We Are Sunshine

Dermatology Leaders are burying their heads further into the sand

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

JUNE 19, 2009 — “People also go out in the sun for Vitamin D, but it’s a very small exposure you need for Vitamin D. It makes more sense to try and avoid exposure as much as possible and take oral Vitamin D, about 1,000 International Units per day is the current consensus, for adults.”

2009-06-19-quote-of-the-weak-tanningnews-copy.jpg—Dr. Richard Haber, head of dermatology at the University of Calgary and a spokesman for the Canadian Dermatology Association’s Sun Awareness Program, as quoted in the Grande Prairie Daily Herald Tribune in Alberta. Haber, like most dermatology leaders, ignores the fact that UV exposure to the skin is nature’s intended way for humans to make vitamin D and is the only natural source for doses higher than 1,000 units a day. Because most vitamin D experts now recommend at least 2,000 units a day, there’s no natural way to get those levels without getting regular UV exposure.

And Haber’s comment that “it’s a very small exposure you need for vitamin D” is inaccurate. According to University of Calgary research, 97 percent of Canadians are vitamin D deficient in the winter. If — as dermatology contends — people are getting too much UV and need to wear more sunscreen — why is the entire population vitamin D deficient if it only takes a few minutes of exposure to make the D you need?

Haber — without facts to back up his points — has his head buried in the sand.

To read the Daily Herald Tribune story click here.