AAD Position on Sun Exposure for Vitamin D Synthesis

HealthGal Health Guide
  • You'd have to be living in a locked box to have not heard all the recent headlines proclaiming the serious need for adequate levels of vitamin D.  Even Governor Palin was suspected of obtaining a used tanning machine in order to get a little sunlight exposure a couple to several times a week for bone density health.  Our bodies produce vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight (without sun block).  Otherwise we typically get vitamin D from fortified foods and from supplements.  The problem is whether or not to subject ourselves to sun exposure for the sake of vitamin D synthesis or whether to choose supplementation and fortified foods as our primary source.  The American Association of Dermatologists has finally taken a position. 

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    The AAD has determined that it is neither in favor of direct sunlight exposure or the use of tanning lamps for vitamin D benefits.  It recommends only fortified foods or supplements as the primary and regular source of vitamin D.  The AAD further recommends that you consult with your physician about recommended daily levels of intake of vitamin D and the appropriate sources.  The AAD does not feel that unprotected sunlight exposure for vitamin D purposes is worth the risk of skin cancer.

Published On: December 07, 2008