Vitamin D and our brain
February 17, 2012 | In: Medical facts
I’m sure we all remember our childhood, when our parents almost begged us to eat vegetables. We didn’t want to listen. The only vegetable we ate was something called French fries. It tasted so good and it still does. The problem with it is that it doesn’t have that Vitamin D that we all need for our brain to function well.
Our body needs this vitamin for several functions, such as absorbing calcium and supporting communication from the brain through the nerves. Individuals ages 19 to 70 need 600 IU of vitamin D each day, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements from the National Institutes of Health. You can get vitamin D through food, such as fatty fish, as well as exposure to the sun. But if you do not get enough vitamin D, you can develop a deficiency, which can put you at risk for several problems involving the brain.
Here are 3 possible problems involving the lack of Vitamin D:
Multiple sclerosis is a neurological condition in which the myelin sheath in your brain and spinal cord become damaged due to inflammation. The myelin sheath covers your nerve cells, and damage can affect normal communication between your brain and the rest of your body.
If you suffer from a stroke, the blood supply in your brain becomes disrupted due to either a blood clot or a burst blood vessel. The symptoms you have with a stroke depend on which area of your brain becomes damaged. For example, if the visual areas of the brain become affected by the stroke, you may have double vision, decreased vision or a loss of vision, according to MedlinePlus.
A vitamin D deficiency can also increase your risk of a neuropsychological condition: depression. If you suffer from depression, you can have a low or irritable mood that does not lift. In addition to the mood changes, depression can also cause fatigue, changes in weight and sleep, concentration problems and altered physical movements. One subtype of depression, seasonal affective disorder, occurs during the fall and winter months for most people when they have less exposure to sunlight.
So be careful; if you still can’t or don’t want to eat vegetables, al least do some sunbathing.