It’s All About Vitamin D!

Several studies have examined the relationship between vitamin D and mood disorders such as depression and seasonal affective disorder [SAD].

(Check your genes for SAD or Seasonality!)

One study found that depression was greater, as assessed by the Hospital and Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS), in people with deficient levels of vitamin D compared to people with normal levels. It was also found that just 1 hour of light therapy a day during winter months significantly decreased symptoms of depression in people with SAD, as compared to the control group. No wonder we tend to feel better when it's sunny! Interestingly, in addition to mood, another study found a link between vitamin D deficiency and worse cognitive performance in older adults.

Vitamin D production is initiated by sun exposure and is impacted by age, location (latitude), time of year, as well as the amount of melanin our bodies have, corresponding to skin pigmentation or colour.
If your Vitamin D Deficiency trait is at all elevated, check your Skin Care Report for traits such as Sensitivity to Sun, Facial Pigmented Spots, Poor Tanning Ability, etc. You may have genetic predispositions that increase the risk of sensitivities due to UV rays of the sun, making it a wiser choice to incorporate foods rich in vitamin D into your diet and to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun!

If you have a poor tanning ability for example, your skin may have lower levels of melanin, a natural pigment produced by the body. Melanin reacts with UV rays to produce a darker skin tone as a way of adaptation (tanning), and so in some ways it provides the skin with protection and tolerance to the sun. Having less melanin (and so lighter skin) means the skin can be more prone to sensitivity, sun burn, and skin disease.

Variants of genes such as PDE3B, CYP2R1, and NADSYN1 contribute to the Vitamin D Deficiency trait. Check your Vitamin Reports Package to see if you have any of these genes!

Always remember, having a genetic predisposition doesn’t necessarily mean the genes are active and the trait is expressed, so consult a healthcare professional before making major changes to your lifestyle. They can order blood tests to verify nutrient deficiencies and determine if supplementation is necessary.

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Posted in Gene Spotlight, Reports.