Sunnier weather often means lathering on the sunscreen, but for those who suffer from vitamin D deficiency (and there’s more than you think) baring your skin to the sun may be just what you need. According to a new clinical review moderate sun exposure can be beneficial and bring vitamin D back to a healthier level for those who are deficient.
The New York Daily News reports about the study led by Dr. Kim Pfotenhauer from “Tour University that suggests going without sunscreen and eating a vitamin D rich diet can help the current 1 billion people who are deficient in the vitamin around the world. Wearing sunscreen does protect from skin cancer, but it also blocks vitamin D absorption. The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) says, “SPF 15 or greater decreases vitamin D3 production by 99 percent.”
Even though the study recommends putting the sunscreen on the shelf, you still shouldn’t bake in the sun in order to produce more vitamin D. Prolonged sun exposure still comes with serious risks of skin cancer. But the AOA recommends getting your daily dose of vitamin D by spending between 5 and 30 minutes outdoors without sunscreen about twice a week. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should oil up and sit on your roof in a bikini. A short walk on a sunny day may be just what you need to increase your vitamin D levels.
Soaking in the sun or eating foods with vitamin D like fish, milk, cheese and portobello mushrooms will help you head to toe by promoting calcium absorption, reducing risks of osteoporosis, supporting immune function and reducing inflammation in the body. Dr. Pfotenhauer explains the healthy medium some of us should find when looking to raise our vitamin D levels. He says, “While we want people to protect themselves against skin cancer, there are healthy, moderate levels of unprotected sun exposure that can be very helpful in boosting vitamin D.”
What do you think of the latest study that suggests moderate sun exposure without the use of sunscreen can be beneficial to boost vitamin D levels?
Do you skip the sunscreen every once in a while?