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Does sunscreen products block the production of vitamin D? Share it on Facebook
In recent decades, the mainstream media has spread such fear about skin cancer that most of us religiously lather ourselves in sunblock as soon as we hit the outdoors. While it is certainly true that it is important to take precautions to prevent the skin damage that can result in melanoma, it is equally important to ensure that we get sufficient exposure to the sun to ensure our bodies can produce vitamin D.
Vitamin D is absolutely essential for the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth, insulin regulation, good cardiovascular health and a strong immune system, among other things. Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with an increased risk of cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and depression.
It is especially important to get natural sunlight to produce vitamin D in your body because this form of vitamin D is actually Vitamin D3 sulfate, which is a water soluble form of vitamin D and is more easily absorbed and used by the body.
Sunlight has numerous health benefits that far outweigh the dangers, but you just need to be careful of how much exposure you get. Using sunscreen is the answer right? Well, maybe, but maybe not. Sunscreen does indeed protect against the damaging effects of sunlight, but it also blocks the much needed health benefits, while at the same time, the frequent use of many sunscreens exposes you to harmful chemicals as well.
The results of a recent study by the American Osteopathic Association, shows that the use of sunscreens decrease vitamin D production by 99 percent.
Using sunscreen every time you go outside blocks the benefits of natural sunlight in several ways, one way is that sunscreen blocks not only the body's production of vitamin D, but also hinders the body's ability to produce cholesterol sulfate. But cholesterol is bad for you right? Well, there's that need for balance again. Cholesterol in too high of levels in the body is unhealthy, but it is an absolute must for neuron transport in brain function. While the brain only makes up about 2% of body weight, 25% of the cholesterol in your body is actually in your brain. Besides proper brain function, insufficient cholesterol levels can cause depression and may lead to increased risk of suicide, violent behavior and aggression, and also increase your risk of cancer and Parkinson's disease.
So, if you plan to go outside and play this summer, using sunscreen may be a good idea. Keep in mind that blocking the suns rays from your skin not only stops the negative aspects of sunlight exposure, but it blocks the positive aspects as well.
Fortunately, increasing vitamin D levels and reducing the risk of serious illness is as simple as getting out in the sunshine more often. A simple walk with arms and legs exposed is enough for most people.