Just "D" Facts about Vitamin D

Benefits of Moderate UV Sunshine Exposure

Archive for January, 2011

NCI Admits ‘Sun Scare’ Lacks Proof

Posted by D3forU on January 25, 2011

NCI Admits ‘Sun Scare’ Lacks Proof

The U.S. National Cancer Institute — in bold type on an a section added to its web site in June 2010 — admits that there is no evidence that avoiding sunlight or sunbeds actually decreases the risk of skin cancer.

“It is not known if protecting skin from sunlight and other UV radiation decreases the risk of skin cancer,” the NCI writes in an advisory titled “Skin Cancer Prevention.” The article continues, “Sunscreen may help decrease the amount of UV radiation to the skin. One study found that wearing sunscreen can help prevent actinic keratoses, scaly patches of skin that may become squamous cell carcinoma. However, the use of sunscreen has not been proven to lower the risk of melanoma skin cancer.”

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The NCI couches its recommendations about sun exposure and UV light with the words “may” and “suggest” — showing that the agency and others continue to blur the line in public health recommendations, encouraging people to avoid UV and mid-day sun even though they do not have cause-and-effect evidence to say that UV “will” cause skin cancer.

“Being exposed to ultraviolet radiation is a risk factor that may increase the risk of skin cancer,” the agency writes in the same advisory. “Studies suggest that being exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and the sensitivity of a person’s skin to UV radiation are risk factors for skin cancer.”

What’s it mean?

“The difference between advising people to avoid sunburn based on what studies suggest and blurring the line to still make it appear that any and all UV exposure is harmful — when evidence does not support that statement — is the wrong way to approach this” Smart Tan Vice President Joseph Levy says. “You keep reading items like this from so many agencies and the inferences all seem to point in the same direction, benefiting the $6 billion chemical sunscreen pharmaceutical market. Still, this article is quite clear: Dermatology leaders need to stop saying point blank that avoiding sun will decrease the risk of cancer. The government does not support that claim.”

To read the NCI advisory click here.

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Do You Know Your Vitamin ‘D’ Score? Here are levels from recent studies

Posted by D3forU on January 8, 2011

Indoor tanning clients have 90 percent higher vitamin D blood level scores as compared to non-tanners — levels that are close to what outdoor workers and non-human primates who live outdoors in the sun naturally have.

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“Sunbeds that emit UVB — and more than 90 percent of them do — make vitamin D much the same way as natural sunshine triggers vitamin D production in your skin,” Smart Tan Vice President Joseph Levy says. “While the academic world fights the political game of figuring out how much vitamin D they think people need, no one can argue that indoor tanners have levels consistent with what people and primates make naturally when they live intended outdoor lives. Nature never intended for humans to live and work indoors in cubicles.”

Do you know your vitamin D blood level? It’s measured in what is called a “calcidiol test” (a 25-hyrdoxy vitamin D test). Results are delivered in nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) or in nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) in Canada. (1 ng/ml = 2.5 mnol/L). Here are levels from recent studies:

Non-human primates(1): 50-80 ng/ml

Outdoor workers (1,2): 49-50 ng/ml

Indoor tanners(3): 43-49 ng/ml

Non-tanners(4): 23-25 ng/ml

Dermatologists(5): 13-14 ng/ml

References:

1. Vieth R. Why the optimal requirement for Vitamin D3 is probably much higher than what is officially recommended for adults. J of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 89–90 (2004) 575–579

2. Barger-Lux MJ, Haney R. Effects of Above Average Summer Sun Exposure on Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Calcium Absorption. J of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 2002; 87(11):4952–4956

3. Tangpricha et al. Tanning is associated with optimal vitamin D status (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration) and higher bone mineral density. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80:1645–9

4. Ginde A. Demographic Differences and Trends of Vitamin D Insufficiency in the US Population, 1988-2004. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(6):626-632

5. Czarnecki D et al. The vitamin D status of Australian dermatologists. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology 34; 624-25.

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UV Exposure: The Natural ‘Vitamin D’

Posted by D3forU on January 8, 2011

2010-07-23 D Shadow copy

New research showing how the body actually metabolizes vitamin D supports the fact that sun exposure to the skin is the only natural and reliable way to process natural and intended levels of “the sunshine vitamin.”

The Vitamin D Council — an independent non-profit organization — cites new research on its web site showing the body’s natural and intended vitamin D level: 50 ng/ml. “Thanks to Bruce Hollis, Robert Heaney, Neil Binkley, and others, we now know the minimal acceptable level. It is 50 ng/ml (125 nmol/L),” the Council, founded by Dr. John Cannell, writes on its web site. Cannell points out that vitamin D researchers Hollis, Heaney and Binkley have shown that the human body does not start storing vitamin D in fat and muscle tissue until vitamin D blood levels reach at least 40 ng/ml for most people. At 50 ng/ml, almost everyone starts storing the sunshine vitmamin.

What does that mean? “That is, at levels below 50 ng/ml (125 nmol/L), the body uses up vitamin D as fast as you can make it, or take it, indicating chronic substrate starvation — not a good thing,” Cannell writes. “25(OH)D levels should be between 50–80 ng/ml (125–200 nmol/L), year-round.”

And who has the highest vitamin D levels: Those who work outdoors. Indoor tanners also have high vitamin D levels: 42-49 ng/ml on average. That’s 90 percent higher than the rest of the population, according to Boston University research.

To visit the Vitamin D Council’s web site click here.

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Skin cancer risk from tanning beds is miniscule. Why ‘75 percent’ Stat is Wrong

Posted by D3forU on January 8, 2011

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Internet health education web site NaturalNews.com is calling for people to re-examine the relatively small risk of melanoma, often put out of perspective by groups linked to those who profit from anti-sun messaging.

In an article titled “Skin cancer risk from tanning beds is miniscule” NaturalNews takes aim at a statistic used by anti-sun lobbying groups to allege that “use of sunbeds before the age of 35 is associated with a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma.”

Aside from the fact that the stat has been debunked — it came from data inlcuding home tanning units and medical usage of UV-emitting devices — the number itself is grossly misleading statistic, as NaturalNews.com points out.

Simply put, it is a relative risk figure. But the absolute risk associated with that figure is still very small.

As NaturalNews wrote: “In an article for Wilmington’s News Journal, AHCJ member Hiran Ratnayake reviewed the research that led to the oft-quoted statistic of 75 percent increased risk. He found that a review of research from a number of different studies did indeed find an average 75 percent increase in those who used tanning beds. But the original risk was so low (roughly two-tenths of 1 percent) that even a 75 percent increase means a final risk still well under 1 percent.”

Again, that figure includes medical usage of UV equipment and usage of home tanning units. Commercial units worldwide made up only a 6 percent risk increase, including European usage of those with skin type I.

To read the NaturalNews article click here.

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Vitamin D Council: Use a Sunbed

Posted by D3forU on January 8, 2011

useatanningbed

The independent Vitamin D Council suggests that people should use a sunbed in the winter — being careful to avoid a sunburn — as one of the primary ways to make sufficient vitamin D.

Dr. John Cannell, founder of The Vitamin D Council, lists three ways for adults to ensure adequate levels of vitamin D on the Council’s web site.

  1. Regularly receive midday sun exposure in the late spring, summer, and early fall, exposing as much of the skin as possible for 20–30 minutes (being careful to never burn). The Council points out that those with dark skin will need longer exposure time — up to six times longer.
  2. Regularly use a sunbed (avoiding sunburn) during the colder months.
  3. Take 5,000 IU per day for 2–3 months, then obtain a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. Adjust your dosage so that blood levels are between 50–80 ng/mL (or 125–200 nM/L) year-round.

The Vitamin D Council points out that vitamin D is not a vitamin — it’s a precursor to a hormone intended to be made naturally in the skin. That’s why it’s called “the sunshine vitamin.”

“Humans make thousands of units of vitamin D within minutes of whole body exposure to sunlight,” Cannell says. “From what we know of nature, it is unlikely such a system evolved by chance.”

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Dermatology Leader: Tans are Natural

Posted by D3forU on January 8, 2011

“Working on a tan is analogous to training muscles; both, if done in moderation and reasonably, serve a worthwhile purpose.” — Dr. Bernard Ackerman, founder of the New York City-based Ackerman Academy of Dermatopathology and author of The Sun and the ‘Epidemic’ of Melanoma: Myth on Myth.

Ackerman, decorated by the American Academy of Dermatology with the group’s Master Dermatologist designation (its highest honor), is one of several dermatology leaders who take issue with dermatology organizations who attempt to characterize tans as damage.

Tans are different fundamentally from sunburns, Ackerman points out. “A sunburn is pathologic, it calling forth redness at the least, ulcerations and scarring at worst, and blisters in between. A suntan is physiologic, the result of normal melanocytes at the dermoedidermal junctions producing more melanin for the epidermis, that dark pigment serving to protect against ultraviolet radiation.”

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