Supplement Focus: Vitamin D

Along with magnesium, most Americans are deficient in vitamin D. It is a common misconception that getting regular sunlight will provide adequate amounts of it. Even living somewhere where it’s always sunny, you will most likely not absorb enough vitamin D from just sunlight. This is where supplementation comes in.

Higher levels of serum vitamin D (the amount found in blood) are associated with a lower level of all-cause mortality. Higher levels of vitamin D are also associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer.

Aside from those health benefits, vitamin D is also beneficial for sleep, mood, and memory. A gold standard (double-blind, placebo controlled) research study found that the group given vitamin D supplementation had significant effects on sleep quality. “…improves sleep quality, reduces sleep latency, raises sleep duration and improves subjective sleep quality…”

Vitamin D and fish oils are great for mood enhancement through increasing serotonin. Vitamin D upregulates the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects “mood, decision-making, social behavior, impulsive behavior, and social decision-making.” There are also many neurological disorders, from autism spectrum disorder (ASD), ADHD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, to depression, that are linked to low brain serotonin.

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Categories: Aging and Longevity, Nutrition, Supplements

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