Only the Winter Blues?
A Japanese study found depressed men missing an important vitamin.
After studying 500 men and women, researchers discovered men with the highest levels of a key B vitamin, folate, were 50% less likely to have depression than those with the lowest levels. So, if you’re feeling down, try bumping up foods with folate in them and consider taking a high quality B vitamin complex with folate. Women in the study were found to be unaffected by low levels of folate, however, other studies show benefits of B vitamins to both sexes.
Guys, if you find the B’s don’t do the trick for your mood, you might have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which both men and women can acquire. SAD is attributed to lack of adequate sunlight in fall and winter. Most people who habitually suffer from this common disorder live in the northern portion of the U.S., where sunlight during the winter is minimal.
What can you do if you have SAD? Several studies have found getting sunlight for 15-20 minutes, at least 3 days per week, usually helps. But, some places don’t see that kind of sunshine in deep winter, necessitating alternatives, such as taking a high quality vitamin D3 (1,000 I.U.’s) daily, getting regular exercise, and investing in a “light box” of natural light. Eating your veggies, staying away from empty carbs, sugary foods and drinks, also has been shown to do wonders for SAD. One last thing–alcohol–which is a known depressant, should be limited, if not avoided altogether if you have a severe case of SAD.
Don’t suffer with depression from low folate levels, or SAD. Now you have a few simple, inexpensive and non-invasive ways to solve the problem. If you find nothing seems to help your depressive symptoms, please seek help immediately from a medical professional specializing in depression.
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