Exposure to sunlight is the body’s most important source of vitamin D. Having the right level of vitamin D in the blood is associated with a lower risk of death.

The Health Council of the Netherlands therefore recommends that you spend at least 15 to 30 minutes outside between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. every day. Production of vitamin D depends on the duration and intensity of the exposure to sunlight, the surface area exposed, the amount of pigment in the skin and the type of pigment. In northern European countries the intensity of sunlight over the winter months is too weak to trigger vitamin D production.

Please also be aware, however, that exposure to sunlight increases the risk of skin cancer. Use sunscreen to prevent your skin from burning. This has no effect on the production of vitamin D.

Sunlight and your health

There are a number of health effects associated with sunlight.

iGene Passport

iGene offers you an insight into your personal risks of developing conditions and tells you whether sunlight may be particularly important for you to help prevent certain conditions. In addition, an iGene Passport provides you with information on what else you can do to reduce any risks. Here we focus on behaviour that will help you maximise the benefits to your health. In the publication below you can read more about what iGene can do for you.

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