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Sufficient Vitamin D from Casual Sun Exposure?


Corresponding author email: (Frank R. de Gruijl)


Next to the adverse effects of solar UV exposure, the beneficial effects mediated by vitamin D3 have come into the limelight. The question then is “how much sun exposure do we actually need?” Estimates have been made, but the data are not quite adequate. The groups of Drs. Rhodes and Webb bridged the gap between experiments and everyday life by a study in which 109 volunteers were exposed in mid-winter to simulated solar UV radiation in summertime clothing at dosages of 1.3 SED three times a week. Thus, 90% reached sufficiently high vitamin D statuses (>50 nmol L−1). In this issue, these researchers transpose these experimental exposures in a cabinet to summertime noon exposures of people walking around for about half an hour in open terrain on a clear day in Manchester, UK. This result is an improvement over earlier estimates and shows that casual mid-day summer sun exposure should indeed suffice.