It has been known for many years that severe vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of metabolic bone disease, particularly rickets and osteomalacia, and that moderate vitamin D deficiency leads to an increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Of late, scrutiny-oriented research has made known the increasing proof of a relationship amid vitamin D deficit and an augmented peril of the onset of many unceasing sicknesses, including autoimmune diseases, tumors, cardiovascular illnesses, contagious sicknesses, diabetes and mental illnesses.
Vitamin D receptors are found in nearly all tissues of the body, including both neuronal and glial cells in the central nervous system and multiple areas of the human brain, including the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, cingulate gyrus, thalamus, hypothalamus and substantia nigra, many of which have been implicated in the pathophysiology of mental illnesses such as depression and psychosis.
Fundamentally, vitamin D is recognized to have plenty of functions in the wellbeing and infection/sickness of nervous structures of human bodies. It has been proven earlier that vitamin D plays imperative functions in neural-maturity, neural-fortification and neural-agility, not just by wielding its natural roles unswervingly, but also by manipulating the appearance of genetic material at a cellular stage.
Insufficiency of vitamin D has noteworthy therapeutic and psychosomatic outcomes. All tissues in the human body possess Vitamin-D receptors, counting those in the head, chest; most muscles of the body and inside the immune system, which means that Vitamin-D, is required at all levels of the body, for the body to properly and seamlessly execute its tasks.
Vitamin D is also the only vitamin which is a hormone. After it is consumed as part of diet or absorbed (synthesized) in the skin, vitamin D is transported to the liver and kidneys where it is converted to its active hormone form. Serving its purpose as a hormone, Vitamin-D helps in the absorption of calcium into the bones, muscles and teeth of the human body, thereby strengthening them.
In addition to its well-known role in calcium absorption, vitamin D activates genes that regulate the immune system and release neurotransmitters (e.g., dopamine, serotonin) that affect brain function and development. Scientists have established the presence of vitamin D receptors on a few cells situated in sections of the brain, located in the same regions which are responsible for causing depression.
The serum level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) is the most accurate reflection of an individual’s vitamin D level’s status.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a disposition-related-disarray characterized by signs and symptoms of despair and sadness, crops up during winters when there is comparatively lesser sunlight, which concurs with the abrupt plummet in the vitamin D level of the human body. Quite a few researches have established that the symptoms or signs of SAD may arise due to the fluctuating levels of vitamin D3, which has an effect on the levels of serotonin produced inside the human brain.
Various studies confirm the link between low vitamin D and mental illness. Groups at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency—the elderly, adolescents, obese individuals, and those with chronic illnesses (e.g., diabetes)—are the same groups that are also reportedly at higher risk for depression.