Sunscreen, Vitamin D & the Facts about Melanoma

Vitamin D SupplementsAhhh, summer is here! Everyone is heading outside to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine! Whether you are heading to the beach or just the back yard it’s important to think about protecting your skin from sunburn. Do you slather up with protection because you have been warned of the dangers of skin cancers? Do you ever wonder if all this sunscreen is preventing skin cancer? I sure do! Has melanoma gone down with this knowledge and early detection? Good question, right? I found an interesting blog by Dr. John Cannell, MD, the founder of the Vitamin D Council, doesn’t think so. He posted on his blog in May the following statement.

“The skin cancer we all fear the most is malignant melanoma, which kills about 8,000 Americans a year. However, the incidence of stage one (less than 1 mm in size without spreading) malignant melanoma has tripled over the past forty years in spite of the fact that more and more people now avoid the sun and use sunblock. Why is melanoma increasing if so many people are now taking sun precautions?

While getting frequent severe sunburns, especially as a child, clearly increases the risk of malignant melanoma, few people know that frequent sun exposure, without burning, actually decreases the melanoma risk.”

He also goes on to say the indoor workers have higher levels of skin cancer than those that work outdoors. This is interesting because people who work indoors usually have low blood levels of Vitamin D.

So am I saying that you should avoid sunscreen to get the vitamin D you need? Well, yes and no! You should use sunscreen as you build up time in the sun. You do not want a sunburn, but you should try to gradually expose yourself to sun without sunscreen at least 20 minutes a day. This will help build up your Vitamin D3, which actually protects you against skin cancer. Most studies have found that most of us are not getting enough vitamin D3 regardless of the time we spend in the sun. Therefore it is important to take a good vitamin D3 supplement daily. I recommend 5000 i.u. once a day for most people.

Make sure the sunscreen you use does not contain vitamin A or any of its derivatives. There were several studies over ten years ago showing vitamin A may increase the speed at which malignant cells develop.

So bottom line is wear a good sunscreen, but not all the time, take your vitamin D3, try not to get sunburned by slowly increasing your sun exposure and have fun!

OVitaminPro carries several great vitamin D3 supplements. I recommend Metagenics d5000Thorne d10,000 and Apex Energetics Ultra D formula.


  1. Vitamin D is very important for your health, but easy to overdose. My doctor monitors my vitamin levels every three months with blood and urine tests. That tells me when to stop using vitamin D and when to start again.

  2. Great article! I stopped using sunscreen years ago as I got sick from it (everything put on the skin eventually gets absorbed into the body).

    I had my vitamin D levels checked about two years ago, and they were very low. My alternative doctor had me take Ultra-D, your liquid vitamin D supplement, and this brought my D levels up very well into a good range. It tastes great, too. Thanks for making this valuable product available!

  3. Thanks Norma, I can’t tell you how many lab tests I look at with low vitamin D levels! I even see low levels with people that work outdoors.

  4. Thanks for sharing Jane. Many main stream doctors set vitamin D levels way too low. Most of the research for cancer prevention is at higher levels, between 80-100 for example. I know a doctor in the bay area that keeps his patient levels around 160 without overdose issues. The caution comes when you introduce calcium with the D. Vitamin D super charges the calcium and that is what is toxic. We are made to have 50,000 i.u.’s a day from the sun, which none of us even comes close to getting! I never take anyone off Vitamin D, I simply back it off a tad if it looks too high.

  5. yes, the “normal” range is a problem for all tests, not only for the vitamin D one.
    the range that labs are giving as normal is based on a sample of largely sick people, not healthy ones. i find this problem very serious…
    but I guess that having low vitamin D is much much worse than overdosing (which is easy to detect and correct).
    also, for many patients with autoimmune problems it’s very very difficult to overdose (I read articles saying that many autoimmune patients have a genetic deficiency in absorbing vitamin D…)
    good health to everybody!

  6. So true! That is why when I look at blood tests I am looking at functional results. If you look you can see things shifting before they ever become pathological.

  7. I’ve been slathering sunscreen on my face mostly, (to slow down the “aging”), because I can’t stand wearing hats when I’m taking my walks. I’ve allowed my arms to get a bit too tan (maybe yes, maybe no?), but the more I read about sunscreen, the more I think I’d better find some hats I like. As far as Vitamin D goes, I have been taking 10,000 IU’s a day and it has helped with minor depression (along with Fish Oil). I do notice a difference if I miss either of these. Medical practitioners and Mind, Spirit, Body practitioners seem to be all over the map when it comes to this issue. I’ve been told all kinds of “shoulds”. Bottom line, I trust my “guts”. Thanks for the info Mary.

  8. Thank you Alberta for you thoughtful comments!

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