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Vitamin D 'does not enhance teen brainpower'

Extreme protection against sun exposure should remain as study suggests high levels vitamin D does not boost teen academic performance.

Findings suggest the benefits of the vitamin on brainpower do not emerge until later in life.

Research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health analysed the academic performance and GCSE results of over 3000 teens between the ages of 13 and 16.

The teens' vitamin D3 and D2 levels were measured when they were nine years-old.

Scientists found higher levels of vitamin D3 levels were more common among children from more affluent backgrounds, while higher levels of vitamin D2 were more common among those from more disadvantaged backgrounds.

In fact, teens with higher levels of vitamin D2 achieved fewer A* to C GCSE grades at the ages of 15 and 16.

Overall, the results showed the vitamin - sourced mainly from sunlight (vitamin D3) or from plants (vitamin D2) - was not associated with better academic achievement. 

“Studies linking vitamin D and neurological functions and viability have resulted in calls for changes to public health guidance regarding extreme protection against UV exposure,” said the researchers.

“However, our results suggest that protection of children from UVB exposure, which has been associated with low levels of vitamin D, but protects against skin damage and skin cancer, is unlikely to have any detrimental effect on academic achievement.”

Question: Do you agree changes need to be made to public health guidance regarding extreme protection against UV exposure?