Sunscreen use may lead to vitamin D deficiency

April 27, 2012
Sunscreen use may lead to vitamin D deficiency

(HealthDay) -- Using the amount and sun protection factor (SPF) of sunscreen recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) is associated with little or no vitamin D production, suggesting that regular sunscreen use may lead to vitamin D deficiency, according to research published online April 18 in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Annesofie Faurschou, M.D., Ph.D., of Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues conducted a study involving 37 healthy volunteers with fair skin to measure serum vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D3) levels before and after exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation following sunscreen application. Sunscreen with an SPF of 8 was applied on approximately 25 percent of body area at a concentration (thickness) of 0, 0.5, 1, 1.5, or 2 mg/cm². A fixed dose of UVB of three standard erythema doses was given 20 minutes after sunscreen application every two to three days, for a total of 4 cycles.

The researchers found that thinner sunscreen layers were associated with higher vitamin D serum levels after UVB exposure. However, vitamin D levels did not significantly rise after UVB exposure in those treated with the thickest layer of sunscreen (2 mg/cm²), which is the level recommended by the WHO.

"In this study, we demonstrated that the vitamin D serum level increases in an exponential manner with decreasing thickness of sunscreen layer in response to UVB exposure. To our knowledge, this relation has not previously been described," the authors write. "Our results suggest that sunscreen use according to the current recommendations by the WHO may be re-evaluated."

Explore further: UK advice on sun creams 'not in the interests of public health,' warns DTB

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

UK advice on sun creams 'not in the interests of public health,' warns DTB

June 1, 2011
The strength of sun cream recently recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to stave off sunburn is far too low and "not in the interests of public health," warns the Drug and Therapeutics ...

Preventing the skin cancer, not just the sunburn

March 14, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- With the first day of spring just one week away, anyone who spends time in the sun should be aware of new sunscreen regulations designed to help prevent skin cancer.

High SPF sunscreens assure protection from solar rays

April 17, 2012
(HealthDay) -- An application of water-resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 70 or higher adequately protects people against skin cancer and photodamage even when applied irregularly, according to a study ...

Recommended for you

Sugar not so sweet for mental health

July 27, 2017
Sugar may be bad not only for your teeth and your waistline, but also your mental health, claimed a study Thursday that was met with scepticism by other experts.

Vitamin E-deficient embryos are cognitively impaired even after diet improves

July 27, 2017
Zebrafish deficient in vitamin E produce offspring beset by behavioral impairment and metabolic problems, new research at Oregon State University shows.

The role of dosage in assessing risk of hormone therapy for menopause

July 27, 2017
When it comes to assessing the risk of estrogen therapy for menopause, how the therapy is delivered—taking a pill versus wearing a patch on one's skin—doesn't affect risk or benefit, researchers at UCLA and elsewhere ...

Blowing smoke? E-cigarettes might help smokers quit

July 26, 2017
People who used e-cigarettes were more likely to kick the habit than those who didn't, a new study found.

Brain disease seen in most football players in large report

July 25, 2017
Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

Why you should consider more than looks when choosing a fitness tracker

July 25, 2017
A UNSW study of five popular physical activity monitors, including Fitbit and Jawbone models, has found their accuracy differs with the speed of activity, and where they are worn.

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

freethinking
not rated yet Apr 27, 2012
I've always had a problem with sun screen. Humans were meant to be out in the sun.

I only use sun screen to protect myself against burns and I think that is all it should be used for.
alfie_null
not rated yet Apr 29, 2012
Our results suggest that sunscreen use according to the current recommendations by the WHO may be re-evaluated.

Is there evidence that vitamin D levels have decreased post wide-spread use of sunscreen? If so, are the current levels found to be inadequate (i.e. what are the adverse effects at current levels)? Are there other ways vitamin D can be introduced? Are there other reasons that sunscreen is used that the authors might care to address (or at least acknowledge)?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.