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

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


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Supplements
  • Eating
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Protective Clothing
  • Skin Neoplasms / blood*
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Sunscreening Agents / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamins / blood


  • Sunscreening Agents
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D