Sunshine and vitamin D

Arch Dis Child. 2016 Feb;101(2):190-2. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2014-307214. Epub 2015 Aug 31.


Vitamin D is vital for bone health and its deficiency deemed as a disease of the past has re-emerged as an important health concern. Exposure of the skin to solar ultraviolet B radiation is the major source of vitamin D and only a small proportion is derived from dietary intake. We review the various factors that influence the cutaneous synthesis of vitamin D and the recommendations regarding safe sun exposure and dietary supplementation to achieve adequate vitamin D levels proposed for optimal bone health.

Keywords: Bone Disease; Dermatology; Endocrinology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clothing
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Environmental Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Pollution / analysis
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Seasons
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Skin Pigmentation / physiology
  • Sunlight*
  • Sunscreening Agents / pharmacology
  • Vitamin D / biosynthesis*
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / prevention & control


  • Sunscreening Agents
  • Vitamin D