Vitamin D: the sunshine vitamin
Vitamin D is produced in the skin after sun exposure, and it is involved in many metabolic processes, such as bone health, healthy immune system, and fighting infections such as tuberculosis, but evidence is emerging that vitamin D may induce death in cancer cells before they get a chance to multiply.
A recent study led by Prof. John McGrath at Queensland Brain Institute has linked lack of vitamin D during pregnancy to autism upon completion of a large study, which has also prompted Prof. Andrew Whitehouse from the Telethon Kids Institute to exercise caution when considering effects on a condition such as autism, which is linked to many genetic factors as well. More information can be found at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-14/autism-linked-to-lacked-of-vitamin-d-during-pregnancy-study/8115118
A significant challenge is to measure and recommend how much vitamin D is optimal for our health, as too much of the sunshine vitamin can increase the risk of conditions such as prostate cancer, cardiovascular diseases, schizophrenia, and even premature death.
Australia is the sunny country, so surely vitamin D should not be a problem for us. However, how do we ensure that we get enough vitamin D? Since sunscreens block most of UVB, which is the radiation responsible for the production of Vitamin D in the skin, should we wear sunscreen? We can certainly maximize production of this precious vitamin but minimize the risk of too much sun exposure.
Adverse effects of sun exposure mainly affect head and neck, skin cancer is most common there, so wearing a hat and applying sunscreen helps to protect these areas. Skin cancer development is linked to DNA damage which is, in turn, related to the dose of UV radiation received by the relevant skin cells. Normal sunscreen use does not result in vitamin D insufficiency, as it does not completely block all radiation from reaching the skin, but it acts as a filter. Furthermore, consumers do not apply sunscreens properly, often resulting in more UV exposure than expected. Based on current scientific literature, skin cancer avoidance and vitamin D nutrition are not at odds. In case of suspected deficiency of vitamin D, oral supplements are a valid option to address the issue. Increased skin damage is not an acceptable risk for vitamin D production.
In conclusion, concerns about vitamin D deficiency have led to confusion about the correct sun protection/sun exposure advice. Australia has the highest skin cancer incidence in the world. Sunscreens are still one of the most efficient elements to protect the skin from UV-induced damage, and correct sun protection is still the best set of guidelines to minimize the chances of developing skin cancer.
R&D Manager – Ego Pharmaceuticals
For more information please contact:
Marketing Communications Manager – Ego Pharmaceuticals
M: 0409 333 745 Email: Stephaniec@egopharm.com
Stockists: 1800 033 706 web address: www.sunsense.com.au www.egopharm.com
Always read the label and use only as directed.
Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Wear protective clothing, hats and eyewear.
About Ego Pharmaceuticals:
In 1953, Ego Pharmaceuticals was founded in a Melbourne laundry when a humble chemist began creating ground breaking skin care products. Ego quickly outgrew the tiny space and now over 63 years on, members of the founding family continue to carry on that family legacy producing over 120 quality skin care products.
Ego’s reputation has been built on consistently delivering effective, high-quality and innovative products manufactured to Australian and international pharmaceutical standards and backed by science. Today, Ego remains committed to creating quality skin therapies and everyday skincare products. Ego’s other brands include QV, Elucent, Aqium and ViraproX.