Sunscreen-Slathered Americans Lack Vitamin D

75% of teens, adults found to be short of 'sunshine' nutrient
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2009 6:45 AM CDT
Sunscreen-Slathered Americans Lack Vitamin D
A new study suggests that a rise in the use of sunscreen after skin cancer warnings has had the side effect of increasing the number of people not getting enough vitamin D.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Three-quarters of adults and teens in the US aren't getting enough vitamin D, according to a new study. The report suggests increased use of sunscreen has contributed to a steep rise in deficiency of the vitamin, which is mainly absorbed through sunshine. African Americans are particularly at risk because the extra melatonin in black skin slows the creation of the vitamin, Scientific American reports.

"We were anticipating that there would be some decline in overall vitamin D levels, but the magnitude of the decline in a relatively short time period was surprising," said one of the study's authors. (Read more vitamin D stories.)

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