“The American Academy of Dermatology recently issued an updated position statement on vitamin D after an updated review of the increasing body of scientific literature on this vitamin and its importance for optimal health.”
This is such a tricky subject because while we want to make sure we and our children are receiving the healthy amount of vitamins and nutrients, we also don’t want to expose them to UV rays unprotected just to get the right amount of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is important in many ways. Vitamin D helps maintain bone density, healthy bone growth and helps maintain the normal functioning of the nervous system. It is crucially important in aiding the body’s absorption of calcium. It has also been found that having a higher intake of vitamin D can help lower certain cancer risks, such as breast, prostate and colorectal cancer.
Now the Academy is recommending that the public received their vitamin D from nutritional sources and dietary supplements, and not from unprotected sun exposure.
“The Academy’s position statement on vitamin D now also states that individuals who regularly and properly practice sun protection, such as the daily use of sunscreen on exposed skin or the wearing of sun protective clothing, may be at risk for vitamin D insufficiency. 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.
Therefore, the Academy encourages those with concerns about their levels of vitamin D to discuss options for obtaining 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,” stated 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.”