Vit. D - how to get it safely
Because ultraviolet rays from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer, the American Academy of Dermatology does not recommend getting vitamin D from sun exposure or indoor tanning, it states in a press release.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization’s International Agency of Research on Cancer panel have declared UV radiation from the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds and sun lamps, to be a known carcinogen (cancer-causing substance).
Risk factor for the development of skin cancer
Unprotected exposure to UV rays from the sun or indoor tanning devices is a known risk factor for the development of skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.3-8
To protect against UV-induced skin cancer, dermatologists recommend a comprehensive sun protection plan that includes seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and applying a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Getting vitamin D from a healthy diet
The AAD recommends getting vitamin D from a healthy diet that includes foods naturally rich in vitamin D, foods and beverages fortified with vitamin D, and/or vitamin D supplements.
While vitamin D is critical for healthy bones, vitamin D intake may not lower cancer mortality.
While some studies have suggested that vitamin D can reduce deaths from cancer and/or improve cancer survival, other studies have not been able to confirm these observations.11-12
The Institute of Medicine (now known as the National Academy of Medicine) concluded that the evidence for associating vitamin D status with health benefits other than bone health was inconsistent, inconclusive as to causality and insufficient to inform nutritional requirement.
Recommended dietary allowance
Based on currently available scientific evidence that supports a key role of calcium and vitamin D in skeletal health, the NAM’s Recommended Dietary Allowance* for vitamin D is:
- 400 International Units for infants/children 0-1 years
- 600 IU for children, teenagers and adults 1-70 years
- 800 IU for adults 71+ years
Because the amount of vitamin D a person receives from the sun is inconsistent and increases the risk of skin cancer, the NAM’s RDA was developed based on a person receiving minimal or no sun exposure.