Sumary of How much sunlight you really need to get enough vitamin D:
- How to get vitamin D from the sun “It does not take excessive amounts of sun to get a healthy dose of vitamin D.
- It would be possible to get adequate vitamin D with limited exposure to your arms and legs for 10 to 15 minutes two to three times a week,” says Susan Massick, MD, a dermatologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and associate professor of dermatology in the Ohio State College of Medicine.
- Several factors affect UVB exposure and vitamin D production, including: Time of day: The best time for sun exposure is noon since the sun is most intense, meaning you don’t have to stay out as long to get an adequate amount of vitamin D.
- Skin color: Individuals with darker skin tones have more melanin, a natural pigment in the body that protects the skin from UV damage, so they tend to produce less vitamin D through sun exposure.
- In fact, a 2009 study found that there is a four-fold increase in vitamin D production at the Mount Everest base camp, which is approximately 5,350 meters (17,500 feet) above sea level compared to Agra, a city in India which is 169 meters (554 feet) above sea level.
- Related Article Module: How to read the UV index scale and why it’s crucial for preventing skin cancer However, you should avoid prolonged sun exposure, which is about 10 to 30 minutes for fair skin, because UVB rays also cause sunburns and photodamage, increasing the risk of skin cancer, says Massick.
- Lactose intolerance or milk allergies, which increase the risk of vitamin D deficiency since people with these conditions are less likely to consume dairy products fortified with vitamin D.
- Breastfed infants, because breast milk doesn’t provide adequate amounts of vitamin D.