Vitamin D is a hormone which is essential for our health and happiness in many ways.
I decided to revamp a post I wrote on this subject: (http://foodforconsciousness.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/vitamin-d-happiness-hormone.html) three years ago on this subject as it's become clearer than ever how crucial this substance is. Many years ago I noticed how often people on an entirely raw plant diet eventually had difficulty dealing with sweet fruit. I was intrigued by this phenomenon. In fact the same thing happened to me when I was on that path. Once I started including raw dairy products my ability to deal with sweet fruit gradually came back. It turns out that vitamin D is essential for the proper function of the insulin system which of course is needed to deal with the sugars in fruit. And vitamin D in the form we need (D3) can be very difficult to obtain on an entirely raw plant diet unless you spend much of your life out in the high sunshine or supplement very intelligently.
One of vitamin D's other roles is to activate the immune system: "with vitamin D in the bloodstream, T cells become "armed" and begin seeking out invaders that are then destroyed and carried out of the body"
Known as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D is also crucial for our sense of well-being and happiness.
We were designed to be happy and we were designed to be exposed to regular sunshine! In order for our skin to make vitamin D from sunshine the sun needs to be high enough for UVB radiation to reach us. In Britain this only happens from about March until September, In other words, there is a 'vitamin D' winter if we live a long way from the equator and the length of this winter depends on the exact latitude.
In terms of getting vitamin D through food and supplements, vitamin D is fat soluble, and needs to be taken with fat in order to be properly absorbed. Also to be considered is that there are two common types of vitamin D: Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) and Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). We need vitamin D3 rather than vitamin D2. We use an olive oil based vitamin D3 supplement which we find very effective and also free from unwanted additives. We have this in addition to vitamin D rich foods such as raw milk, cheese, kefir and fish oil. On top of all this I personally take sun showers (a sunshower is a booth where you receive UVB rays all over your skin, unfortunately not available in all towns, I go in Fab, Totnes, Devon) regularly through the winter and get out in the sunshine as much as I can in summer. It's a good idea to wait for a few hours after sunbathing or sunshowering before bathing or showering as the skin produces a powdery substance after exposure to UVB rays that is then absorbed into the skin and converted to vitamin D by the body. I really do notice a difference from this amount of commitment to vitamin D intake.