There is little question that vitamin D provides a number of health benefits. This important nutrient is produced when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. However, no one is suggesting that anyone bathe in the sun to get the needed amounts. It is well-known that overexposure to the sun is damaging to the skin. Many of us forget that water, sand, and snow all reflect and intensify the sun’s rays. These environmental factors along with genes contribute to your skin’s response. Ultraviolet exposure breaks down collagen and impairs the body’s ability to create new collagen and elastin.
It is even less advisable to visit a tanning salon to get vitamin D, as many in the indoor tanning industry suggest. Five years ago, the International Agency for Research on Cancer categorized UV-emitting tanning devices as “carcinogenic to humans,” the highest cancer-risk category (on a par with cigarettes and asbestos). While the FDA allows indoor tanning, the American Academy of Dermatology, the World Health Organization, and several other major health and government groups worldwide strongly advise against indoor tanning. There is no justification for lying in a tanning bed to get the needed amount of vitamin D, which is readily available in milk and supplements.
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