(NaturalNews) Are your kids getting enough vitamin D? If not, they could be at a higher risk for depression. A new study from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom shows that children and teens with higher levels of vitamin D are less likely to experience depression than those with lower levels.
The study analyzed vitamin D levels in more than 2,700 children who were age nine, and then followed up with them again at age 13. Researchers found that children who had the lowest vitamin D levels were more likely to experience symptoms of depression.
The children with higher levels of vitamin D were 10 percent less likely to have depression. These children also showed a decrease in symptoms of depression as they became teenagers.
The specific form of vitamin D is also important. This study also found that vitamin D3 offered stronger anti-depressant benefits than vitamin D2.
Vitamin D helps with depression in kids and adults
Although this is the first study to link low vitamin D with depression in children, a number of previous studies have demonstrated how vitamin D can prevent or reduce depression in adults.
Studies done in Washington state and in Norway show that raising vitamin D levels in the body can reduce symptoms of depression in women. Other research has shown that higher serum vitamin D appears to reduce the severity of symptoms associated with depression. In Italy, women with low vitamin D levels were twice as likely to experience depression. Men with low vitamin D levels experienced a 60 percent increased risk for depression.
The best source of vitamin D is the sun, which can help you produce thousands of IUs of vitamin D with good exposure in the summer months. However, not everyone can get enough exposure to the sun to correct a vitamin D deficiency. In this case, eating foods rich in vitamin D can help. These include cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel, tuna and organic egg yolks. You can also supplement with vitamin D3 if you do not get enough vitamin D through sun exposure or your diet.
About the author: Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health, nutrition and wellness. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more: www.livingthenourishedlife.com