Show More Skin, Get More Vitamin D

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Winter might be creeping around the corner, but there’s good reason to show more skin.┬áThis Australian study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology analysed information of over 1000 participants related to sun exposure, dietary sources of vitamin D and use of supplements.

The model employed by researchers explained 40% of differences found in serum D levels. Modifiable behaviours such as physical activity, time spent outdoors and clothing cover accounted for 52% of the explained difference, while 38% was due to environmental factors and 10% demographic or constitutional factors. The single and strongest contributor to the explained differences in serum D levels was the amount of skin exposed. According to researchers, each 10% decrease in clothing cover was associated with a 5, 2 nmol/L increase in serum D level, without increasing duration of sun exposure.

This suggests that a more effective way of increasing serum D levels would be to show more skin by covering less of it, instead of spending more time in the sun.