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Nutrients 2016, 8(9), 533; doi:10.3390/nu8090533

Seasonal Changes in Vitamin D-Effective UVB Availability in Europe and Associations with Population Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D

1
Cork Centre for Vitamin D and Nutrition Research, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork, Cork T12 YN60, Ireland
2
Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics, Physics Department, University of Patras, Patras 26504, Greece
3
School of Earth Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
4
Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Montgomery County, MD 20892, USA
5
Department of Public Health Sciences, Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60153, USA
6
Tromsø Endocrine Research Group, Department of Clinical Medicine, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø 9019, Norway
7
Icelandic Heart Association, Kopavogur IS-201, Iceland
8
University of Iceland, Reykjavik IS-101, Iceland
9
Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Montgomery County, MD 20892, USA
10
Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research, University College Cork, Cork T12 YN60, Ireland
11
Department of Medicine, University College Cork, Cork T12 YN60, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 July 2016 / Revised: 11 August 2016 / Accepted: 22 August 2016 / Published: 30 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin D: Current Issues and New Perspectives)
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Abstract

Low vitamin D status is common in Europe. The major source of vitamin D in humans is ultraviolet B (UVB)-induced dermal synthesis of cholecalciferol, whereas food sources are believed to play a lesser role. Our objectives were to assess UVB availability (Jm−2) across several European locations ranging from 35° N to 69° N, and compare these UVB data with representative population serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) data from Ireland (51–54° N), Iceland (64° N) and Norway (69° N), as exemplars. Vitamin D-effective UVB availability was modelled for nine European countries/regions using a validated UV irradiance model. Standardized serum 25(OH)D data was accessed from the EC-funded ODIN project. The results showed that UVB availability decreased with increasing latitude (from 35° N to 69° N), while all locations exhibited significant seasonal variation in UVB. The UVB data suggested that the duration of vitamin D winters ranged from none (at 35° N) to eight months (at 69° N). The large seasonal fluctuations in serum 25(OH)D in Irish adults was much dampened in Norwegian and Icelandic adults, despite considerably lower UVB availability at these northern latitudes but with much higher vitamin D intakes. In conclusion, increasing the vitamin D intake can ameliorate the impact of low UVB availability on serum 25(OH)D status in Europe. View Full-Text
Keywords: vitamin D status; UVB; Europe; vitamin D intake vitamin D status; UVB; Europe; vitamin D intake
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

O’Neill, C.M.; Kazantzidis, A.; Ryan, M.J.; Barber, N.; Sempos, C.T.; Durazo-Arvizu, R.A.; Jorde, R.; Grimnes, G.; Eiriksdottir, G.; Gudnason, V.; Cotch, M.F.; Kiely, M.; Webb, A.R.; Cashman, K.D. Seasonal Changes in Vitamin D-Effective UVB Availability in Europe and Associations with Population Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D. Nutrients 2016, 8, 533.

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