When NBC News reported on the research of Dr. Michael Holick of Boston University, who studies the benefits of vitamin D as produced by sensible sun exposure, the reporter was scolded by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
According to the AAD, the information "endangers America's health," using the logic that once people hear that a little bit of sun may be healthy, they will use it as an excuse to be in the sun excessively.
The AAD's campaign to keep Americans out of the sun to avoid skin cancer has been a huge success, with many Americans now avoiding the sun or using sunblock regularly. Holick, however, says the advice is too extreme and has led to vitamin D deficiency in millions of Americans.
Every Cell Requires Vitamin D
While it was once thought that vitamin D was only useful in preventing the bone disease rickets, it's now known that vitamin D is required by every cell and tissue in the body. Along with helping to prevent osteoporosis, vitamin D is necessary to prevent heart disease, breast and prostate cancers and high blood pressure.
Many experts now say that at least 1,000 international units of vitamin D are necessary daily, an amount that either requires mega-supplementation or moderate sun exposure.
Although most agree that Holick's studies are reliable, dermatologists pressured him to resign from Boston University's dermatology department, where he is now on staff only in the endocrinology department.