This paper reviews the main factors influencing the synthesis of vitamin D, with particular focus on ultraviolet radiation exposure. On the global level, the main source of vitamin D is the sun. The effect of solar radiation on vitamin D synthesis depends to some extent on the initial vitamin D levels. At moderate to high latitudes, diet becomes an increasingly important source of vitamin D due to decreased solar intensity and cold temperatures, which discourage skin exposure. During the mid-winter season, these factors result in decreased solar radiation exposure, hindering extensively the synthesis of vitamin D in these populations.
Keywords: UV; sun; ultraviolet; vitamin D.