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Study Finds That Sunscreen Use Does Not Hinder Vitamin D Production


The body produces vitamin D when bare skin is exposed to the sun’s UVB rays.  This has raised concerns that sunscreen use may inhibit vitamin D production. According to a new study however, sunscreen does not prevent vitamin D synthesis.





Researchers from the Medical University of Lód? and King’s College London conducted their study using participants who were on a one-week sun holiday in Tenerife. Forty participants were given sunscreen and advised on correct application. Half of them used a sunscreen with a high UVA protection factor, and half used a sunscreen with a low UVA protection factor. 22 participants used discretionary sunscreen use and 17 participants were from a non-holiday group.





The researchers monitored sunscreen usage, behavior, UV radiation exposure, clothing cover, and sunburn. They also measured serum vitamin D levels.





All of the participants that used sunscreen showed a statistically significant increase in serum vitamin D levels. Participants in the non-holiday group showed a decrease in vitamin D levels. The participants who used the high UVA protection sunscreen had the highest increase in serum vitamin D levels. High UVA protection sunscreens transmit more UVB than low UVA protection sunscreens.





In addition, participants in the UVA sunscreen groups did not get sunburn, while those in the discretionary sunscreen group did.





The study was published online ahead of print on May 8, 2019 in theBritish Journal of Dermatology.


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