Sunburn Easily? You May Need More Vitamin D

Not sure if you need a vitamin D supplement? It may all depend on the fairness of your complexion. People with very pale skin may be unable to take in enough sun to produce the necessary amount of vitamin D that the body needs, without getting a sunburn, according to new research.

In the study of about 12,000 people, 730 of them had below-average vitamin D levels. Those with pale skin showed even lower levels. The report, published in Cancer Causes and Control, notes that those with fair-skin are not the only ones possibly in need of supplemental vitamin D. Melanoma patients make the the list as well.

“Fair-skinned individuals who burn easily are not able to make enough vitamin D from sunlight and so may need to take vitamin D supplements,” said Professor Julia Newton-Bishop, lead author of the study based in the Cancer Research UK Centre at the University of Leeds. “This should be considered for fair-skinned people living in a mild climate-and melanoma patients in particular.”

Low levels of vitamin D may be associated with a higher risk of heart disease and lower survival from breast cancer. If you're not sure about your own vitamin D levels, the researchers recommend visiting your doctor for a test.

Read more about the vitamin D conversation in the Fall issue of NewBeauty, on newsstands now.