We Are Sunshine

Dermatology Lying About Vitamin D

Friday, July 16th, 2010


A Denver dermatologist this week repeated the lie that dermatology continues to spread: That sunlight only poses dangers and that people do not need sunlight to make natural levels of vitamin D.

“It takes only a few minutes of ultraviolet light exposure to produce a large amount of vitamin D in your skin,” Denver dermatologist Richard G Asarch told The Denver Post. “One study showed that by just exposing your head, neck and arms to four minutes of noontime Denver sun is all you need to produce enough for the day.”

That’s not even close to being accurate.

“At noon in Denver, exposure to your head, neck and arms without any sunscreen will make approximately 80 international units of vitmain D per minute for the fairest skin types,” Smart Tan Vice President Joseph Levy said. “For darker skin types, that figure goes down up to 10-fold — to eight units per minute.”

In other words, four minutes of noon sun adds up to 32-320 international units of vitamin D on the sunniest day. “That’s not even close to what vitamin D experts say we need (2,000-6,000 IU daily) and it’s still even less than the antiquated low recommendations (400-600 IU) that dermatology lobbyists still embrace.”

The Post ended its article by repeating dermatology’s antiquated mantra, “According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it is best to obtain vitamin D from natural nutritional sources and supplements, rather than through exposure to the sun. When you go outside, apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out and reapply at least every two hours, especially if swimming or exercising.”

To read the Post story click here.