Thursday, 28 July 2016

SUNSCREENS AND VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY; IS THERE A RELATIONSHIP?

In nutshell, let me take you through a crush course of nutrition. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin which functions to enhance absorption and use of calcium and phosphorous in the body in maintenance of good health of teeth, bones and muscles.

Lack or low levels of vitamin D in the body has been linked to rickets in children (bones becomes soft and lose shape) and osteomalacia in adults (associated with bone and muscle pain)

But where does body get Vitamin D from?
  • Dietary supply- mostly animal products but the amounts are limited.
  • UVB rays from the sun- main source.
  • Supplementation- not common.

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Lets face the facts, the body uses UVB rays to convert a lipid-based substance under the skin into Vitamin D which form the bulk of vitamin D supply to the body.

When one applies sunscreens adequately as per the manufacturers instructions, the UVB rays from the sun don't penetrate the skin and this may increase burden and morbidity of vitamin D deficiency in the general population.

Sunscreens have been found to reduce level of vitamin D production in the body though this may not be that significant to affect the overall level of vitamin D.

Solution.

Vitamin D deficiency can have a lethal and devastating effects on the body. For people who suffer from sunburns, this is not the end to use of sunscreens because they play a vital role in prevention of sunburns. Individuals are encouraged to get short bursts of sunlight expose without sunscreens especially during early hours of the day when the heat from the sun is gentle on the skin. Irregular use and applying a sunscreens lightly on the skin play a vital role in minimizing the incidence of vitamin D deficiency.

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