After reading the increasing volume of scientific literature on vitamin D and its importance for optimal health, the American Academy of Dermatology, Schaumberg, Ill., released a statement warning those who regularly practice sun protection that they may be at risk for vitamin D insufficiency.


The Academy continues to recommend that the public obtain vitamin D from nutritional sources and dietary supplements, and not from unprotected exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or indoor tanning devices.


Its updated statement now also notes that a higher dose of vitamin D may be necessary for these individuals and others with known risk factors for vitamin D insufficiency, such as those with dark skin, the elderly, photosensitive individuals, people with limited sun exposure, obese individuals or those with fat malabsorption.


As a result, the Academy encourages people with concerns about their levels of vitamin D to discuss options for getting sufficient dietary or supplementary sources of vitamin D with their physician.


"The vitamin D position statement supports the Academy’s long-held conviction on safe ways to get this important vitamin – through a healthy diet which incorporates foods naturally rich in vitamin D, vitamin D-fortified foods and beverages, and vitamin D supplements," said dermatologist David M. Pariser, MD, FAAD, president of the American Academy of Dermatology. "The updated recommendation for individuals who practice daily sun protection acknowledges that while protecting the skin from the damaging rays of the sun is important, so is maintaining adequate vitamin D levels. Concern about vitamin D should not lead people to forego sun protection, but rather prompt a conversation with their physician about how to ensure adequate and safe vitamin D intake while guarding against skin cancer ."


[Source: American Academy of Dermatology]