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Sunbathing is an Excellent Prevention of Teenage Depression

28.10.2019 Author: Psychologist Pavel Khoroshutin
sunbathing for children from depression

A link has been established between low levels of vitamin D in the blood of a child at early school age and future psychological problems including depression and anxiety during adolescence.

Vitamin D deficiency is known to cause not only problems with calcium absorption (deformation, bone fragility) but also autoimmune diseases. Adults can develop depression and even schizophrenia. What about children?

Specialists from the University of Michigan studied this issue. They conducted a cohort study of 3,202 schoolchildren of 5-12 years old from the city of Bogotá (Colombia). They recorded the height, weight, habits, social and financial status of the family and the education of the mother.

As part of the study, plasma samples of 273 random children were taken and their level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D was determined. After 6 years, parents and participating children who had already moved to the category of adolescents were re-interviewed.

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Survey data showed that low levels of the vitamin D-binding protein in the blood plasma are associated with aggressive behaviour and increase the likelihood of developing anxiety, depressive states and mood disorders in adolescence. Adolescents who were deficient in vitamin D at an early school age were almost twice as likely to have behaviour problems, violate ethical norms of society, and suffer from depression.

The role of vitamin D in the development of the child’s body can not be overestimated. It provides absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the small intestine and is actively involved in the metabolism and growth of the body. The daily requirement for children is 200-400 IU (5-10 mcg).

To prevent vitamin D deficiency in children and maintain it at a sufficient level, you need to be in the sun for at least 10-30 minutes twice a week. In winter, you can expose your face and hands to the sun. With a significant lack of sunlight, it is necessary to choose foods high in vitamin D:

  • cod liver, fish, fish oil
  • cereals
  • dairy products, butter
  • vitellus

It is also wise to take special food supplements.