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It was this past Wednesday that I jokingly posted about all the supplements that I take and Vitamin D happens to be one of them. What a great segway into this author guest post: Debra Jailman’s article Where to Get Your Vitamin D. Dr. Jailman believes relying on the sun for Vitamin D is a big mistake. Find out what alternatives she recommends. Enjoy!
Where to Get Your Vitamin D
By Debra Jaliman, MD,
Author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist
As I was going to have a bone density test — women are supposed to get a baseline test at age 48 — I started to think about osteoporosis and weak bones. Naturally, thoughts about calcium or vitamin D deficiency came up. I got concerned when I considered all the talk these days about avoiding the use of sunscreen to allow vitamin D absorption from the sun. Let me tell you why I think this is a big mistake.
Every hour in the U.S. someone dies from malignant melanoma. It’s the deadliest form of skin cancer and sunscreen can help protect us from becoming victims of the disease. There are other skin cancers to worry about too, like basal and squamous cell cancers that are often on the face and can leave scars after surgery. Rejecting sunscreen would be like going into battle without a shield.
Unless you live in an area that’s sunny all year round, trying to get your dose of vitamin D from the sun is not that reliable. On top of that, vitamin D will not be well absorbed by people with darker skin tones or those who are older. Many of us relate to one or more of the conditions just mentioned. If you’re wondering about the tradeoffs, think about it this way; on one hand you’ll be getting a tiny amount of vitamin D, on the other, a heavy dose of cancer-causing ultraviolet radiation.
The alternative is so easy. Just take a supplement. For those of us that are adults, 1000 international units (IU) a day is plenty. Make certain you take vitamin D3. If you’re not keen on popping pills, you can also get a healthy dose of vitamin D from foods you may already be enjoying. Here are some examples:
- Fortified milk or orange juice
- Cereals and breads (fortified with 10% of the *DV for vitamin D)
- Fish (wild salmon, ahi tuna, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, cod liver oil)
- Cod liver oil (one tablespoon more than enough for a whole day)
- Mushrooms (shiitake and button)
- Swiss cheese
*Daily Value for vitamin D is 400 IU for adults
If you’re concerned about your vitamin D intake you can go to your doctor and have a simple test to see how much is in you blood. Vitamin D protects your bones but it is also thought to protect the immune system and may lower your risk of colon, breast and kidney cancer. Just don’t take preventative measures against these cancers at the expense of ending up with skin cancer. If you’re planning on some fun in the sun, keep in mind the newest recommendations from the American Academy of Dermatologyare to wear sunscreen with an SPF 30 rating.
Good news! An article in the LA Times says eating fish high in Omega 3 fatty acids are anti-aging. So thats an added benefit of eating all that salmon because you know how much we all want to look younger.
© 2011 Debra Jaliman, MD, author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist
Debra Jaliman, MD, author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist, is a board certified dermatologist with a private practice in New York City. Internationally recognized for her research and work in clinical and cosmetic dermatology, Dr. Jaliman has a reputation for using cutting-edge technology and the latest in skin care, as well as for being the “last stop” doctor, the one who fixes what others can’t. She is an assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a member of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery. She is a spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology and is regarded as an authority in her field by journalists and cosmetics industry, appearing frequently on television and in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Allure, Glamour, Self, andInStyle.
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