Contribution of sun exposure to the vitamin D dose received by various groups of the Spanish population

Sci Total Environ. 2018 Apr 1:619-620:545-551. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.11.036. Epub 2017 Nov 29.


Although the harmful effects of excessive exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation are well known, the recommended dose of UV radiation is beneficial for the synthesis of vitamin D by the skin, in addition to being useful in the treatment of various illnesses and mental problems. Numerous studies have shown that vitamin D performs important functions in the human organism, such as absorbing calcium and phosphorous and contributing to the immune system, among others. Several studies have found that a high percentage of various groups of the Spanish population suffer from vitamin D deficiency, and since very few natural foods contain vitamin D, it was considered important to determine whether groups such as schoolchildren, outdoor workers and athletes, receive enough solar radiation to produce adequate levels of vitamin D in their daily activities. It was found that the amount of vitamin D (in IU) produced by personal effective solar UV doses could exceed the recommended dose of 1000IU/day in spring and summer, while the winter estimate (about 220IU/day) is only one quarter of the recommended dose. These results suggest that most people would not receive the recommended daily vitamin D dose in winter from exposure to solar UV radiation, the main source of vitamin D.

Keywords: Ultraviolet erythemal irradiance; Ultraviolet radiation; Ultraviolet vitamin D irradiance; Vitamin D dose.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Humans
  • Radiometry
  • Seasons*
  • Skin
  • Spain
  • Sunlight*
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Vitamin D / biosynthesis*


  • Vitamin D