A new study is set to take place in Australia, examining whether people are getting too little, too much or just enough sun exposure.
In Australia, while many people have low vitamin D levels, it is also a country that has a high incidence of skin cancer. Thus it is a difficult task in making sure people get the right balance of sun exposure – enough to make vitamin D but not too much where you start to burn.
Universities and research centers are teaming up with Cancer Australia and are gathering about 1,000 people throughout Australia for the study, called the Sun Exposure vitamin D Supplementation (SEDS) study.
The subjects will be given sun exposure advice, a vitamin D supplement or placebo, and some will receive a dosimeter wristband, which will measure precisely how much sun exposure they’re getting. Furthermore, the dosimeter will alert the participants when their skin has gotten adequate sun exposure.
According to the lead researcher, Dr Robyn Lucas, their goal is to establish an understanding of the amount of sun people are exposing themselves to and then to see if behavior needs to be modified. Ultimately they want to answer the big question of whether people should seek more sunlight, or look to supplements.
The study has just finished gathering its participants and hopes to have all data collected to begin analyzing in December 2014.
For more information, visit the SEDS website: http://www.sedsstudy.org/index.html