What is the recommended provision for vitamin D from sunlight?

Updated: Dec 15, 2020
  • Author: Vin Tangpricha, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Unprotected sun exposure is the major source of vitamin D for both children and adults. [2] Provision of vitamin D from sunlight is as follows:

  • Sensible sun exposure, especially between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm, produces vitamin D in the skin that may last twice as long in the blood compared with ingested vitamin D [4]

  • Full-body sun exposure producing slight pinkness in light-skinned persons results in vitamin D production equivalent to ingesting 10,000-25,000 IU [5]

  • Increased skin pigmentation, aging, and sunscreen use reduce the skin’s vitamin D3 production

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