How Strong Does the Sun Need to Be? Question #6

Question #6 in the Vitamin D Liquid Sunshine Instant Win and Sweepstakes:

For your skin to make vitamin D, the UV index needs to be:

a. 1
b. 2
c. 3

Answer is C. 3
In order to make any vitamin D, a UV index of at least 3 or greater is needed.  To get an up-to-the-minute UV report for your area go to and type in your zip code.  I just did mine and it’s “0”, of course I live north of Seattle.  Atlanta, GA is only a “2” right now and sunny Beverly Hills 90210 is only a “1”!  (on 2/25/09)

It’s actually quite surprising that even though the sun may be shining – the UV index may only be a 1 or 2.  If you live north of the 37th parallel the sun is not strong enough in the winter to make vitamin D.

The higher the UV index, the shorter the time you need to make an adequate amount of vitamin D, as long as it’s 3 or higher.  Plus, you can’t be wearing any sunscreen! 

For example, in Detroit you can only make vitamin D from April 15 to September 30th, which is only 5 1/2 months.  Plus, if you work indoors most days and don’t get out in the sun from 10 am to 4 pm, you many only have about 48 days of the year to make vitamin D.  Wow!  That’s not very many.   
Source:  “The Vitamin D Cure” by James Dowd, M.D. and Diane Stafford – see

That’s why its important to take a liquid vitamin d supplement, especially during the winter months.  Your body cannot store the vitamin D it makes in the summer all winter long.  By taking vitamin d supplements, it will help keep your blood levels more consistent all year long.