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Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Brian Diffey
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Background/purpose The advice that an adequate vitamin D status can be achieved by short, casual exposure to summer sunlight is ubiquitous. This review will examine the value of this advice. Methods The results of experimental studies on changes in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations following ultraviolet exposure are interpreted in the context of human exposure to sunlight. Results It is shown that current advice about modest sun exposure during the summer months does little in the way of boosting overall 25(OH)D levels, while sufficient sun exposure that could achieve a worthwhile benefit would compromise skin health. Conclusions Failure to understand the nature of human exposure to sunlight has led to misguided advice concerning the sun exposure necessary for an adequate vitamin D status.
Author(s): Diffey BL
Publication type: Review
Publication status: Published
Journal: Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine
Print publication date: 13/07/2010
ISSN (print): 0905-4383
ISSN (electronic): 1600-0781
Publisher: WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC