Vitamin D deficiencies have been found to raise the risk of skin cancers such as melanoma. A real catch-22, especially for pale-skinned people. Those who burn easily tend to avoid the sun and slather on tons of sunscreen, but the sun of course is a vital source of vitamin D.
According to a new study published in Cancer Causes and Control, researchers said the best blood levels of vitamin D should be 60 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L). The pale-skinned people in the study were among the most likely to show low vitamin D levels, most likely due to shunning the sun. Also, participants with a specific genetic variant involving vitamin D were more likely to have low vitamin D levels, the researchers found.
The study warned of getting too much vitamin D as well, so it’s important to get just the right amount. So how much is enough vitamin D? Here are some guidelines to follow:
- Children older than 12 months and adults need at least 600 IU of vitamin D per day.
- Adults older than 70 require at least 800 IU.
- Adults at risk for vitamin D deficiency may need at least 1,500 IU daily to maintain blood levels above 30 ng/ml.