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Pharmacists' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Suncreens-Vitamin D
Answer: Sunlight protection factor. The strength depends on your underlying skin color, the time in the sun and the intensity of the sun. If you want to prevent a burn, I'd use a stronger SPF like 10 or 14 unless you are dark or partially suntanned. The sun in Mexico is intense. It gets worse as you approach the equator.
Answer: Vitamin D is necessary for the formation and maintenance of proper bone structure. A lack of Vitamin D leads to osteomalacia - called Rickets in developing children. Osteomalacis is defined as a defective mineralization of the bone organic matrix, Osteoporosis is a decrease of bone mass characterized by a decrease in the number and strength of trabeculae( the small cross struts of bone). A deficiency of Vitamin D will not lead to osteoporosis. However, the final result is similar - weak bones that fracture easily. Most of the Vitamin D is due to sun exposure; lack of exposure or blockage by sun screens can cause a deficiency in Vitamin D. This can be easily corrected by taking a multivitamin with Vitamin D or by drinking milk products which have Vitamin D added.