Vitamin “D-bate”: In, Not Out I’VE HEARD SO MUCH ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF VITAMIN D, AND THAT THE BEST SOURCE FOR IT IS THE SUN. DOES THIS MEAN I SHOULD EXPOSE MYSELF TO THE SUN MORE?
SKIN SHORT: Don’t start basking yet. Skin cancer is the bigger threat and you can get adequate vitamin D from supplements.
MORE SKINFO: There has been lots of new research proving the benefits of vitamin D, from increasing bone density to protection against some cancers, diabetes, hypertension, myocardial infarction and even depression. But this has to be balanced against the well-proven risks of sun exposure. In addition, studies are showing that if vitamin D can do all that it seems it can, we need more of it than we can get from daily sun exposure and our regular diets. The vitamin D debate is still raging strong but two things seem to have the majority agreeing:
- Sun exposure is not advisable (it won’t give you enough vitamin D; the risks far outweigh the benefits), and
- Taking a supplement while evidence is still being amassed is a good idea. While it differs for each person, current recommendations hover in the 1,000 and 2,000 IU range (make sure to ask your doctor before increasing or taking new supplements).