Vitamin D and Anxiety — Chromatography Studies the Link
Jun 02 2018
With all the hot and sunny weather in the UK at the moment, many people will be taking the opportunity to get out in the sun more. And not only does this make many people feel happier, but it can have important health implications too. Sunlight is the best source for vitamin D, and in countries away from the tropics like the UK — this can mean that many people are deficient in vitamin D. Hence, the UK recommends vitamin D supplements for many people.
We need vitamin D to help the body use the calcium in our diets and make it into healthy bones. Too little vitamin D can result in soft bones in children and a condition known as rickets — in adults, vitamin D also helps to provide strength to our bones. It is also associated with several other physiological functions. But scientists are now investigating whether a lack of vitamin D can also be associated with other health conditions, including mental health.
More than just rickets?
Alongside the known conditions associated with bone growth and development, a lack of vitamin D has linked to several other conditions including breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, and depression. However, compared to research on the effect of vitamin D and calcium — there is less conclusive evidence backing up these claims.
A recent paper published in the Mediterranean Journal of Clinical Psychology — Vitamin D status is associated with anxiety levels in postmenopausal women evaluated for osteoporosis — aims to address this. They investigated the links between serum 25(OH) D concentrations and anxiety levels. 25(OH) D is a hormone produced in the liver due to a reaction of vitamin D. The measurement of 25(OH) D is the method that researchers use to ascertain a subject’s vitamin D level.
Chromatography measures the D-level
The study into vitamin D levels by Italian researchers looked at 177 women with a mean age of 65. The women were divided into groups based on their 25(OH) D levels which were measured using high performance liquid chromatography. Read more about liquid chromatography in the article, Identification of an Unknown Constituent in Hemp-Derived Extract Using Reversed-Phase Orthogonal Methodology.
The anxiety levels of the women were assessed using a standard protocol, the Hamilton Anxiety rating scale which considers elements including mood, tension and fears. As they report in the paper,
We observed that the association between severity of anxiety and 25(OH) D remained significant also after adjusting for age, time since menopause and depression levels. Consequently, subjects with low 25(OH)D levels were more likely to exhibit higher anxiety symptoms and, particularly, we noticed a significant association between somatic symptoms and 25(OH)D levels.
So, vitamin D and sunshine are important for all kinds of reasons. Get your fix today.
*Remember to apply sunscreen.
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