Sunscreen Or Vitamin D?

While unprotected exposure to the sun may increase the risk of skin cancer, sunlight is also a key source of vitamin D—a vital, fat-soluble molecule that enhances the body’s absorption of numerous other vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, while sunscreen offers protection against skin cancer, it also blocks the absorption of vitamin D. What to do? Slather on the sunscreen—and take a vitamin D supplement, says dermatologist Athena G. Kaporis, MD. “Vitamin D comes from both the sun and nutrition, and it cannot be used by the body until it is processed by the liver and the kidneys.” Kaporis suggests consuming foods rich in vitamin D3, including fortified milk, cheese, yogurt, and oily fish like salmon and tuna. “Vitamin D supplements are well tolerated, safe, and effective,” says Dr. Kaporis.

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