The Left Brain gets loquacious…
When we wrote about the dangers of indoor tanning, some people that posted comments suggested that sunscreen use was leading to Vitamin D deficiency. They sited a few studies that indeed suggest Vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor in a number of health issues. They then went on to say that indoor tanning and UV exposure was actually healthy because it helps increase your Vitamin D levels. They also said using sunscreen was bad and might be responsible for Vitamin D deficiency. The argument sounded like a stretch, but it was an interesting hypothesis.
Vitamin D and Dermatologists
Recently, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) issued a position paper on the subject. They reviewed the scientific literature on the subject and concluded that
the public (should) obtain vitamin D from nutritional sources and dietary supplements, and not from unprotected exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or indoor tanning devices, as UV radiation is a known risk factor for the development of skin cancer.
They recommend that the public use the National Academy of Sciences guidelines for Vitamin D for the proper level of intake. This is 200 IU for adults up to 50 years and 400 IU for adults 51-70. For the lucky ones who last even longer, you should be taking 600 IU daily.
Vitamin D rich foods
Longtime Beauty Brains community members know how we do not encourage the use of vitamin supplements. In the US, these products are not regulated and can be dangerous. And Vitamin D is especially dangerous because it can be toxic at high levels. Your best bet is to avoid supplements and eat real food. So instead of recommending vitamin supplements, we thought we’d list the best foods you can eat to get your vitamin D. Included are the amount of IU and the serving size.
Cod liver oil – 1 TB – 1360 IU
Salmon – 3.5oz – 360 IU
Mackerel – 3.5oz – 345 IU
Sardines – 1.75 oz – 250 IU
Tuna – 3 oz – 200 IU
Milk – 8oz – 98 IU
Margarine – 1 TB – 60 IU
Dry cereal – 1 cup – 40 IU
Egg – 1 – 20 IU
Liver – 3.5 oz – 15 IU
Swiss Cheese – 1oz – 12 IU
For more nutrition information on foods see the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Database Web site, http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/.