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Meeting Vitamin D Requirements in White Caucasians at UK Latitudes: Providing a Choice

School of Earth and Environmental Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
Physics Department, University of Patras, 265 00 Patras, Greece
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester, and Dermatology Centre, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester M6 8HD, UK
Centre for Biostatistics, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC), University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(4), 497;
Received: 2 March 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changing Times for Vitamin D and Health)
PDF [13311 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]


The body gains vitamin D through both oral intake (diet/supplementation) and synthesis in skin upon exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Sun exposure is the major source for most people even though sun exposure is complex and limited by climate and culture. We aimed to quantify the sun exposure required to meet vitamin D targets year-round and determine whether this can be safely achieved in a simply defined manner in the UK as an alternative to increasing vitamin D oral intake. Data from observation (sun exposure, diet, and vitamin D status) and UVR intervention studies performed with white Caucasian adults were combined with modeled all-weather UVR climatology. Daily vitamin D effective UVR doses (all-weather) were calculated across the UK based on ten-year climatology for pre-defined lunchtime exposure regimes. Calculations then determined the time necessary to spend outdoors for the body to gain sufficient vitamin D levels for year-round needs without being sunburnt under differing exposure scenarios. Results show that, in specified conditions, white Caucasians across the UK need nine minutes of daily sunlight at lunchtime from March to September for 25(OH)D levels to remain ≥25 nmol/L throughout the winter. This assumes forearms and lower legs are exposed June-August, while in the remaining, cooler months only hands and face need be exposed. Exposing only the hands and face throughout the summer does not meet requirements. View Full-Text
Keywords: vitamin D; ultraviolet radiation; climatology; white Caucasian; dietary intake vitamin D; ultraviolet radiation; climatology; white Caucasian; dietary intake

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Webb, A.R.; Kazantzidis, A.; Kift, R.C.; Farrar, M.D.; Wilkinson, J.; Rhodes, L.E. Meeting Vitamin D Requirements in White Caucasians at UK Latitudes: Providing a Choice. Nutrients 2018, 10, 497.

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