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  • Vitamin D

    We all need vitamin D to develop strong healthy bones. The best form of vitamin D for your body is the UV radiation in sunlight.

    Sensible sun protection does not put people at risk of vitamin D deficiency, but there are times when it is actually important to be in the sun without protection.

    How much sun is enough for vitamin D production?

    For most people, adequate vitamin D levels are reached through regular incidental exposure to the sun. 

    When the UV Index is 3 or above (August - May in South Australia), the majority of people maintain adequate vitamin D levels just by spending a few minutes outdoors on most days of the week.

    Sensible sun protection does not put people at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

    In June and July, when the UV Index typically falls below 3 in southern states, we recommend spending time outdoors in the middle of the day with skin uncovered to support vitamin D production. Being physically active e.g. gardening or going for a brisk walk, also helps boost vitamin D levels.

    Although most people get enough sunlight to make adequate vitamin D during their day-to-day outdoor activities, there are some groups who may not make enough.

    This includes:

    • naturally dark skinned people
    • those who cover their skin for religious or cultural reasons
    • the elderly
    • babies of vitamin D deficient mothers
    • people who are housebound or in institutional care.

    See your doctor if you are worried about your vitamin D level.

    Related links

    Cancer Council Australia position statement
    http://wiki.cancer.org.au/policy/Position_statement_-_Risks_and_benefits_of_sun_exposure

    Cancer Council Victoria 
    www.sunsmart.com.au/vitamin_d

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