Cancer Council Australia

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The need for Vitamin D - Cancer Council puts the issue in perspective



March 2010

The sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation is both the major cause of skin cancer and the best source of vitamin D – which is needed to maintain good health and to keep bones and muscles strong and healthy.

In Australia, we need to balance the risk of skin cancer from too much sun exposure, with maintaining adequate vitamin D levels. Cancer Council recommends limited exposure to the sun outside of peak UV times in order to boost vitamin D.

It is especially important that pregnant women maintain adequate vitamin D levels. Their doctor may recommend use of supplements, as well as limited sun exposure.

Sensible sun protection does not put people at risk of vitamin D deficiency. More information about vitamin D and sun exposure is available on our website and in our brochure: How much sun is enough? Getting the balance right – vitamin D and sun protection.

Cancer Council’s position statement on the risks and benefits of sun exposure has been approved by the Australian & New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society, Osteoporosis Australia and the Australasian College of Dermatologists.

With an awareness of vitamin D issues, Cancer Council continues to promote the Slip Slop Slap Seek and Slide message, in order to address the rising incidence of skin cancer and the more than 1850 deaths in Australia each year from skin cancer.

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This page was last updated on: Saturday, August 18, 2012