07/20/2009 - News

New Recommendations on Vitamin D

By: June Chen, MD

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The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has issued a revised position statement on vitamin D.

According to this new position statement, the AAD recommends that an adequate amount of vitamin D should be obtained from a healthy diet that includes foods which are naturally rich in vitamin D, foods or beverages fortified with vitamin D, and/or vitamin D supplements, rather than from unprotected exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

The AAD offers a reminder that unprotected UV exposure, either to the sun or indoor tanning devices, is a risk factor for the development of skin cancer. As yet, there is no scientifically-validated safe level of UV exposure from the sun that allows for maximum vitamin D synthesis without also increasing the risk for skin cancer.
 
Studies have suggested an association between low levels of vitamin D and increased risk of certain types of cancer, neurologic disease, autoimmune disease, and cardiovascular disease. Although low vitamin D has not been shown to actually cause these disorders, the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine is currently reviewing the recommended intake levels of vitamin D. Individuals who are risk for vitamin D insufficiency, such as the elderly, those with dark skin, and those with limited sun exposure, may require higher vitamin D intake.
 
The AAD recommends that physicians play an active role in providing their patients with information on how to get adequate levels of vitamin D.
 
 

Source:

American Academy of Dermatology website at www.aad.org. Accessed July 17, 2009.

Created on: 07/18/2009
Reviewed on: 07/20/2009

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