Vitamin D isn’t your regular vitamin that you get from GNC (well, you can, but that’s not the point here). It’s actually a steroid hormone that you primarily obtain through sunlight. Just because you drink milk and consume dairy products doesn’t mean you’re not vitamin D deficient.
Growing research is showing a direct correlation between vitamin D deficiency and depression. Serotonin is the hormone in our brain responsible for our happiness. When we go outside, the serotonin in our body kicks up and sends our joy levels through the roof. If you notice, the more you stay inside the more you’re prone to get ‘in your feelings.’ According to research, you’re 11 times more likely to experience depression if your vitamin D levels are low.
Other symptoms that accompany vitamin D deficiency are fatigue, aches and pains throughout the body and a sweaty forehead. It’s true you might be nervous and anxious, but the anxiety is linked to serotonin and that serotonin is spiked by sunlight.
Are you getting enough vitamin D, or unknowingly losing it? Here are four factors that contribute to vitamin D deficiency:
1. It’s a race thing.
Black people have a greater risk of vitamin D deficiency because our skin requires 10 times more sun exposure than our lighter skinned peers. Our pigment has a natural sunscreen which requires us to spend an extended amount of time outside.
Obesity continues to plague many of our people and vitamin D deficiency goes hand in hand with this health concern. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin stored in our body fat. If you’re overweight your body is going to need more vitamin D exposure than a person with an average weight. Diseases that affect fat absorption are Crohn’s disease, gluten sensitivity and inflammatory bowel disease.