Sunlight and Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the key building blocks of the human immune system and the importance of vitamin D for bone density has long been recognised. A growing number of studies have shown that high levels of vitamin D can also help to combat many different forms of cancer, along with diabetes and depression.

Short periods of sun exposure are often recommended as a way of building up adequate levels of vitamin D and it is generally considered sufficient to expose the face and hands to sunlight. Danish scientists have tested this recommendation and compared the effect of natural sunlight with that of artificial UV light.

Their study showed that in Europe, natural sunlight is only strong enough to produce vitamin D between April and August. However, significant vitamin D synthesis could only be demonstrated when larger areas of the skin were exposed to sunlight, rather than just the face and hands. The study also shows that artificial UV light is eight times more effective than sunlight for the production of vitamin D.

“Modern lifestyles are responsible for a shortage of vitamin D, which in turn can lead to a wide range of diseases. These studies back our recommendation that moderate exposure using solariums is a good way to synthesize adequate levels of vitamin D”, Ad Brand of the Sunlight Research Forum explains.

The Sunlight Research Forum (SRF) is a non-profit organisation based in the Netherlands. The SRF works to communicate new medical and scientific research into the effects of moderate UV exposure on humans.

Source: Sunlight Research Forum