A recent study found the importance of Vitamin D3 in regulation of dopamine circuits that impact on dopamine dependant behaviours such as managing food consumption and drug use. The study by Trinko et al (2016) used mice to measure the impact of D3 on the dopamine pathways. Mice that were treated with a D3 supplement and fed a high fat diet displayed reduced food intake and weight.
Vitamin D has also been shown to be responsible for increasing intestinal absorption of calcium, magnesium and phosphate (Holick, 2006). This is vital for healthy bone development, immune functioning and maintaining mental wellbeing.
Vitamin D (separated into D2 & D3) is best received through sunlight on the skin. Vitamin D3 is a naturally made by the body during exposure to sunlight and more specifically Ultraviolet B.
Sunlight often gets a bad name and especially here in Australia due to the high skin cancer rates that occur when over exposed to the sun. However, sunlight is so important to human biological functioning and it is something to be embraces whilst also being smart. Be smart, be sun safe but ensure you take those opportunities during the morning (6am-8.30am best times for sunlight absorption for endocrine functioning), during a lunch break at work, sitting by a window or taking that afternoon walk.
Trinko, J. R., Land, B. B., Solecki, W. B., Wickham, R. J., Tellez, L. A., Maldonado-Aviles, J., … DiLeone, R. J. (2016). Vitamin D3: A Role in Dopamine Circuit Regulation, Diet-Induced Obesity, and Drug Consumption. eNeuro, 3(3), ENEURO.0122–15.2016. http://doi.org/10.1523/ENEURO.0122-15.2016