What is the recommended sun exposure for production of vitamin D?

Updated: Oct 29, 2019
  • Author: Vin Tangpricha, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Sensible sun exposure, especially between the hours of 10:00 am and 3:00 pm produces vitamin D in the skin that may last twice as long in the blood compared with ingested vitamin D. [4] If sun exposure produces slight pinkness, the amount of vitamin D produced in response to exposure of the full body is equivalent to ingesting 10,000-25,000 IU. [5] A variety of factors reduce the skin’s vitamin D-3 production, including increased skin pigmentation, aging, and the topical application of a sunscreen. A clinical study from Sweden comparing full body irradiation with UVB lamps 3 times a week for 6 weeks to a daily vitamin D3 supplement of 1,600 IU daily for 6 weeks found UVB therapy to be more efficacious in raising serum 25(OH)D concentrations. This suggests that UVB therapy may be a useful therapeutic approach in selected individuals. [69]


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