Vitamin D

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation is both the major cause of skin cancer and the best source of vitamin D. In Australia, we need to balance the risk of skin cancer from too much sun exposure with maintaining adequate vitamin D levels. Sensible sun protection does not put people at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D forms in the body when skin is exposed to UV from sunlight. We need vitamin D to maintain good health and to keep bones and muscles strong and healthy.

If I protect myself from the sun, will I still get enough vitamin D?

Sensible sun protection does not put people at risk of vitamin D deficiency. When sunscreen is tested in lab conditions it is shown to block vitamin D production, however regular use in real life has been shown to have little effect on vitamin D levels.

This is probably because people who use more sunscreen spend more time in the sun, so are likely to have higher vitamin D levels.

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SunSmart infographic

The risks and benefits of sun exposure

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Working indoors

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How much sun is enough?

The sun’s UV radiation is paradoxically both the major cause of skin cancer and the best natural source of vitamin D.  Locally we need to balance the risks.  Given that, just how much sun is enough?

Find out here