Vitamin D and Sun Protection
What You Need to Know
While a limited amount of vitamin D can be obtained from exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, the health risks of UV exposure — including skin cancer — are great. Instead, The Skin Cancer Foundation suggests you get your vitamin D from sources like oily fish, fortified dairy products and cereals, and supplements. Read on to learn more about the best way to get your vitamin D.
Statement on Obtaining Adequate Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for strong bones and a healthy immune system. A review of 1,000 studies by the Institute of Medicine in Washington, DC, found that the vast majority of Americans are taking in enough vitamin D, and that there is no sound evidence vitamin D insufficiency is leading to a wave of cancers, heart disease, diabetes and other conditions.
The Skin Cancer Foundation supports The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies’ Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D, which is 600 IU (International Units) a day for people between the ages of 1 and 70, and 800 IU a day for people ages 70 and older. For children under 1 year, adequate intake (AI) is 400 IU a day.
The Foundation cautions the public against intentional exposure to natural sunlight or artificial UV radiation (tanning beds) as a means of obtaining vitamin D, since the health risks of UV exposure – including skin cancer and premature skin aging – are significant and well proven.