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National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention Encourages Americans to Obtain Vitamin D Through Diet and Supplements
Date:7/14/2009

WASHINGTON, July 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To help the general public better understand the relationship between vitamin D and the sun, the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has issued a position statement on vitamin D, sun protection and skin cancer prevention. The Council recommends that vitamin D be obtained from a combination of dietary sources and supplements and not through intentional exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

"For those who are concerned about vitamin D insufficiency, diet and vitamin D supplementation are the most appropriate methods to obtain adequate vitamin D - it is not appropriate to seek exposure to ultraviolet radiation," says dermatologist Henry Lim, MD, FAAD, Council co-chair and chairman of dermatology at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI.

UV radiation, a known carcinogen, can cause a range of health problems, including skin cancer, cataracts, premature aging, and immune suppression. With more than one million skin cancers diagnosed annually, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Each year, there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined number of new cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer.

While UVB radiation is one source of vitamin D, the benefits of exposure to UVB radiation cannot be separated from its harmful effects. For this reason, the safest way to obtain adequate vitamin D is through a combination of diet and vitamin D supplements.

According to the latest version of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services' Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005, adults with limited sun exposure (e.g., the housebound population) should ingest extra vitamin D from vitamin D-fortified foods and/or supplements. For this group of individuals, an intake of 1000 international units (IUs) of vitamin D per day for adults is recommended. For children und
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SOURCE The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention
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