Could more sunshine make you less anxious?
It is no surprise that basking in sunshine can do a lot to improve your mood, but do you know about the link between vitamin D and mental health?
Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, which we need to enable our bodies to convert the calcium in our diets to strengthen our bones. In addition to maintaining good bone health, vitamin D has been linked with many other physiological functions in the human body.
In fact, a lack of vitamin D has been asscoiated with conditions such as prostate cancer, breast cancer, heart disease and, perhaps unsurprisingly, depression.
A paper published in the Mediterranean Journal of Clinical Psychology, Vitamin D status is associated with anxiety levels in postmenopausal women evaluated for osteoporosis, analysed the correlation between serum 25(OH) D (a hormone produced in the liver as a reaction to vitamin D) and anxiety levels.
The researchers studied 177 women with a mean age of 65 and divided them into groups based on their 25 (OH) D levels which were measured using high-performance liquid chromatography.
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Once levels of 25 (OH) D had been measured the subject's anxiety levels were measured using the Hamilton Anxiety rating scale which considers elements including mood, tension, fears and insomnia. The paper details that subjects with lower 25 (OH) D levels were more likely to exhibit higher levels of anxiety.
So there it is, enjoying the sunshine is just as important for your mental health as it is for your physical health, so make some time to soak up some sun today!
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