Vitamin D for seasonal anxiety and depression, good immunity and more

January 21, 2011

Have you had your vitamin D levels checked lately? And are you aware how common low vitamin D levels are, especially in the winter?  And why it’s important to make sure your levels are good?  Read on….

I have all my clients get their vitamin D level checked and the majority of them have low levels, especially during winter.  Keep this in mind: if you completely cover yourself in sun-block during the summer you may find your levels are low during this time of the year too.  During colder and darker days of winter, the winter blues or seasonal depression is more common and having sufficient vitamin D can actually improve your mood.  As well as the winter blues, certain people who are prone to low serotonin have more severe anxiety during the darker days of winter – I call it the winter mauves – and vitamin D can help with this too! Winter is a season when you especially want your levels to be good because good levels are so important for immunity – so get your levels up and avoid the colds and flu. This amazing nutrient is also crucial for optimal bone and heart health and also helps protect against cancer and fibromyalgia.

Have your doctor check your vitamin D status with a simple blood test. This is what should be tested:  25-hydroxy-vitamin D.

There is a ton of vitamin D research going on and there are some differences as to what is considered the ideal level and how much to take.

Dr. John Cannell, founder of the Vitamin D Council makes these recommendations which I am totally in agreement with:

–          the new vitamin D guidelines, released in November 2010 (600 IU /day for adults up to age seventy) are still too low

–          take 5000 IU daily until your level is between 50 and 80 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter), the midpoint of the current lab reference range of 32 to 100 ng/mL

–          once your levels are ideal, take a maintenance dose of 2000 to 5000 IU per day

–          and then test your levels every three months (you should see your levels increase pretty quickly over a 3 month period)

When supplementing, be sure to take vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol).  You can now find really good vitamin D supplements in 1000 IU, 2000 IU and 5000 IU doses and many companies are now making it in convenient drops which are easier for some of my clients (and also children) to take.

Dr. John Cannell and the Vitamin D Council is a great resource for recent findings and information

And don’t forget to eat your deep water oily fish like sardines and salmon and plenty of pastured or organic eggs – all of which are great sources of vitamin D. Your body can also make its own vitamin D when you’re outdoors so get out in the sunshine and go for a walk or do something fun outside. And again a full-spectrum lamp is great to use during the winter. But if your levels are low you will need to supplement because food and sunshine (especially when further north like much of the USA) won’t be enough.

I find vitamin D so important for my clients with anxiety, and I devote a whole section on this important nutrient in my new book The Antianxiety Food Solution – How the Foods you eat can calm your anxious mind, improve mood and end cravings. Find out more  at

Good vitamin D levels means feeling on top of the world, not getting sick, having a healthy heart and strong bones – and so much more.

12 Responses to “Vitamin D for seasonal anxiety and depression, good immunity and more”

  1. Hi Trudy
    Thank you for the interesting article. I had a question: during last winter, I went for my annual physical and the doctor ran the usual blood tests and told me that my vitamin D level was low and to take between 400 to 600 IU daily. I ended up taking 1000 IU/day (after several people told me that that was the recommended dosage!). After taking it for a couple of months, I developed extremely itchy feet and hands and a rash on my body. I stopped taking the vitamin D as I thought that this may have been the cause. It seemed like an allergic reaction. Have you heard of this happening to anyone else? I would appreciate any advice you have.
    Many thanks,

    everywomanover29 Reply:

    I have not heard of this particular reaction but anything is possible – so if your rash disappeared when you stopped taking the vitamin D then that could have been the cause. Also, adverse reactions may be the result of colors, flavors, soy, wheat etc so make sure to use quality supplements

  2. Thanks for sharing this valuable information about Vitamin D now I understand why it’s easier to get the blues during Winter!
    Congratulations on the book!
    Heidi Alexandra

    everywomanover29 Reply:

    Thanks Heidi!

  3. Trudy, I love your new site! Congratulations.

    I feel so blessed that my hubby and I are now able to spend the winters in the sunny desert of Arizona. Our home in Canada is known for cloud inversions and fog during the winters and for us, both prone to depression, it becomes a struggle. One of the main reasons for our decision to create this lifestyle. It also allows us to get our Vitamin D so much more easily and naturally. I take short walks with Atma directly in the sunshine without sun screen on my arms, never long enough for burning, but great for vitamin absorption.
    It’s wonderful to see you doing so well Trudy!

    everywomanover29 Reply:

    Thanks for the support. And it’s wonderful you have the opportunity to get out of the winter cloud and fog and get to enjoy Arizona sunshine and vitamin D – good for you and your hubby!

  4. Trudy,
    Great information for women about vitamin D. Thank you.
    Dr. Robert Fenell

  5. Trudy,
    Thank you for the superb health tips. Excited for your new book!
    Kiyla Fenell

  6. I’ve had low Vitamin D levels for several years now, even taking prescription 50,000 IU each week. Once it is down, it seems very hard to bring the number up by much. Everyone should know about this!

    everywomanover29 Reply:

    I suggest trying sublingual vitamin D drops and digging deeper into why you can’t get your levels up – and the first thing that comes to mind is malabsorption problems and gluten intolerance.

  7. Trudy,
    Thank you for the information on Vitamin D.

  8. Trudy,
    Thanks for your valuable information. I always learn how to take better care of myself from reading our posts.
    You are appreciated.
    Write on!~

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