doctors with such complaints are rarely addressed.It is known that in New York, 20% of women and 7% of men suffer from it. But, according to the US National Institutes of Health, these people, as a rule, do not go to psychiatrists and psychotherapists, but to general practitioners.

    “Non-core” doctors, according to the same sources, make the correct diagnosis only in 1-5% of cases.

    Cats also cry

    It turns out that the spring depression is familiar to animals. Zoologists believe that this is due to winter exhaustion, restructuring of the body, in some animals – and with hormonal preparation for the period of reproduction.So, in the spring, pets are more likely to get colds and other diseases, they develop nervous disorders: the dog can run away from the owners, become aggressive, and disobey commands. Cats huddle in a corner, refuse to eat and play. All animals have body temperature fluctuations.