Carlisle set to be city with lowest vitamin D levels in UK in February


Sunlight is a key source of vitamin D. Image: Pablo Heimplatz

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Residents of Stirling, Carlisle and Manchester are most likely to have low levels of vitamin D this February, according to scientists.

Scientists from the University of Manchester considered factors including available amounts of vitamin D-effective UVB rays, as well as cloud cover, ozone and aerosol levels before coming to their conclusion.

For this month, Carlisle is predicted to have the lowest levels of vitamin D of all the cities in England, while Bangor is expected to see the least in Wales - with Stirling lowest of all in Great Britain.

In 2018, compared to those in Scotland, those living in the south of England are thought to have experienced around 28 more days when UV rays were high enough for the body to make a useful amount of vitamin D.

According to the NHS, vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, and is needed to help keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

Combining the data, experts worked with Boots Vitamins to create a ‘Vitamin D Projection Map’, which shows the areas of the country whose vitamin D levels will likely be at their lowest now.


'Sunlight decreases the further north you go'

Ann Webb, Professor of atmospheric radiation at the University of Manchester, said: “The analysis we have done for the UK in 2018 confirms the overall trend that UVB in sunlight decreases the further north you go - this will have a direct impact on the ability to make vitamin D of the population at each location.

“There are many other factors that influence each individual’s circulating 25OHD, which determines vitamin D status.

“These include the amount of time a person spends in the sun, the colour of their skin and the amount of skin exposed, but the single greatest source of the vitamin for almost all of us comes from exposure to UVB in sunlight.”