Vitamin D and Depression – Can the Sunshine Vitamin Be Part of a Cure?

Vitamin D and depression are associated…which means that maintaining adequate levels can support mental health. But there is no research indicating that vitamin D deficiency causes depression or provides treatment on its own.

In 2002, the United States NHANES study of over 15,000 people found that 75% of Americans had vitamin D blood levels below what is necessary to support optimal health. In 2010, Statistics Canada confirmed similar results after conducting blood tests on over 5,300 Canadians. But what does the research say about vitamin D and depression?

Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin” because our bodies produce it naturally when unprotected skin is exposed to the sunlight. As the vitamin travels through our body, its first role is to maintain the blood calcium levels needed to maintain health. But as it passes through the kidneys, it also becomes a potent steroid hormone that strengthens our immune system and impacts brain function. But does the positive effect on brain function actually help to prevent depression?


Despite broad agreement that vitamin D plays an essential role in our physical health, the interaction between vitamin D and depression is still not clear. A small study of 44 healthy people found that 800 IU of vitamin D3 enhanced the participants’ mood during the winter. And another study found that 100,000 IU of D2 improved depression scales of people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). But there has not yet been any substantial research on vitamin D and depression as opposed to milder forms of mood disorders.

As vitamin D plays such an important role in preserving our health and protecting us from disease, it is generally agreed that maintenance of optimal blood levels should be considered within a depression treatment program. The Vitamin D Council recommends a daily dosage of 5,000 IU until blood tests indicate whether this dosage should be increased or decreased.

Increasing vitamin D intake through exposure to sunlight provides the additional benefit of increasing brain serotonin…which is known to enhance feelings of well-being. As research has shown that summer sunlight increases brain serotonin levels twice as much as winter sunlight, there is some speculation that vitamin D may play a role in this improved well-being.

People who have enjoyed the benefits of light therapy for mild depression may choose to use an ultraviolet light or sunbed to gain the benefits of both the light and increased vitamin D.

It is also important to get enough magnesium and calcium to support the absorption of vitamin D. Bone building supplements provide an excellent source of these minerals while also helping to prevent osteoporosis.

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Detoxification Diet – What Benefits Can I Get From It?

Detoxification Diet works wonders

Every detoxification diet you will come across will have some differences from each other. Some programs may completely restrict intake of food, while others will advice you to eat nothing more than just fruits and vegetables. This is the usual scene once you begin with a detoxification diet program. Whichever you take, each one will take you towards the great benefits of being cleansed from the inside.

Your body is constantly bombarded by a multitude of toxins and other harmful substances, and it does its best just to flush these things out. With a detoxification diet, your body will receive a great deal of help in naturally eliminating these culprits. There may also be some side effects when you first try this cleansing program, like when you are used to drinking coffee every morning, then you will need to exert efforts just to withdraw from something you are used to doing, and that isn’t easy. This may seem like a torture for most people, but this is just normal and symptoms of withdrawal will gradually subside. Once your body gets accustomed to the new routine, you will feel much better and more energized.

Fatigue and lethargy is often considered to be primarily caused by constipation. Undergoing a detoxification diet program will help cleanse the colon area, and can improve your symptoms of constipation. I once had this room mate who was regularly taking narcotic pain killers for more than a year because of a recent injury. It was this drug that made him constipated most of the time. The moment she finished with her medication on narcotic pain killers, she immediately tried getting into a detoxification diet. She experienced improvements in her health like getting rid of her narcotic dependency, and she does not experience being constipated anymore. She currently gets her colon cleansed and undergoes detoxification every time she had difficulty in bowel movements. She felt really cleansed from the inside and felt so much lighter after getting into a detoxification diet.

Even with the benefits that detoxification diets offer, some individuals say they experienced a general feeling of weakness in the 1st week of the program. As with most diets like this, food consumption is greatly reduced, and this can really affect the body’s performance and balance. The secret here is to know how to prolong the effects of the foods you consume. Individuals who have a hard time with reduced caloric intake state that spreading out meals into smaller portions throughout the day is better than just taking the major meals by themselves. This allows them to enjoy the benefits that detoxification diets have to offer while keeping the food intake the same. Experts on this kind of diets say that as long as the amount of calories taken in each day remains constant, then spreading out meals throughout the day will pose no problem.

The extra water consumption related with detoxification diets is just normal, as this would help flush out whatever impurities you have inside you, and it can also grant you smoother bowel movements. The more water you take in, the better your body will be able to flush out those toxins inside you. It will also help your kidneys function more efficiently in cleansing your bloodstream and excreting waste matter through your urine.

Another benefit of getting into a detoxification diet is liver regeneration, which is not really known to many people. Including milk thistle as a supplement is highly recommended when undergoing a cleansing program. It can help with the ability of the liver to heal and regenerate itself. And although it may not cure any liver disease, it can at least help prevent them from occurring when combined with a healthy lifestyle.

What you won’t get from detoxification diets

Undergoing a detoxification diet is made to help the body recuperate from the large amounts of toxins that has accumulated inside it. It is not a magic cure for every ailments or illnesses. Although most individuals may report improvements in their health conditions, it may not be able to partially or completely have an effect no already existing diseases in the body. For example, cancer cells cannot be eliminated by undergoing a detoxification diet. Although they have been due to toxin build-up, they are made up of cells and not something you can just flush down the toilet.

A lot of people experience significant weight loss during detoxification diets. This is just normal as calorie intake is greatly reduced, which also causes water weight reduction and flushing out of fat cells. Some people say this is just temporary, but the weight loss effects can actually be made permanent if you maintain your healthy eating habits and do not get back to your old routine of junk and processed foods. So if you were previously used to snacking on French fries and hamburgers everyday, you must not return to this routine anymore, or else you will again gain back your weight, and most of the time the weight gained is greater than what you originally had. Detoxification diets teach you to eat smart by making smart choices, whether you are dinning inside or outside your home.

Detoxification diets are not designed to cure emotional or mental problems like clinical depression. Although a lot of people state that they felt more emotionally stable after undergoing the program, there is still a big line separating situational depression from clinical depression. Appropriate medication is needed for serious cases of clinical depression. For people with this kind of condition, detoxification diets can never replace the medication they need in order to get by with daily activities. Situational depression is way different case however, and can be managed easily by undergoing a detoxification diet since it is designed for you to have maximum control over your body and health.

What makes Detoxification Diets different from the usual diet programs?

Diet programs are usually considered a dime a dozen. Popular diet programs like Grapefruit diet, Atkins diet, Green Tea and National Diet programs. One can go over and over these diet plans, spend a fortune on each one just to find out which one works and which does not. The reality is that not every one of these programs will work for you. To others it may prove to be a success, but that does not guarantee the same result for you. This is because different diet programs are meant to be used by different kinds of people. They are not a “one size fits all” program. So will detoxification diets work everyone? Definitely! This is because weight reduction is only a side effect of getting your body cleansed of toxins. Its main goal is to get rid of different kinds of toxins and harmful substances which have accumulated over time. These toxins are what give us countless health problems ranging from simple headaches and fatigue, to even cancers and cardiovascular diseases. Besides cleansing the body of foreign matter, we are also aiming to prevent them from getting back inside of us. And while weight reduction is a result of undergoing a detoxification program, we would like to emphasize that this is not its principal objective.

Always remember that detoxification diet programs will also vary from one another. Some will be designed by health professionals who have extensive knowledge on how the body works and its ability to cleanse itself of harmful substances. And while most diet programs were created with some sense of entrepreneurship, a detoxification diet program was made by a naturopathist or an individual who deals with different body types and how each one functions on its own unique way. After the first detoxification diet program was introduced, a lot of “spin-offs” have already sprouted in the market, and all have their different claims for body purification. Most of them will recommend cutting back completely on eating and just living on juice drinks for a few days (although something such as this beyond 24 hours is just unhealthy). These are the types of diet plans that just seem an impossible task to complete. If you really want to try going into any diet program, we definitely recommend starting slow and gradual so that your body’s balance is not drastically disturbed. Weight loss will follow once you start taking care of your health.

Losing weight while under a detoxification program came as a surprise for people who weren’t really expecting it. They only wanted to get cleansed of toxins and harmful substances, but they were not aware that losing weight in the process would be possible. This gave this diet program significant popularity because of its cleansing and weight reduction capabilities.

It is a well-known fact that the world we live in today, though modern and comfortable, is filled with everything unnatural, chemically treated and processed; from the food we eat to the air we breathe, everything contains some level of processing in it. People seem to have forgotten that we are biological beings who need more of the natural stuff. If you compare our diet and lifestyle to people living in the Pacific Islands, you would notice the significant difference between them and us. Just by merely looking at them, you can be able to conclude that they are a lot healthier than us. This is because what they have for food in their place are all natural and unprocessed. Fewer health issues are reported in that area as compared to a typical metropolitan area.

A detoxification diet plan can work wonders to cleanse and rejuvenate your body towards a healthier and happier you. In order for the diet plan to be effective, it requires an active participation on your part, and the will to improve eating habits and overall lifestyle. Nothing will happen if you sit there in the couch just waiting for a magic potion to arrive and expect it to cleanse your body and help you lose weight at the same time. This takes hard work; there are no shortcuts toward a healthy and fit body. There are a lot of other diet plans out there but there are only a few that I would even try to recommend to others. If you are looking for something that will fit you, try doing some research and investigation on a particular diet program, read reviews and recommendations, and of course, never forget to talk to your doctor first before engaging in any kind of diet plan.

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