May 23, 2012

Is this the cause of
your depression?

If you go to a doctor with just about any complaint, chances are high that he will whip out his prescription pad and give you a dangerous chemical. This is especially true for depression. Doctors love to prescribe antidepressants. I’ve seen it firsthand.

Doctors in Florida dumped antidepressants (Lexapro) into my dad at age 89. This despite the warning on its black box, which specifically warned against using it in his condition. He promptly fell into a coma.

Fortunately, my dad survived the ordeal. But what really gets me is that he may have needed only more vitamin D for his alleged depression. At least that’s what a new study says.

In this study, researchers followed 3,369 men (mean age 60) in Europe. They wanted to know how effective vitamin D is in preventing depression. After adjusting for confounders, the risk of depression went up about 70% the lower their serum vitamin D levels went.

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At the time of his “treatment,” my dad was infirm and did not get out of his apartment often. Of course the internist wouldn’t inquire about that. He just dumped in Lexapro instead. If you’re challenged with depression, please read my back issues on the subject, and get your vitamin D level checked.

It makes good sense that the “vitamin” would protect against depression. Vitamin D acts more like a hormone in your body than a vitamin. And there are receptors for the molecule in your brain. Low vitamin D levels are often at the root of SAD. This is a type of depression common in the winter when vitamin D-producing sunlight isn’t as available.

Fixing a vitamin D deficiency could completely fix the cause of your depression. I shoot for a level of 50-65 ng/ml of 25-hydroxy vitamin D in my patients. Most people can get to this level by taking about 5,000 IU daily. You can order 5,000 IU tablets by following this link.

Ref: "Lower vitamin D levels are associated with depression among community-dwelling European men," Lee DM, Pendleton N, et al, J Psychopharmacol, 2010, Sept 7; [Epub ahead of print].

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