It’s hard to reconcile the latest Skin Cancer campaign running on Australian TV with the volumes of vitamin D research. The theme of the campaign, which is aimed at the younger generation, goes something like this ... “you know what to do” - be the generation that beats skin cancer.” In other words, avoid sun exposure, cover up, use high strength sunscreens and so forth, but as I’ve said before the research now links vitamin D deficiency to a number of chronic conditions. More to the point, deficiency now affects about one third of Australians which is an unconscionable fact given that the majority of the population live at latitudes where daily sun exposure would produce vitamin D in sufficient quantities to protect against cancer, diabetes and more.
Now research also suggests that mothers with higher vitamin D levels during pregnancy have stronger children. Greater muscle strength and improved muscle mass might not seem like such a big deal, but extrapolate better body composition down the years to an elderly adult who is less likely to fall or suffer other conditions associated with loss of muscle mass in old age.
For a continuing appropriate relationship between your skin and the sun...
Ensure it’s a clear day without pollution
Minimize UVA while allowing UVB
10-15 minutes exposure/day between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm
Expose 40 percent of skin area
If this isn’t possible, use oral supplements of D3 to achieve 40-60ng/ml (100-150nMols/L)
RULE OF THUMB: For every 100IU ingested, there is increase of 1ng/ml
PREGNANCY DOSE: 4,000IU/day
BREASTFEEDING DOSE: 6,000IU/day