Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

The Myths and Facts of Vitamin D and Sun Exposure


Unverified reports claiming that unprotected, intentional sun exposure is necessary for Vitamin D formation are getting quite a bit of media coverage lately.

Yet, dermatologists still advise the public to practice sun protection to prevent skin cancer.

At a recent American Academy of Dermatology's Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month news conference, dermatologist Darrell S. Rigel, M.D., clinical professor, New York University Medical Center in New York City, debunked the myths surrounding Vitamin D and offered advice on getting an adequate dose of this nutrient.

"As a dermatologist who treats the ravages of skin cancer on a daily basis, it is appalling to me that anyone in good conscience could make the claim that intentional sun exposure - for any length of time - is beneficial," stated Dr. Rigel. "The fact is, skin cancer is increasing at an alarming rate and scientific research confirms that our best defense is avoiding excessive, unprotected sun exposure."

Dr. Rigel addressed the following myths about vitamin D and sun exposure:

Myth #1 - Sunscreen blocks Ultraviolet (UV) light. Consequently, UV radiation is prevented from reaching the skin, which leads to an inadequate amount of vitamin D in the body.

Fact - A 1997 study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute of patients with Xeroderma Pigmentosa (a disease that predisposes persons to skin cancer who are exposed to very low levels of ultraviolet radiation), showed that these patients have normal vitamin D levels despite negligible amounts of UV exposure.

Myth #2 -A considerable amount of UV exposure is necessary to maintain normal levels of vitamin D.

Fact - Normal vitamin D levels are maintained through a normal diet.

Myth #3 - Sunscreen does not allow UV radiation to reach the skin, so if people wear sunscreen, their bodies can form vitamin D.

Fact - Even the best sunscreen cannot block all UV radiation. But the amount that does hit the skin is enough to promote adequate vitamin D formation.

Myth #4 - Skin cancer is not a serious disease, so sun protection is not important.

Fact - One American dies every hour from melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.

Myth #5 - Low levels of Vitamin D lead to more cancers and other diseases.

Fact - "There are no scientific studies that prove this statement," explained Dr. Rigel. "The claim is based on a study that finds that overall cancer rates are higher in the northeast United States, a location with lower sunlight levels than many other places in the country. Those making this claim conclude that since the northeast has lower UV levels, this is the reason why cancer rates are higher in this region. However, several studies prove this theory is false. These include studies that show that cancer rates are low in the northern plain states (areas with the lowest UV levels in the country) and small regional studies (New York state), where cancer rates are highest in areas with industrial pollutants and are not related to sunlight levels."

"When we take a close look at these myths and evaluate the facts, the course of action is clear," said Dr. Rigel. "Until there is science that tells us otherwise, it is imperative that people protect themselves from the sun. Anyone concerned about not getting enough vitamin D should either take a multivitamin or drink a few glasses of vitamin D-fortified milk every day. Given the fact that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has declared UV radiation as a known carcinogen, exposing oneself to it for the sake of vitamin D is not the answer."

The American Academy of Dermatology advises everyone to engage in the following sun protective practices:

  • avoid outdoor activities between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun's rays are the strongest.

  • seek shade whenever possible.

  • wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15.

  • reapply sunscreen every two hours.

  • wear sun-protective clothing.

About The Author

Diana Clarke is a teacher and the founder and editor of The Sun and Your Skin at yourskinandsun.com.

dianaclarke2001@yahoo.com


MORE RESOURCES:

cleveland.com

FDA warns of hidden drugs in OxyElite, Seven Slim weight loss supplements
cleveland.com
The FDA is warning consumers about more weight loss supplements that contain pharmaceutical drug ingredients-- OxyElite Pro and Seven Slim. They are just the most recent examples in a trend of weight loss and sexual enhancement supplements, which ...
Pulled twice from exchanges, OxyElite Pro supplement now found to contain ...Stars and Stripes
FDA Issues Warning on Four Tainted Weight Loss SupplementsMonthly Prescribing Reference
FDA Finds Prozac in USPlabs Supplement, but Company Claims it's a CounterfeitRegulatory Focus
RTT News -Youth Health Magzine
all 7 news articles »


Vitamin-Packed With Promises
New York Times
Despite the paucity of evidence, even medical experts can fall into marketing traps. Ms. Price's physical therapist is flabbergasted when she tells him that his favorite supplement pills aren't approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and he is ...



TIME

8 Things You Don't Know About Supplements
TIME
In early February, the New York Times reported that New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman launched an investigation into some of the largest supplement retailers. DNA testing revealed that 79% of supplements tested did not contain what the ...
Vitamin BSThe Atlantic
Vitamin and mineral supplements are big business, but their health benefits ...National Post

all 10 news articles »


Care2.com

4 Natural Supplements That Are as Powerful as Drugs
Care2.com
In fact, a few supplements are so effective that they are comparable to pharmaceutical drugs. Here are 4 natural health boosting supplements that are as powerful as drugs (if not more). 1. Berberine Drastically Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Improves ...



Jackson Clarion Ledger

The doctors: The real facts about vitamin supplements
Jackson Clarion Ledger
Question: There's a lot of talk about how vitamin supplements are unnecessary or even harmful. Do you still think I should be taking a daily multivitamin? I'm 57 and in good health. — Harold F., Raleigh, North Carolina. Answer: We bet you've been ...

and more »


PR Plays Role in Making Sense of New Dietary Supplement Regulations
O'Dwyer's PR News
Dietary supplements have come under fire from state agencies, raising questions about what role they play in healthcare. PR pros now have a duty to participate in this conversation, to alleviate any potential confusion and help health-conscious ...



TheHorse.com

Researchers Study Supplement's Effects on Gastric Ulcers
TheHorse.com
Horse supplements are a funny thing—equestrians spend millions of dollars each year on them, but only a small percentage are backed with scientific studies showing their efficacy. So recently, a team of researchers set out to put some science behind ...



CBS News

New York expands investigation into herbal supplements
CBS News
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Three weeks after ordering four major retailers to pull store-brand herbal supplements off their shelves following DNA tests that found little or none of the listed herbs, New York's attorney general is targeting manufacturers of the ...
Investigation shows herbal supplements aren't all what they claimLocal 10

all 181 news articles »


New York AG Fires Round 2 Against Herbal Dietary Supplement Makers
Forbes
The office of New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has targeted four major herbal and dietary supplement manufacturers to produce detailed documentation concerning the authenticity, purity, and marketing of herbal dietary supplements ...

and more »


Suit: Walgreen's supplements not what claimed
Alton Telegraph
EDWARDSVILLE – An Edwardsville law firm has filed a class action suit against the Walgreen's Drug Store chain, claiming the stores sell herbal supplements that actually contain such substances as rice, tropical houseplant and material originating in ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.