Vitamin D, Sunscreen, Skin Cancer: What You Need to Know

May 12, 2016

The Information Age brought with it’s ugly stepsister named Confusion. Never was this more true than for the information and misinformation surrounding vitamin D, sunscreen, and cancer.

Not getting burned makes intuitive sense, but will slathering on the sunscreen cause vitamin D deficiency?

Could vitamin D deficiency be causing the cancer that the sunscreen is supposed to be protecting against?

How much of a concern is skin cancer anyway?

Do we need to worry about toxic chemicals in sunscreen?

What type of sunscreen is best?

Join Dr. Tommy Wood and me in this podcast interview for everything you need to know about to protect your skin in the performance and longevity.

Also check out our article: Optimizing Vitamin D for Athletic Performance.

When Tommy and I recorded this podcast I was using the Badger brand suntan cream, since then I’ve switch to using Rocket Pure.

Here’s the outline of this interview with Dr. Tommy Wood

0:04:19    What is vitamin D (25-OH-D)?

0:05:37    Made using UVB radiation from the sun.

0:06:18    The standard reference ranges for blood levels of 25-OH-D are controversial.

0:07:49    Vitamin D affects calcium absorption, vitamin K2 controls where that calcium goes.

0:09:25    No sunscreen provides 100% block.

0:09:51    UVA is the type of radiation we’d like to avoid.

0:11:16    In studies, the use of sunscreen didn't reduce blood 25-OH-D levels.

0:11:59    Real-world application of sunscreen is less than in studies.

0:12:50    You need need a lot less light to make vitamin D than you do to burn.

0:13:20    Do not get burned!

0:13:34    Don't avoid sunlight either!

0:14:08    Childhood exposure to burning increases risk over a lifetime.

0:15:45    Three types of skin cancer.

0:16:50    Melanoma is the worst.

0:18:14    Risk is dependant on skin type and exposure.

0:20:15    We're now indoors all the time, then we go on holiday for 2 weeks.

0:21:06    Dark skin people living far from the equator are at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

0:22:08    Endogenous vitamin D synthesis is rate-limited, taking a supplement is not.

0:23:31    25-OH-D deficiency is associated with autoimmunity, but the supplement doesn't fix the disease.

0:24:14    There may be something special about sun exposure.

0:26:12    The SPF system is flawed.

0:28:19    Buy factor 20 and re-apply.

0:29:58    Chemicals in suntan cream.

0:31:39    Endocrine disrupters.

0:32:22    Beware rodent models with unrealistic dosing.

0:33:04    Zinc or titanium dioxide are probably best.

0:35:09    The UK love their fragrances.

0:36:37    The skin microbiome.

0:38:04    Can the zinc and titanium become systemic?

0:38:58    Titanium is not inert.

0:41:06    Very small amounts are absorbed and we probably don't need to worry about it.

0:41:44    Again, some flawed rodent models out there.

Join the discussion on the NBT forum when you support us on Patreon.

© 2013-2023 nourishbalancethrive