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Do you struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? 

Low levels of vitamin D might be the cause. 

We get very little vitamin D from food, sunlight is our main source. Vitamin D is crucial staying well and fighting of the winter bugs but it is also important for serotonin production. This is the neurotransmitter that helps us to feel calm and happy. Vitamin D is a main player in mood regulation. 

When the winter months come our levels of vitamin D can dip substantially, by the middle of the darker months we find ourselves struggling with low mood. 

As a nation we are spending more time indoors and when in the sun we might apply sunscreen which blocks the uptake of vitamin D from the sun. Consequently, by autumn our vitamin D levels are already borderline. By January they have dropped significantly. 

You will need to know exactly what your level is now to get the best possible results from supplementation. Simple taking a vitamin D supplement without knowing your levels is not going to be as effective.

We can advise you what level of supplementation is needed to ensure levels remain good for the rest of winter. If you do get tested you should make note of the following:

  • Taking the recommended daily amount is not enough to keep low levels from falling over the winter. 
  • Levels defined as ‘adequate’ in some lab tests may not be adequate at all.
  • Some labs measure in n/mols others use ng/mls – it is important to know which applies to your result.

If your GP won’t run a test you can order a bloodspot test here. This can be posted to you and the results are usually back within 14 days. We can advise on ideal levels and how to ensure they stay within range during the winter. 

Get in touch.

If you would like to book a tele-health consultation or have questions about whether we can help you - fill in this form and we'll get back to you soon.

Author: Sarah Hanratty

Sarah is a specialist practitioner at the Brain Food Clinic. She has a degree in Nutritional Medicine and is a certified Gut and Psychology Syndrome Practitioner. Sarah helps people to overcome physical and mental health issues using bespoke nutritional protocols.

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