Geographic location and vitamin D synthesis

Michael G. Kimlin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

202 Citations (Scopus)


Most of the population receive their nutritional vitamin D requirements through exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation, with cutaneous synthesis estimated to provide 80-100% of the vitamin D requirements of the body. However, little is understood about the basic interaction of sunlight (UV) exposure and the subsequent photobiology and photochemistry of vitamin D production in humans. Low vitamin D (blood serum 25[OH]D) status has been linked to the development of a surprisingly wide range of diseases. Epidemiological data and animal studies indicate that low vitamin D is linked to rickets, bone mass loss, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, insulin dependent diabetes and schizophrenia. Importantly some this emerging research associates such diseases with location and subsequent ultraviolet radiation exposures. This paper overviews concepts important to consider when assessing the impact of location and UV exposure on vitamin D synthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-461
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Aspects of Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


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