As the summer months are upon us, mothers everywhere will be slathering their kids with sunscreen to help protect them when it comes to skin damage. In fact, many ensure to have a little sunscreen product on the face and lips, even if they are just running errands. Still, new research is revealing that there may be a negative component to all this sunscreen use, that is vitamin D deficiency.
A recent study reported with Medical News Today has found that using sunscreen and chronic illness (i.e. celiac, diabetes, as well as any diseases that prohibit the body to absorb nutrients from food) add to almost 1 million vitamin D deficiency cases worldwide.
As per the Food and Nutrition Board a person 18 years plus should be receiving 600-800 International Units of vitamin D daily. While there are foods that have the vitamin within them, the doses tend to be low. It has been stated that sunlight is the greatest vitamin D source an individual can ask for. Still, sunlight has risks of its own. Increased exposure can lead to skin issues, including sunburns and skin cancer. As such, sunscreen is the best way to protect your skin from these risks when it comes to sunlight exposure.
Within the study, it was revealed that sunscreen use could potentially cause a 99% reduction in vitamin D production, when using a product that had an SPF of 15 or more. The team suggested people avoid use of sunscreen when hitting the midday sun, twice each week, for about 30 minutes. This can assist to maintain and increase a person’s vitamin D levels, yet still protect them from harmful rays.
This conclusion was made after analyzing clinical studies around vitamin D deficiency.
Dr. Kim Pfotenhauer, co-author of the study noted that individuals are not spending as much time outside as they use to. If and when they do head out, most are using sunscreen, which takes away from the body’s natural ways of producing vitamin D. The doctor adds that while the research team wants individuals protected against skin cancers, there is a health way to moderate sun exposure that is not protected, in order to increase levels of vitamin D production.
The team notes that another way to increase vitamin D is supplements. This will not add any risks when it comes to sun exposure, however the researchers also add that individuals should head to their doctor for a consultation before doing so.