The role of sunlight exposure in determining the vitamin D status of the U.K. white adult population
ABSTRACT Vitamin D is necessary for bone health and is potentially protective against a range of malignancies. Opinions are divided on whether the proposed optimal circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] level (≥ 32 ng mL⁻¹) is an appropriate and feasible target at population level.
We examined whether personal sunlight exposure levels can provide vitamin D sufficient (≥ 20 ng mL⁻¹) and optimal status in the U.K. public.
This prospective cohort study measured circulating 25(OH)D monthly for 12 months in 125 white adults aged 20-60 years in Greater Manchester. Dietary vitamin D and personal ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure were assessed over 1-2 weeks in each season. The primary analysis determined the post-summer peak 25(OH)D required to maintain sufficiency in wintertime.
Dietary vitamin D remained low in all seasons (median 3·27 μg daily, range 2·76-4·15) while personal UVR exposure levels were high in spring and summer, low in autumn and negligible in winter. Mean 25(OH)D levels were highest in September [28·4 ng mL⁻¹; 28% optimal, zero deficient (<5 ng mL⁻¹)], and lowest in February (18·3 ng mL⁻¹; 7% optimal, 5% deficient). A February 25(OH)D level of 20 ng mL⁻¹ was achieved following a mean (95% confidence interval) late summer level of 30·4 (25·6-35·2) and 34·9 (27·9-41·9) ng mL⁻¹ in women and men, respectively, with 62% of variance explained by gender and September levels.
Late summer 25(OH)D levels approximating the optimal range are required to retain sufficiency throughout the U.K. winter. Currently the majority of the population fails to reach this post-summer level and becomes vitamin D insufficient during the winter.
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- "Hamilton, Grantham, Racinais, & Chalabi (2010) reported that 91% of middle eastern athletes tested demonstrated vitamin D concentrations of 550 nmol Á l 71 . There is, however , a lack of data on the vitamin D concentration of UK7based athletes that is surprising given that the majority of the UK population may be deficient during the winter months (Webb et al., 2010). "
ABSTRACT: Abstract The current study implemented a two-part design to (1) assess the vitamin D concentration of a large cohort of non-vitamin D supplemented UK-based athletes and 30 age-matched healthy non-athletes and (2) to examine the effects of 5000 IU · day(-1) vitamin D(3) supplementation for 8-weeks on musculoskeletal performance in a placebo controlled trial. Vitamin D concentration was determined as severely deficient if serum 25(OH)D < 12.5 nmol · l(-1), deficient 12.5-30 nmol · l(-1) and inadequate 30-50 nmol · l(-1). We demonstrate that 62% of the athletes (38/61) and 73% of the controls (22/30) exhibited serum total 25(OH)D < 50 nmol · l(-1). Additionally, vitamin D supplementation increased serum total 25(OH)D from baseline (mean ± SD = 29 ± 25 to 103 ± 25 nmol · l(-1), P = 0.0028), whereas the placebo showed no significant change (53 ± 29 to 74 ± 24 nmol · l(-1), P = 0.12). There was a significant increase in 10 m sprint times (P = 0.008) and vertical-jump (P = 0.008) in the vitamin D group whereas the placebo showed no change (P = 0.587 and P = 0.204 respectively). The current data supports previous findings that athletes living at Northerly latitudes (UK = 53° N) exhibit inadequate vitamin D concentrations (<50 nmol · l(-1)). Additionally the data suggests that inadequate vitamin D concentration is detrimental to musculoskeletal performance in athletes. Future studies using larger athletic groups are now warranted.Journal of Sports Sciences 10/2012; 31(4). DOI:10.1080/02640414.2012.733822 · 2.10 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: An important factor in determining our exposure to sunlight, and the consequent impact on skin health and vitamin D status, is the time we spend outdoors. To determine estimates of the typical times per day spent outdoors during weekdays, weekends and holidays during a summer season. A number of published studies giving data on the time per day spent outdoors by people were reviewed and a meta-analysis performed. From these data summary estimates of the average time per day outdoors were extracted. Time spent per day outdoors during weekdays and weekends is positively skewed, with a normal distribution of times outdoors during holidays. The median times per day outdoors during weekdays and weekends gave pooled estimates of 1·04 and 1·64 h, respectively. Corresponding values for the pooled estimates of mean times outdoors during these two periods were 1·43 and 2·38 h. The mean time per day outdoors during holiday exposure is 5-6 h. Summer-long distribution of times spent outdoors on a daily basis exhibits a highly skewed nature that highlights the difference between our adventitious and recreational exposure. Over the course of a summer season, when people are outside, they spend on average of 1-2 h per day outdoors.British Journal of Dermatology 12/2010; 164(4):848-54. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2133.2010.10165.x · 4.10 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Next to the adverse effects of solar UV exposure, the beneficial effects mediated by vitamin D(3) 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.Photochemistry and Photobiology 03/2011; 87(3):598-601. DOI:10.1111/j.1751-1097.2011.00918.x · 2.68 Impact Factor