Sunscreen Use Linked to Vitamin D Deficiency


You always hear people say to put on sunscreen when outside to prevent skin cancer. While the use of sunscreen helps protect the skin, it can also result to your body not getting enough vitamin D.

The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association published a clinical review, which revealed that nearly one billion people worldwide are likely deficient in vitamin D due to lack of exposure to sunlight related to sunscreen use.

An increasing number of people prefer to stay indoors. When they are outside, they wear sunscreen as protection against skin cancer. Sunscreen use lessens the body’s ability to produce vitamin D from sun exposure, according to Touro University assistant professor and study researcher, Kim Pfotenhauer, DO.


vitamin D


Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a hormone produced by the body through sunlight exposure. It is essential for the body in absorbing calcium and phosphorous. This hormone also plays a vital role in various body functions. According to the US National Library of Medicine, a deficiency in vitamin D can cause health problems including loss of bone density. It might also contribute to health issues such as cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and several autoimmune disorders. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include bone fractures and muscle weakness.

How to Maintain Vitamin D Levels?

To get enough vitamin D, you need to spend about five minutes to half an hour under the sun during midday. Do this twice a week without using sunscreen. You can go sunbathing or do some walking under the sun to get enough sunlight. Sunscreen with SPF 15 and higher decreases the production of vitamin D3 by 99%.


vitamin D


There are also vitamin D supplements you can take to maintain your vitamin D levels. As with all supplements, make sure to consult a physician beforehand and only take the supplements as directed.

You can also get vitamin D from several food sources such as cereals, yogurt, milk, orange juice, and some mushrooms. There are also some fish that are good sources of vitamin D such as swordfish, tuna, sardines, and salmon.