Sun Protection and Skin Support
UV exposure is a major risk factor for the development of two types of skin cancer; basal cell carcinoma and melanoma. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there were 45,625 new cases of melanoma in the United States in 2003. A total of 7,818 people died from the condition in the same year, making melanoma the deadliest form of skin cancer. (1) Severity and frequency of sunburns at any age contribute to DNA damage in skin cells and ultimately melanoma development (2).
In 2004, approximately 34 percent of adults reported experiencing at least one sunburn in the previous year (1). This demonstrates that even as adults with knowledge of the sun’s damaging effects, we might throw caution to the wind and overindulge in the sun’s rays now and again without adequate protection. In fact, a recent study coauthored by William J. Keller, Ph.D., NSP’s Vice President of the Health Sciences and Educational Services Department, documented Thai- Go’s mangosteen ingredient to contain compounds with antioxidant actions (3). Compounds in other key ingredients such as green tea’s epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and anthocyanins found in red and blue fruits such as red raspberries and blueberries share similar actions (4-7). When taken daily, Thai-Go provides a multitude of health benefits.
Sunscreens can be used to help reduce the damaging effects of the sun’s UV radiation. Sunscreens usually contain ingredients that absorb or reflect UV light. The sun protection factor (SPF) is a measure of a sunscreen’s effectiveness against UVB radiation. A higher SPF number indicates a higher level of protection. While this protection is good for preventing damage to the skin, it also creates a dilemma for vitamin D. A sunscreen with an SPF of just 8 can inhibit more than 95 percent of vitamin D synthesis in the skin (8). Many products provide greater protection than this.
When considering the best source of vitamin D, the American Academy of Dermatology says, “Get vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that may include vitamin supplements. Don’t seek the sun” (9). As mentioned above, it can be difficult for some to meet their daily vitamin D needs through the diet, even when supplementing with a general multiple vitamin and mineral. This is especially true now as several vitamin D experts from research institutes and universities are finding that the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of 400 IU for vitamin D may be set far too low. They are also finding that the current tolerable upper intake level (TUIL) of 2,000 may be too conservative, based on strong evidence for safety in amounts of 10,000 IU per day. Considering the latest research on vitamin D, NSP now offers Vitamin D3 with 2,000 IU per tablet.
The American Academy of Dermatology says that sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer. Among several tips, they recommend using a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 and providing broadspectrum protection against ultraviolet A (UVA) and UVB radiation. And remember to supplement with Thai- Go and Vitamin D3 this summer when you are using other NSP products to protect and support your skin.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sunburn prevalence among adults–United States, 1999, 2003, and 2004. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2007 Jun 1;56(21):524-8.
2. Han J, Colditz GA, Hunter DJ. Risk factors for skin cancers: a nested casecontrol study within the Nurses’ Health Study. Int J Epidemiol. 2006 Dec;35(6):1514-21.
3. Chin YW, Jung HA, Chai H, Keller WJ, Kinghorn AD. Xanthones with quinone reductase-inducing activity from the fruits of Garcinia mangostana (Mangosteen). Phytochemistry. 2008 Feb;69(3):754-8.
4. Umeda D, Yano S, Yamada K, Tachibana H. Green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate signaling pathway through 67-kDa laminin receptor. J Biol Chem. 2008 Feb 8;283(6):3050-8.
5. Yusuf N, Irby C, Katiyar SK, Elmets CA. Photoprotective effects of green tea polyphenols. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2007 Feb;23(1):48-56. Review.
6. Afaq F, Syed DN, Malik A, Hadi N, Sarfaraz S, Kweon MH, Khan N, Zaid MA, Mukhtar H. Delphinidin, an anthocyanidin in pigmented fruits and vegetables, protects human HaCaT keratinocytes and mouse skin against UVB-mediated oxidative stress and apoptosis. J Invest Dermatol. 2007 Jan;127(1):222-32.
7. Zafra-Stone S, Yasmin T, Bagchi M, Chatterjee A, Vinson JA, Bagchi D. Berry anthocyanins as novel antioxidants in human health and disease prevention. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Jun;51(6):675-83. Review.
8. Holick MF. “Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease”. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Dec;80(6 Suppl):1678S-88S.
9. American Academy of Dermatology. “Be Sun Smart”. Accessed March 24,
Created by Curtis Walcker April 1, 2008