A new study published in the journal Environment International suggests that people living close to the coast in England have higher vitamin D levels than inland residents.
Recently, researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School examined records from over 7,000 residents in Cornwall taken from the British 1958 Cohort study and grouped individuals according to their distance from the coast.
The researchers worked closely with the Met Office, the United Kingdom’s national weather service, to compile sunlight data from satellites and ground-based measurements.
They then compared this information to the vitamin D levels of the residents, adjusting for confounding factors such as sunscreen, outdoor activity, and diet.
The researchers found that individuals living closer to the coast in England had higher levels than those inland, particularly in autumn.
Marck Cherrie, researcher and student at the University of Exeter, stated, “Recent research has shown that populations living close to the coast tend to have improved health and wellbeing. Whilst coastal environments can promote physical activity and reduce stress, our study suggests that direct physiological factors could also be important, with higher vitamin D levels potentially explaining some of the effects seen”
Cristophe Sarran, the coordinator of health research at the Met’s Office, said,
“This study represents an important step in our understanding of how vitamin D varies across the country, and will help us target information about how to alleviate vitamin D deficiency and its associated problems.”