Higher Sunlight and Vitamin D Exposure Is Associated With a Lower Likelihood of Having High Perceived Stress

In a recent study published in the Nutrients Journal, researchers from Italy evaluated the association between perceived stress levels and dietary and lifestyle factors, such as vitamin D intake, sun exposure, and physical activity among the Mediterranean population.

May 16, 2023 | Source: News Medical | by Dr. Chinta Sidharthan


While the World Health Organization defines stress as the mental tension or worry due to challenges during difficult situations, the definition of stress has now expanded to include experiences or situations that induce anxiety or frustration due to the inability to cope with conditions or perceived threats to one’s well-being and security.

Acute or chronic stress releases cortisol and catecholamines needed for the fight-or-flight response. However, persistently high levels of cortisol and catecholamines impact psychological and physiological health.

Research indicates that stress can be managed by targeting risk factors, such as physical activity and diet, to strengthen the individual’s resilience.

Physical activity has shown benefits in various neurological, metabolic, and musculoskeletal diseases, as well as in improving mental health outcomes.

Low vitamin D levels are also linked to depression, musculoskeletal problems, sleep disorders, cardio-metabolic diseases, and breast cancer. Nutrition and exposure to sunlight are the two modes of improving vitamin D levels.