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Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2010 Sep;29(3):185-9. doi: 10.1016/j.sder.2010.06.001.

Vitamin D levels, dietary intake, and photoprotective behaviors among patients with skin cancer.

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Department of Dermatology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.


Photoprotection against ultraviolet light is an important part of our armamentarium against actinically derived skin cancers. However, there has been concern that adherence to photoprotection may lead to low vitamin D status, leading to negative effects on patients' health. In this work we discuss previous findings in this area, which do not give a clear picture as to the relationship between vitamin D levels and photoprotection measures, as well as research performed by the authors, who did not detect a relationship between serum 25(OH)D levels and adherence to photoprotection measures in subjects with skin cancer, as assessed by the use of sunscreen, clothing, hats, sunglasses, and umbrellas/shade through the Sun Protection Habits Index. Subjects who took vitamin D oral supplementation had greater serum 25(OH)D levels than those who did not, whereas dietary intake through foods did not predict 25(OH)D levels in the authors' study. However, there was a high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency in the authors' study population, highlighting the importance of assessing vitamin D status and recommending oral vitamin D supplementation when indicated.

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