30 September 2019 Posted By : Peter Tremblay

Are You Deficient in Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is synthesized in skin when it's exposed to UVB rays from the sun, and too much sunscreen will do more than just work effectively to block the sunlight; it also will cause a lack of vitamin D synthesis in skin. Those who apply sunscreen generously and always wear hats and SPF-protected clothing when in the sun will have a higher probability of vitamin D insufficiency, the report said.

SPF or sun protection factor is a measure of how long the product will prevent your skin from burning when exposed to UVB rays. SPF applies to UVB rays only, and not UVA, which are actually responsible for most of the UV damage. To protect against UVA, you need to look for broad-spectrum sunscreens that specifically protect against UVA. However, no sunscreen is capable of blocking 100% of UVB or UVA.

Excessive use of sunscreen can contribute to a vitamin D deficiency, which can increase your risk for a wide array of chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer.

Regular, consistent and sensible sun exposure for vitamin D production is vital for optimal health, but on the other hand, overexposure can result in skin damage that could raise your risk of skin cancer.

So, if you're spending the day at the beach or engaging in outdoor activities for hours at a stretch, you’ll need some form of sun protection. While SPF clothing is an ideal choice, most people opt for sunscreen. Be aware and read the ingredients when purchasing sunscreens — many can cause adverse reactions, and some are downright toxic.

Of the 16 active sunscreen ingredients used in products on the U.S. market, only two — non-nanosized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide — have been deemed safe for human use by the FDA. You could also take an astaxanthin supplement, which works as an effective internal sunscreen.

It’s especially important that children maintain healthy levels of vitamin D, as a deficiency in childhood may affect their behavior in adolescence. Children with vitamin D deficiencies between the ages of 5 and 12 years are almost twice as likely to display behavior problems in later childhood, at the ages of 11 to 18. In studies, aggressive and rule-breaking behaviors were more common in adolescents who were vitamin D deficient as children.

Signs that you might have a vitamin D deficiency include musculoskeletal pain, frequent or intense colds and flu infections, neurological symptoms such as depression, impaired cognition and headaches, unrelenting fatigue and head sweating.

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