Fair-Skinned People May Be Worse At Producing Vitamin D

It's basic health knowledge that we get most of our vitamin D requirements from the sun, so it's not surprising that fair-skinned people with a tendency to sunburn often have lower levels. However, new research suggests that pale folks may not produce sufficient vitamin D even with plenty of sun exposure.

Picture from BellaSugar

BBC News reports that a study of 1200 people by Cancer Research UK found that 730 of 1200 people checked had "lower than optimal" vitamin D levels, and that pale, freckled skin was a common factor in many of those cases. That seemed to sometimes happen even when there was regular sun exposure.

The research isn't conclusive, so dosing up on massive amounts of Vitamin D sounds unwise (whether via a supplement or by excessive tanning). However, as the BBC article points out, a small supplemental dose (10 micrograms a day) isn't considered harmful, and might be wise if you're fair-skinned and already taking sensible precautions to avoid the sun for skin cancer-related reasons.

Fair-skinned people may need extra vitamin D [BBC News]


Comments

    Damn, Serrels. You probably should have kept the "before" spray tan pics off the internet....

    Is that Serrels' younger self in the BBC article?

    The research isn’t conclusive, so dosing up on massive amounts of Pepsi Max sounds unwise*

    So much man!
    My monitor just chugged a beer and started punching stuff.

    So basically 'Ranga's' need a lot more sun, but the sun turns them into 'Mogwai' who in turn, turn into 'Gremlins' who in turn will die under too much light! Man, those guys got it rough...! #]

      http://youtu.be/aDaOgu2CQtI

        Awesome,.. Me likee likee muchly!
        Heh, some nice little homage's to a couple of movies and games in there too! #]

    Could well be wrong on this, but my understanding is that most people's Vitamin D is sourced through food.
    Vitamin D can be made by the body with exposure to sunlight, but it's not the only source of Vitamin D and the body will only make it if required.

      Vitamin D is actually found in only a few foods, a list of which can be found here: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamind

    There is currently no consensus on what the recommended daily intake should be for normal, healthy people. Multivitamins that I've seen have varying amounts between 200IU and 1000IU, but vitamin D is quite a safe vitamin and anything under about 10000IU should be safe.

    There was a study done in which MS sufferers who took 14000IU of vit. D per day and the results showed that high dose vit. D slows progression of the disease. I have MS and am currently on 10000 IU (250mcg) a day of the stuff. There is a link between vitamin D and prevalence of MS - the fact that Tasmania has the highest rate of MS in the country correlates with this.

    Consult a doctor, who should be able to weigh up where you're from and how long you spend in the sun and prescribe something fitting.

      Man, typos. There was a study done with some MS sufferers in the UK that showed a link between high vitamin D doses and a reduction in flare-ups of about 40%. I don't remember where I read this though, so take it as hearsay.

        My fiance has MS, and I can confirm that they now check for this at her regular specialist appointments. They're still unsure of the details, but the long and short of it is that higher Vitamin D definitely has a positive effect on a majority of MS patients.

        My fiance had very low levels and started supplementing about 6 months ago, and the results have been pretty good. She has a lot more energy, and suffers from less pain overall.

          Interesting link to Harvard School of Public Health regarding vitamin D & chronic disease, dosage: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/questions/vitamin-d-and-chronic-disease/index.html

          The idea that my nonchalance when it came to multivitamins when I was younger could have caused my MS makes me feel really regretful. :(

    I don't burn, so... Yeah, whatever.

    I thought it was English/Irish/Scottish heritage that gave me pasty skin.

    Interesting link to Harvard School of Public Health regarding vitamin D, dosage: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/questions/vitamin-d-and-chronic-disease/index.html

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