VITAMIN D AND UV EXPOSURE
The American Academy of Dermatology is deeply concerned that reports
linking the health benefits of vitamin D to unprotected sun exposure may
mislead the public about the very real dangers of sun exposure, the leading
and most preventable cause of skin cancer.
Vitamin D is critical to healthy bones, and some research now suggests that
maintaining higher levels than traditionally believed to be sufficient may offer
additional health benefits. However, if you are concerned about getting
enough vitamin D, the safe way to obtain it is through a healthy, balanced
diet, vitamin D-fortified foods or oral supplements.
While vitamin D production may be one benefit of ultraviolet light (UV)
exposure, the evidence that UV radiation causes skin cancer is overwhelming
Vitamin D does not need to be produced from UV light to be effective.
Sunlight or tanning beds are not better sources of vitamin D than food or
supplements. The only thing for which they are better is increasing your risk
of developing skin cancer.
Any individual or organization advocating intentional UV exposure as the
preferred means of obtaining vitamin D is doing a tremendous disservice to
Most people get enough incidental sun exposure during their daily activities to
meet their vitamin D requirements.
Maximum production of vitamin D occurs after brief exposure to UV radiation.
For a fair-skinned person in Boston or New York, at noon in June, it is 2-5
minutes. After this, any additional vitamin D that your body produces will not
be stored for future use.
AAD Web site: www.aad.org
AAD toll-free information number: 1-888-462-DERM