January 12, 2012

Winter Blues

Fight back with Vitamin D.

Scott: Have you been feeling a little down lately? Well, if so, there may be no coincidence that it is also winter, when people experience a little less love from the sun. Oh, don’t believe me? We took to the streets of New York. Check this out!

Well, have you ever heard the phrase, ‘winter blues’?

Teen: Um.

Teen: No. Not at all.

Teen: Well, I think it has a positive impact on your sleep.

Scott: We are not talking about ‘the blues,’ we are talking about feeling blue. You know, like sad or depressed. Well, experts say there might be more to you feeling sad than you think.

“Many people have what is called the SADD syndrome, which stands for Seasonal Affective Depression Disorder.”

That is right. SADD, or Seasonal Affective Depression Disorder, usually occurs in the winter and is largely caused by a lack of vitamin D. That is because vitamin D, which comes from the sun, isn’t as available during the winter months.

“In winter time, the big factor is the sun does not go as high up in the sky and as a consequence the light that reaches us is much weaker.”

Scott: According to the latest estimates, just about 50%, or half, of the population is vitamin D deficient.

So, what is the big deal?

“People with low vitamin D are much more likely to have problems with depression, especially in the winter time.”

Scott: Okay, it definitely feels like winter here in New York, so we wanted to find out if people really are feeling SADD.

Do you think the weather can have an effect on people’s moods? That winter can make people sad?

Teen: Definitely, Yeah. Like, I never want to go to school in the winter. It’s just, like, way too cold.

Teen: I think the weather might make you more irritable, which is understandable.

Scott: What do you do in particular to try and beat the cold? Like, to cheer up, to get in a better mood?

Teen: I hang out with friends, talk to girls, get a girlfriend.

Scott: Do you get a winter girlfriend? Is that something people do?

Teen: Sometimes people do that.

Scott: Ok, So, if you’re wearing a sad face, what can you do to ditch those winter blues? Well, we have some recommendations for you.

First, get more vitamin D. You can find it in milk, eggs and some mushrooms. Second, make sure you get plenty of omega 3 fatty acids, which are often found in most fish and green leafy vegetables. And third, find ways to get exercise. Don’t be afraid to get creative. Sledding, snowboarding and ice skating are excellent ways to boost your heart rate outside, especially in the winter months.

“These simple steps can be the difference between having a happy winter and one that’s associated with depression.”

Scott: Because no one wants to be down in the dumps, right?

Now, do you believe me? Well it is up to you to beat those winter blues!


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