Pale and fair-skinned people who tend to burn while out in the sun may benefit from taking vitamin D supplements, a new study suggests.

Lead author and professor of dermatology at the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine Julia Newton-Bishop spoke of the study.

Fair-skinned individuals who burn easily are not able to make enough vitamin D from sunlight and so should take vitamin D supplements, Newton-Bishop said in a statement. This should be considered for the majority of populations living in a mild climate like the UK and melanoma patients in particular.

Researchers noted that there is no standard definition when it comes to good levels of vitamin D, so they used 60nmol/L as a benchmark. They studied the vitamin D levels of about 1,200 people. More than half had sub-optimal levels of vitamin D, and those with fair-skin had lower levels. 

The study was published in the journal Cancer Causes and Control.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that there are several factors that determine how much vitamin D a person gets, including whether they live at higher altitudes, weather conditions, and how a person uses sunscreen.

The organization CancerCare.org advises people to use sunscreen and reapply when necessary, as well as wearing hats with wide brims and sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection.