AAD stands firm on 'D'

January 26, 2011

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) says it will continue to recommend that the public obtain vitamin D either from dietary supplements or foods naturally rich in or fortified with the vitamin.

Schaumburg, Ill. - The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) says it will continue to recommend that the public obtain vitamin D either from dietary supplements or foods naturally rich in or fortified with the vitamin.

The academy has updated its position statement based on the recent review of the substantial scientific literature on vitamin D by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine (IOM). Furthermore, the AAD reaffirmed its position that vitamin D should not be acquired through unprotected exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun or tanning devices.

The IOM reviewed more than 1,000 studies as well as expert testimony on the possible relationship between vitamin D and certain types of cancers and other diseases. The review concluded that while evidence that vitamin D levels are associated with bone health is strong, the evidence for other conditions was insufficient to inform nutritional requirements.

The AAD’s updated statement reflects the IOM’s findings, including the vitamin D blood level deemed adequate and safe for the human body and the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for calcium and vitamin D to support skeletal health. The academy noted that the RDAs for vitamin D reflect an assumption of minimal sun exposure.

The academy issued a statement quoting AAD President William D. James, M.D., as saying, “The IOM’s review of the scientific evidence about vitamin D supports the academy’s long-standing recommendation on safe ways to get this important vitamin. … Unprotected exposure to UV radiation from the sun or indoor tanning is not safe. Individuals who intentionally expose themselves to UV radiation for vitamin D are putting their health at risk for developing skin cancer.”