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What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Anxiety And Depression

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Vitamin Deficiencies Can Cause Anxiety Problems

Depression, Anxiety, Pain and Vitamin D Deficiency: pt2ex1 Introduction
  • Halina Hladysz

Anxiety may be ever-present in the background of our lives. Itis fed by chronic, unreasonable fears and worries that relentlesslyhijack our emotions.

We get up in the morning with a resolution of not giving in tothis anguish-producing inner tension, soon to find out that ourstrong will is not enough. The “calm down” advice we hearfrequently only raises the anxiety levels, as it adds to thefeeling of inadequacy.

In my last article , I wrote about pyroluriaas one of the silent underlying causes of anxiety. Pyroluria is agenetic chemical imbalance that is characterized by a severedeficiency of vitamin B6 and zinc. In her book, “Depression Free,Naturally,” Joan Mathews Larson points out: “The loss of B6 andzinc is a psychiatric disaster.”

Let me examine why.

B6 has a major role in our nervous system’s balance because itis essential in more than 50 enzymatic brain reactions where aminogroups are transformed or transferred. Lack of B6 causes depletionof two important neurotransmitters – dopamine and serotonin -creating ongoing anxiety and depression. In addition, shortage ofB6 causes elevated lactic acid levels, and lactic acid createsanxiety.

Whats The Difference Between Stress And Anxiety

Because the symptoms of stress and anxiety are so similar, many people use the terms interchangeably. It is useful to understand the difference as many vitamins help both but the definition is different. Shared symptoms between the two conditions include:

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • A hard time concentrating on tasks, conversations, etc.

  • Mood swings or mood changes, such as irritability

  • Chronic fatigue and loss of motivation

However, while stress is a response to a short-term trigger , anxiety is a persistent feeling that never goes away.

Whether youre experiencing long-term anxiety or short-term stress, psychologists point out that both are emotional responses within your brain and nervous system. And an ever-expanding body of research is investigating how the foods you eat affect how you feel, and whether specific vitamins and minerals can help your brain to better moderate your emotional responses to lifes difficulties.

Get the nutrients you need to help feel less anxious with the Heights Smart Supplement.

Who Suffers From Depression

Whether youre feeling a little blue or are unable to get out of bed in the morning, youre not alone. Depression is a major public health issue worldwide, impacting more than 264 million people, according to the World Health Organization.

In the U.S., the statistics are just as staggering. The governments National Institute of Mental Health says that more than 17 million U.S. adultsover 7% of all adultshad at least one major depressive episode in 2017. For adult women, the prevalence of major depressive episode was nearly 9% versus just over 5% for men. Those individuals in the 18-25 age range experienced the highest level of a major depressive episode.

And thats not even taking into account mild or moderate depression.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites these 2019 statistics from the National Health Interview Survey:

And those statistics are prior to COVID-19. According to one study published in September 2020 in JAMA, depression symptoms in the U.S. tripled during COVID-19 compared to prior to the pandemic.

VIDEO: How Do Omega-3s Help Anxiety?

A new report from Mental Health America , a community-based non-profit organization, claims over 47 million American adults experience mental illness, ranging from mild to serious, with 57% of those adults not receiving treatment.

Here are few more key findings from the MHA report.

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What About Vitamin D Deficiency And Anxiety

Anxiety can lead to a wide variety of symptoms, such as feeling tense or having a sense of panic as well as physical symptoms like rapid breathing and an increased heart rate, according to the Mayo Clinic.

There’s not a lot of research into a potential relationship between vitamin D and anxiety.

One study compared the amount of calcidiol in small groups of adults with depression, anxiety symptoms and a symptom-free control group. It found lower levels of calcidiol in the study participants with anxiety disorders than in the control group, according to the results published in Physiological Research in June 2015.

Taking vitamin D supplements was effective at improving anxiety symptoms in patients with depression and low vitamin D levels, according to a September 2020 study published in Brain and Behavior.

But as the study authors note, additional studies are needed in this area to validate these findings.

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Signs And Symptoms Ofanxiety

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Stress signals to the body that it must take action. Its great for life-threatening situations but can lead to physical and mental issues if it gets out of hand. People with anxiety disorders feel a level of stress that isnt proportional to the situation at hand.

There are different types of anxiety. Some may feel anxious in a social setting whereas others will feel it constantly for no reason. They all share common symptoms.

Signs of anxiety are:

  • Fortified milk
  • Fortified cereal

There are many types of food fortified with vitamin D. Examples include juices, pasta, and even margarine. Making a conscious effort to choose fortified food can help with a vitamin D deficiency and anxiety as well as depression.

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What Does The New Study On Vitamin D And Depression Tell Us

Earlier in this blog, we referenced a new study published in June in Nutrients that sought to determine whether the relationship between depression and Vitamin D is moderated or mediated by inflammation.

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In other words, the researchers were hoping to determine the mechanisms by which Vitamin D might impact inflammation and in turn modify depression.

The study was conducted out of Germany, using a community sample of over 7,100 adults from the LIFE-Adult Study for whom depressive symptoms were assessed by using the German version of the CES-D scale and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D D) levels and three inflammatory markers .

A quick translation: the CES-D scale stands for the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, a self-report depression scale for research in the general population to assess depression.

Serum levels of Vitamin D refer to blood levels of the nutrient.

Some background: The three markers selected have been previously linked to inflammation , and depression itself is linked to systematic inflammation .

Further, Vitamin D has been found to play an important role in modulating the immune/inflammation system and previous studies have also found that low Vitamin D levels are associated with increased inflammation. It is important to note that while a causative effect on the influence of Vitamin D on inflammation continues to be explored, that kind of relationship has not yet been determined.

Other Physiological And Psychosocial Factors

Another angle of viewing diet and depression involves old age, which is a time of vulnerability to unintentional weight loss, a factor that is often linked to increased morbidity and premature death. Anorexia of aging may play an important role in precipitating this, by either reducing food intake directly or reducing food intake in response to such adverse factors as age-associated reductions in sensory perception , poor dentition, use of multiple prescription drugs, and depression. Marcus and Berry reviewed malnutrition occurring in the elderly, in both institutional and community settings, due to refusal to eat. They suggest physiologic changes associated with aging, mental disorders such as dementia and depression, and medical, social, and environmental as causative factors. Currently to tackle the problem of depression, people are following the alternative and complementary medicine interventions. CAM therapies are defined by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine as a group of diverse medical and health systems, practices, and products that are not currently considered to be a part of conventional medicine. Mental health professionals need to be aware that it is likely that a fair number of their patients with bipolar disorder might use CAM interventions. Some clinicians judge these interventions to be attractive and safe alternatives, or adjuncts to conventional psychotropic medications.

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Vitamin D Supplementation Improves Anxiety But Not Depression Symptoms In Patients With Vitamin D Deficiency

Department of Sleep Disorders, Affiliated Psychological Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China

Hefei Fourth People’s Hospital, Hefei, China

Anhui Mental Health Center, Hefei, China

Department of Sleep Disorders, Affiliated Psychological Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China

Hefei Fourth People’s Hospital, Hefei, China

Anhui Mental Health Center, Hefei, China

Department of Sleep Disorders, Affiliated Psychological Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China

Hefei Fourth People’s Hospital, Hefei, China

Anhui Mental Health Center, Hefei, China

Department of Sleep Disorders, Affiliated Psychological Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China

Hefei Fourth People’s Hospital, Hefei, China

Anhui Mental Health Center, Hefei, China

Department of Sleep Disorders, Affiliated Psychological Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China

Hefei Fourth People’s Hospital, Hefei, China

Anhui Mental Health Center, Hefei, China

Department of Maternal, Child & Adolescent Health, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China



Peng Zhu, Department of Maternal, Child & Adolescent Health, School of Public Health Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230032, China.

Department of Sleep Disorders, Affiliated Psychological Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China

Hefei Fourth People’s Hospital, Hefei, China

Anhui Mental Health Center, Hefei, China



Hefei Fourth People’s Hospital, Hefei, China

Final Thoughts On The Connection From Panic Attacks To Vitamin Deficiencies

Depression, Anxiety, Pain and Vitamin D Deficiency: pt2ex2: what depression isn’t

Between unhealthy eating, environmental toxins, depleted soil, stress, and genetic mutations, getting adequate nutrition is virtually impossible in the modern world. Nutrient deficiencies are all too common, and mood imbalances such as panic disorder can occur as a result.

Identifying your deficiencies and investigating the root cause behind them is key to achieving true health. Measures such as dietary changes, gut healing, gene testing, and supplementation can fill the gaps and improve nutrient status.

As it turns out, you may be able to reduce the panic attacks with proper nutrition.

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Vitamin Deficiencies Can Mess With Your Mental Health

Youd be hard-pressed not to stumble on a social media #ad for vitamin packs. Trendy supplement brands like Ritual or Care/Of promise their products will help alleviate a series of vitamin deficiencies, which companies warn can cause health issues including problems with your mental health.

We know we need proper nutrients in order to function properly. But just how much of an impact do they really have on our minds?

Optimal mental health requires adequate availability and absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino and fatty acids as essential building blocks for our brain cells and neurotransmitters, said Dr. Jennifer Kraker, a New York-based psychiatrist who specializes in nutrition and mental health. When our nutritional biochemistry is imbalanced, our mental health is affected.

For most people, a healthy diet will take care of that. For others, a doctor may need to prescribe a vitamin supplement if the body doesnt metabolize nutrients properly.

Because were all unique, one person may tolerate lower levels of a certain nutrient very well, and another might not, Kraker said. Rinse and repeat for most all micronutrients.

More commonly, nutrition-related issues are experienced as symptoms like reduced ability to manage stress, increased anxiety or edginess, lower mood, and poorer concentration or focus, said Nicole Beurkens, licensed psychologist and board-certified nutrition specialist at Horizons Developmental Resource Center in Caledonia, Michigan.

Impact Of Vitamin D Deficiency On Mental Health

The body needs Vitamin D at the proper level for it to function as it should.

How Vitamin D Works In The Body

Your muscles, heart, brain, and immune system have vitamin D receptors. The body transports the vitamin to the kidneys and liver, where it converts into an active hormone. In this form, it assists the body in absorbing calcium.

Your body acquires vitamin D through sun exposure. Certain foods and supplements can also be sources of vitamin D. Dark-skinned people have a high level of melanin.

Itâs the component that determines coloring in the human and animal world. This pigmentation prevents the skin from absorbing vitamin D correctly.

How Vitamin D Deficiency Leads to Mental Health Effects

Low levels of the vitamin may contribute to schizophrenia in adults, depression, and seasonal affective disorder. Other health problems that can arise from the deficiency include:

  • Low bone density
  • Excessive weight loss or gain
  • Trouble sleepingââ

If you experience any of these symptoms similar to depression, have your vitamin D levels checked. Your doctor will do a test to determine the level of the vitamin in your blood.

For depression diagnosis, you may have to complete a self-assessment test. A blood test can’t diagnose depression but may test other conditions that cause depressive symptoms.

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Most Common Nutrient Deficiencies Linked To Depression

1- Vitamin D: As previously mentioned in our series about seasonal affective disorder- a type of depression- vitamin D plays a significant role in serotonin activity, and serotonin is the key neurotransmitters involved with mood, sleep, appetite, and digestion. It is also necessary to ensure the proper absorption of phosphorus into your bloodstream, which helps facilitate cell repair and tissue growth in your brain and body.

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: Theres 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.

Vitamins For Seasonal Depression

Pin On A Vitamin D Story

Seasonal depression is something many people experience. Also known as seasonal affective disorder , 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 persons 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.

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Impact Of Other Factors On Vitamin D Status

Individuals obtain vitamin D either exogenously, from dietary sources, or endogenously, from activation of a subcutaneous vitamin D precursor by ultraviolet rays . Dietary sources can be obtained through naturally-occurring vitamin D in foods, fortification of foods with vitamin D, and a vitamin D supplement. As vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient, metabolism requires normal digestion and absorption of fat. Subcutaneous synthesis is stimulated by exposure to sunlight though this effect varies based on the amount and duration of exposure, latitude, season, and race .

Optimal vitamin D status is hampered by several factors. The limited number of naturally rich foods with this nutrient causes some groups to be at risk for inadequacy . The optimal daily requirement for various age groups is under scientific debate . The current Adequate Intake , which is part of the Dietary Reference Intakes , is 200 IU/day for both women and men from infancy to age 50 400 IU/day for those between 5170 years and 600 IU/day for those > 70 years . Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended increasing the daily intake of vitamin D to 400 IU/day for all infants, children, and adolescents .

What Is The Root Cause Of Anxiety

Stress from a personal relationship, job, school, or financial predicament can contribute greatly to anxiety disorders. Even low oxygen levels in high-altitude areas can add to anxiety symptoms. Genetics: People who have family members with an anxiety disorder are more likely to have one themselves.

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Key Nutrient Deficiencies That May Contribute To Anxiety

Now we know the why, its time to take action! But what key nutrient deficiencies are associated with anxiety and low mood? And what does this look like in terms of food?

Weve identified a selection of key nutrients that could support easing anxiety, alongside lifestyle factors. It wont be the same for everyone, but its a great place to start.

1. Magnesium

Magnesium supports you in bringing more calm into your life, by nurturing your brain’s ability to release stress hormones. This means when you feel like youre being overrun by a busy mind, magnesium supports you in finding some space to relax, including better sleep too.

Magnesium is the third most abundant mineral in the body.

Magnesium is the third most abundant mineral in the body and it is involved in over 600 biochemical reactions thats one very important nutrient!

What to eat? Dark green veggies such as spinach, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, nuts, bananas, almonds, legumes, whole grains, avocados, beef, and lamb.

2. Vitamin D

Every tissue in our body has vitamin D receptors, making it essential for how we feel on a daily basis. It also plays a key role in the production and release of dopamine and serotonin our trusty happy hormones.

What to eat? Fatty foods such as salmon, herring, tuna, mackerel, sardines, oysters, beef liver, egg yolks and mushrooms . Also, getting safe sun exposure between the hours of 11am and 3pm is good for soaking up vitamin d.

3. B6

4. Iron

Iron is found in every living cell.

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