Anyone know a good cure for S.A.D.?

Yes, I bought a reptile light, but rarely use it because I kinda feel like you: that the light may be missing something that occurs naturally in sunlight.

During the winter I usually seek out vitamin C and D foods, not because I’m trying to be healthy, but because I crave them. Fermented pickled peppers (or fermented anything really) is a good source of vitamin C in winter and was the cure for scurvy on ocean voyages. Vitamin C is hard to store and easily destroyed by heat, time, light and is very hard to obtain in winter.

Then about march, or as soon as it’s warm enough, I lay out in the sun daily until I get too busy to manage it.

I believe that we shouldn’t force medicine on ourselves and health routines should be in response to cravings. Like Mark Twain said, “Be careful reading health books; you may die of a misprint.”

The foods that we crave are exactly what our body needs. Or at least they would be if we were able to lead an active, outdoor life.

I think so, although sometimes we can go overboard into addiction where the thing we crave causes harm. For instance a friend starting craving salt and initially I told him the craving is probably medicinal, but then he began consuming a whole shaker every couple days. About a year later he had a heart attack and kidney failure. I don’t think the salt caused it, but such an intense craving was a warning sign and no doubt all that salt didn’t help. Here is a doctor who says refrigeration is unnatural and it’s causing a deficiency of salt in people since salt was used for ages for food storage before refrigerators:

Anyway, I find food cravings fascinating.

Craving salami, pepperoni, sausage (fermented meats) is almost certainly a craving for vitamin K2 … easureby=g And that could be indication of atherosclerosis (or other calcification of soft tissue)

Craving liver is probably a vitamin A craving … easureby=g

Craving peppers, especially pickled, could be vitamin C … easureby=g

Craving salmon (fatty fish) is almost certainly vitamin D … easureby=g

Others are more difficult to figure out. Craving vinegar pickles could be a craving for calcium since lots of acid is required to breakdown calcium components. Craving dirt is thought to be a craving for calcium.

I think animals are more in tune with their cravings than people since people are obsessed with right and wrong behavior and fall victim to fashions in science (low fat, low salt diets).

The problem with the ‘only do natural things’ approach is that our current environment isn’t natural at all, and not the environment for which we are adapted. Most of our evolution happened in much warmer climates, and later periods were much colder (the last ice age ended 11000 years ago), and the Genes associated with S.A.D. arose farther north than England. Many foods we eat are transplants, most of our local environments are heavily modified by human activities, and our daily routines are generally almost nothing like our daily routines in the ‘state of nature’.

It shouldn’t be impossible to find artificial lights that faithfully mimic natural lights, because we have good data on the spectrum of natural light and can measure spectra for artificial lights as well. It also seems that the light isn’t just about creating vitamin D, because shining extra light on people’s skin was found to have no effect on S.A.D. symptoms. And, relevant to the present case, the presence of S.A.D. in the blind lead to the discovery to additional photoreceptive cells in the retina that are tied to S.A.D., that allow the blind to synchronize their circadian rhythm and are also related to S.A.D. In line with other observations, these cells are most sensitive to blue light, which is also most effective in treating S.A.D.

I’m sure all those things are many more like them are true. Our body surely has a way of telling us what it needs.

I don’t have any retinas. I also have no circadian rhythm and it is always the hardest thing sticking to times every day, for my job, for example.

Yes, the reason we aren’t very efficient at converting carotenes to retinol… … enoids_(IU

And the reason we aren’t efficient at converting K1 to K2… … vitamin_K2

And the reason we can’t manufacture B12 and who knows what-all is because we’ve been too reliant on animals to make these conversions and most of that reliance has come by way of artificial domestication.

To your point about modified food I would submit that ALL of our food would not exist without us, at least not in the form that it exists: ducks, chickens, cows, pigs, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, you name it, all was selected for by us and couldn’t exist without our stewardship.

Unless one moves to the mountains and learns to eek out an existence on bugs, berries, rabbits and deer, then it is impossible to have a natural diet. Fortunately or unfortunately, we have evolved to be reliant upon our own technology because to truly thrive in the jungle, we’d need the fermenting guts of the apes that live there or else the claws and fangs of the cats, but we have brains instead and our bodies have evolved in accordance with our own artificial selections such that what is truly natural is now deficient and detrimental.

That is why I’d rather listen to my cravings rather than some idealization of what’s natural and proper. If I’m wrong, at least I didn’t spend a lifetime force-feeding myself bran flakes lol

The lights that exist are expensive and the reptile bulbs have various spectrums which vary with time as the coatings deteriorate. Here is some research on it

I have this one … cent-bulbs because it extends farther into the UVB range than the other brands.

Have you ever noticed that cats enjoy sleeping under lights? Apparently cats get their vitamin D from licking their fur.

There is also something about washing vitamin D from our skins in the shower. … -m17CXwaHs

Interesting. I’m not sure what the limits of propriety are here, so I apologize in advance if this is rude or invasive, and please feel free to tell me to fuck off if I deserve it, but: Do you have eyes? If so, do you have optic nerves?

There are some photoreceptive cells outside of the retina, but I get the impression that most of the actions is in the retina, even for non-visual photo-receptivity. And the observation that light applied to the skin doesn’t affect S.A.D. suggests that whatever other non-visual light sensing systems exist aren’t playing a big role in S.A.D.

Does it get cold where you live? I wonder if the cold might play a role in S.A.D., since it is common in Nordic countries (though apparently not Iceland, possibly due to significant fish consumption there).

My understanding is that cravings aren’t reliably associated with nutrient needs. While this would be logical, in practice cravings seem to be influenced by psychological and social factors, e.g. “comfort foods” are craved during stressful periods, possibly because they’re associated with safety or literal comfort. Pica (eating non-food things like dirt) is associated with nutrient deficiencies, but the causal direction isn’t clear, and in any case the things that people are eating don’t necessarily help: dirt isn’t particularly iron rich, so a craving to eat dirt, even if caused by a nutrient deficiency, isn’t related to the nutritional content of dirt (at least, not local dirt; maybe dirt in our evolutionary environment was actually a decent source of iron and zinc).

What about greenhouse lights? That seems like somewhere that optimizing lights has been thoroughly investigated, though they probably tend redder than what humans need.

What about tanning bed lights? You expressed some concern about the harmful effects of UV lights, but again it seems like somewhere that trial-and-error might have hit upon some good trade-offs.

I was born without optic nerves (optic nerve hypoplasia) and my eyes were undeveloped and removed when I was little because of a possible risk of infection. On the plus side, however, I always get to choose my own eye colour.

It gets pretty cold in winter here. Since I’m about as far from the sea as it’s possible to get in England, our winters are colder, and our summers warmer, than in most of the rest of the country.

CBD oil could be an option, but may not go with your ‘native origin’ ethic.

I’m not sure what I think about the oil, or even where to get it (I believe, however, that it was recently legalised more some medical use), but I’ve smoked cannabis on occasion. It basically just gives me a headache so I stopped doing it.

What’s the alternative? Scientists are constantly changing their minds, research is conflicting, and there is too much variability between people for a reliable prescription.

There could be psychological associations with comfort food or there could be nutritional.

Actually dirt is very iron-rich, especially the red and yellow clays which are mostly iron oxide, but iron isn’t the issue; it’s calcium and why dirt is consumed mostly by pregnant women and children (developing skeletons).

[i]In Africa, kaolin, sometimes known as kalaba (in Gabon[10] and Cameroon[11]), calaba, and calabachop (in Equatorial Guinea), is eaten for pleasure or to suppress hunger.[11] Kaolin for human consumption is sold at most markets in Cameroon and is often flavoured with spices such as black pepper and cardamom.[12] Consumption is greatest among women, especially during pregnancy.[13] Another example of geophagia was reported in Free State Province in South Africa, where the practice was geochemically investigated.[14]

In Haiti, poor people are known to eat biscuits made from soil, salt, and vegetable shortening. These biscuits hold minimal nutritional value, but manage to keep the poor alive.[15] However, long-term consumption of the biscuits is reported to cause stomach pains and malnutrition, and is not recommended by doctors.[16]

In the United States, cooked, baked, and processed dirt and clay are sold in health food stores and rural flea markets in the South.[17] In the rural areas of Mississippi and other southern states, the consumption of clay-rich dirt has been a common custom and has been practiced by poor white and black people for generations.[18] However, geophagia has become less prevalent as rural Americans assimilate into urban culture.[7]

Bentonite clay is available worldwide as a digestive aid; kaolin is also widely used as a digestive aid and as the base for some medicines. Attapulgite, another type of clay, is an active ingredient in many anti-diarrheal medicines.[7][/i]

In the southeast US, calcium is hard to find in locally grown food because of the deluge of rainfall annually. Calcium and sulfur are the main elements leached from dirt in rain; hence why the soil is acid and why the people are stereotypically toothless.

William Albrecht noted 7 out of 10 men were drafted into WWII from the midwest compared with 7 out of 10 rejections for the southeast, which he attributed to the rainfall differences … -albrecht/

William A. Albrecht (1888–1974) PhD,[1][2] chairman of the Department of Soils at the University of Missouri, was the foremost authority on the relation of soil fertility to human health and earned four degrees from the University of Illinois. As emeritus professor of soils at the University of Missouri, he saw a direct link between soil quality, food quality and human health.

It’s fascinating to read his research.

For instance the world’s foremost expert on soil said:

“Here was a case where we as researchers—who are merely trying to learn more—discovered that the cow was a better soil chemist and biochemist than we are.” … health.pdf

He was referring to the fact that cows were able to discern that grass was merely goosed with nitrogen and is otherwise void of nutrition, so the cow refused to eat what looked lush and green to us and we would need laboratory equipment to determine what the cow can see plainly. He noted that animals have a remarkable ability to instinctually self-medicate.

The instincts of animals are compelling us to recognize soil differences. Not only do dumb beasts select herbage according as they are more carbonaceous or proteinaceous, but they select from the same kind of grain the offerings according to the different fertilizers with which the soil was treated.

If animals can do it, no doubt we can too.

As far as I know, greenhouse lights are high-pressure sodium and metal halide.

There are spectrums here

HPS is a bit redder.

Then there are fluorescents which come in various color temperatures.

There are some example spectra here:

On down the page it says “A 1993 study in the US found that ultraviolet exposure from sitting under fluorescent lights for eight hours is equivalent to one minute of sun exposure.”

Then there are leds, which are tuned for optimal plant growth by including so many red bulbs and so many blue with a few UV. (I’ve read a couple reviewers on amazon attributing these lights to cataracts, so always wear glasses around them)

With leds, you can pick any bulb you want and solder it onto the board, but each led only outputs a narrow spectrum, so you’d need a lot to mimic sunlight.

Here is a typical led setup: 410nm, 430~440nm, 450~475nm, 620~630nm, 650~670nm, White, IR(730nm) … B075XCSHHW

Tanning beds are notorious for adverse effects.

Who knows what bulbs are inside?

I suspect the problem is imbalance of UVB/UVA.

UVA gives a quick tan that lasts for days by oxidizing melanin that was already present and triggers the release of the melanin from melanocytes. UVB yields a tan that takes roughly 2 days to develop because it stimulates the body to produce more melanin.

Several studies suggest that the absence of UVA filters may be the cause of the higher incidence of melanoma found in sunscreen users compared to non-users.[64][65][66][67][68] Some sunscreen lotions now contain compounds including titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and avobenzone which helps protect against UVA rays.

So, blocking UVB results in more cancer than not blocking anything.

I can’t find it succinctly said, but I know I’ve read somewhere that UVA and UVB antagonize each other such that the harmful effects of each are cancelled. It’s been a few years since I’ve studied this.

Here’s this … 2X15335491

The observations suggest that UVA reduces UVB-induced DNA damage

And here … 2X15402362

The incidence of skin cancer detected in human populations submitted to high levels of solar radiation seems to be less than what would be expected taking into account the amount of damage inflicted on cellular DNA by solar UV fluence and the repair capability of the cells (Sutherland 1996). This means that (i) the solar UV damaging potential has been overestimated, (ii) the repair potential of the cells has been underestimated, or (iii) the effects of UV in a polychromatic light beam are not the same as those of monochromatic UV, due to as yet unknown antagonistic effects. Although sunlight is polychromatic, its final effect on human skin is the result of not only the action of each wavelength individually, but also the interactions between these wavelengths.

Anyway, I have it in my head, from prior research, that one should not be exposed to sun outside of the 10am to 2pm band due to over-expression of UVA without supporting UVB. One should avoid tanning beds for the same reason. And tinkering with artificial lights is risky.

The sun will never give too much UVB because UVA always exceeds UVB, but artificial lights can. However, most lights will be UVA without much UVB. Rather than all this head-scratching, it’s easier to just go outside around lunch time :slight_smile:

Speaking of imbalances, here is the vitamin D paradox


Vitamins A, D, K2 must be in balance. Too much D without regulatory K2 will cause soft-tissue calcification (atherosclerosis, kidney stones, maybe even cataracts).

Cod liver oil usually comes in 10:1 ratios, but who knows if that is appropriate. And sometimes CLO is fortified to meet the ratio requirements and it’s questionable how beneficial those fortifications are.

Gaining a full understanding of nutrition with all the overlapping variables is an exercise in futility which is why I’ve abandoned trying to understand it and have resigned myself to being responsive to cravings.

This hit the news the other day: … icine.html

Simply believing it works, works.

It’s been available at Holland and Barratt for many months now, which eliminates the need for sourcing it online and trailing through hundreds if not thousands of products.

I’ve been told by those that use it, that it is nothing like smoking it… I’ve taken it on occasion myself, and felt light and elated, but not in a high way, so a real mood-lifter, as well as aiding with digestion, pain, and so many other ailments all at once.

…probably why I’ve never had a problem with low vitamin D then :wink: but other deficiencies, yes… mainly calcium and iron.

Sugar piils don’t work on everyone… perhaps it depends on the cause of the symptoms, which needs more than a pill to resolve them, and alcohol is not a depressant to all… as it has the opposite effect on those with certain symptoms, and helps those types relax.

I’ve also tried mushrooms, which really are a native species, but again, they had little effect.

CBD oil really works really well… I thought it would have a negligible effect, so was very pleased when it instantly melted away my fibromyalgic/muscle pain, fatigue, eased my digestive woes, and relaxed my whole being. Now I know why there was a huge push to legalise it… fantastic stuff!

I do regret not trying it sooner, but hey! better late than never lol.

Maybe I’ll try it, but my worry with all drugs, even natural ones, is that I’ll become dependent on them. Not necessarily addicted, just dependent. What I would really like is to do something active, which I’m sure would help (at the moment my evenings are active, at work, and my days not). At school I really enjoyed the various team sports they had, in particular, ones called goalball and squatball, specifically designed for blind players, and also an adapted version of field hockey, but there are no clubs round here I could join, since there are never enough people to form a team.

Perhaps doing some squats and push-ups in your garden might work for you then, followed by running a few lengths of your garden and doing a squat as you reach each end? doing the whole process mentioned for a total of 20 minutes… the recommended time for reaping the benefits of heart-rate-raising exercise. A few times a week would suffice, and give your body time to recover inbetween workouts.

This should be a real mood-lifter, and is free… you could also add skipping, jumping jacks, burpees etc. to your workouts, to mix it up.