The Correlation between Vitamin D and Where You Live


We have previously explored Vitamin D and the ways in which it aids the body in maintaining health on a previous blog; to access it, click here. Today, we want to dive deeper into a misconception that surrounds this important vitamin and ways in which it is important to know the truth.

Vitamin D is known as the ‘sunshine vitamin,’ but as a whole, we struggle to receive adequate amounts from the sun. Why is that so? We will present research that explains this correlation, and how it applies even to those who live in areas that have more sunshine or fair weather days than others.

What studies are revealing

Vitamin D is important, as it helps to boost the immune system; in addition, a “variety of studies including interventional studies and association studies supporting the notion that improvement in vitamin D status reduced risk of many deadly cancers.” [1] 

It has proven to be extremely beneficial, yet “Vitamin D insufficiency affects almost 50% of the population worldwide. An estimated 1 billion people worldwide, across all ethnicities and age groups, have a vitamin D deficiency (VDD). This pandemic of hypovitaminosis D can mainly be attributed to lifestyle (for example, reduced outdoor activities) and environmental (for example, air pollution) factors that reduce exposure to sunlight, which is required for ultraviolet-B (UVB)-induced vitamin D production in the skin.” [2]

Further, new studies are revealing that we may need more Vitamin D than what current recommendations list in order to prevent certain diseases. Known as the ‘sunshine vitamin,’ most people believe that they receive enough Vitamin D through sun exposure; however, this is incorrect, especially for those who work or spend most of the day indoors. 

Breaking down the Correlation between Location and Vitamin D

You can use the International Latitude and Longitude Finder to find the latitude of longitude of where you live. From there, Mercola describes how Vitamin D levels across different areas: [3]

·      Between 0 and 10 degrees latitude, there is very intense sunlight for several hours before and after noon, year-round. 

·      Between 10 and 30 degrees latitude, there are several hours of very strong sunlight each day, especially during the summer, but the hours after dawn and before dusk can be milder.

·      Between 30 and 50 degrees latitude, sunlight can be strong during the summer. 

·      Upwards of 50 degrees latitude, summers are often short. However, the inhabitants of these countries often have pale skin that should still be exposed to summer sunlight with care. Anyone with very dark skin living at these latitudes is at a very high risk of vitamin D deficiency. 

This is important because it helps you find exactly what type of environment and what intensity of sunshine you are subjected to; you can then factor in the amount of time you spend in the sun. Be honest and true to yourself, as this will help you obtain the best measure. You may not be receiving as much Vitamin D as you think, as “a new study has shown adults in southern Arizona are commonly deficient in vitamin D, particularly those with darker skin who produce less vitamin D in response to sunlight.”3Simply put, you should not rely solely on sun exposure to obtain your vitamin D, especially since it is also important to protect your skin from potential UV/ UVB exposure than can lead to cancer.

Rather, you should take steps to ensure you are also receiving Vitamin D through dietary foods or supplements. For a list of foods that contain high amounts of Vitamin D, click here; you can also contact your general physician.

For more Information 

Vitamin D is necessary for maintaining our best health overall, and care should be taken to ensure that you are consistently receiving adequate amounts. As this blog has revealed, you most likely need to consume Vitamin D through avenues aside from external exposure. To learn more about ways in which you can increase your Vitamin D consumption, click here. You can also contact our medical team here; we are happy to assist you.

[1]Wacker, Matthias and Michael F. Holick. “Sunshine and Vitamin D.” NCBI.2013.

[2]Nair, Rathish and Arun Maseeh. “Vitamin D: The ‘sunshine’ vitamin.” NCBI.2012.

[3]“Even If You Live In Sub Tropical Environments You Can Be Vitamin D Deficient.”Mercola.2008. 

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