Low take-up of Vitamin D; Map reveals poor levels.
Byline: KAIYA MARJORIBANKS
Stirling residents are the least likely in Britain to soak up vitamin D this month according to a new study.
In partnership with Manchester University experts, Boots Vitamins has produced its first Vitamin D Project Map - revealing the city as the one whose population is likely to have the lowest intake of the vitamin in February.
Stirling only had 30 per cent of the vitamin D-effective UVB rays in 2018 compared with Spanish hotspot Marbella.
Boots spokesperson Sophie Cuttiford said: "As well as shorter days and colder weather, the winter months are also when we tend to experience our lowest levels of the 'sunshine vitamin', Vitamin D 2 . "The research showed Scotland generally has the lowest predicted levels of vitamin D which reflects previous scientific studies. However, other factors including cloud, ozone and aerosols can also significantly reduce the levels of UVB.
"This was reflected in the research which revealed Stirling in Scotland as the city with lowest UVB in 2018. To put this into perspective, those living in the south of England are estimated to have experienced around 28 more days, or one whole month, in 2018 when the UV rays were high enough for the body to make a useful amount of vitamin D, compared with those live in Scotland.
"The city in England with the lowest predicted levels of vitamin D was Carlisle and the corresponding city in Wales was Bangor."
The figures did not include vitamin D absorbed through diet or supplements.
Vitamin D allows people to absorb calcium, to help keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. A lack of it can lead to poor bone development. Whilst vitamin D is found in small amounts in certain foods such as oily fish, red meat and egg yolks, it is difficult to get the recommended amount of vitamin D from food alone, particularly during the autumn and winter months.
Ann Webb, professor of atmospheric radiation at the University of Manchester said while the further north you go UVB in sunlight decreases, there are many other factors that influence each individual's circulating 25OHD, which determines vitamin D status, such as the amount of time a person spends in the sun, the colour of their skin and the amount of skin exposed.
She added: "The greatest source of the vitamin for almost all of us comes from exposure to UVB in sunlight."