Can Sunscreen Cause Rickets?

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When I was very young all school children in the UK would get a free carton of milk everyday to prevent rickets. Then Margaret Thatcher came along and put an end to it. People used to think that rickets was a thing of the past however some are seeing a great increase in diseases like this directly linked to vitamin D deficiency.

What causes vitamin D deficiency?  If you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables along with taking a daily multivitamin, having a vitamin deficiency probably wouldn’t even cross your mind. However, a staggering number of people over the last several years have been diagnosed with just that.

Understanding Vitamin D

The human body receives vitamins mostly from food. But in the case of vitamin D, it is also produced in the body by sun exposure.

Vitamin D’s job is to help maintain the level of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. It also aids in the absorption of calcium.

Concerns of a Vitamin D Deficiency

Over the last several years there has been a great increase in vitamin D deficiency. This has lead scientists to research what importance this vitamin plays in the body and what a lack of it can do.

Cancers, high blood pressure, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and arthritis are some of the illnesses believed to be caused, in part, by a lack of vitamin D.

Why the Increase in Deficiencies?

It is believed that more people now are suffering from this because we are not exposing our skin to the sun as we once did. With the increased fear of skin cancer, more and more people are covering up when spending time outdoors. Sunscreens also block out the UV rays needed.

There are also large communities of people from Asia and Africa who are now living in colder climates which makes it more difficult for them to obtain enough sunlight.

Beauty experts are also recommending that we use moisturiser and makeup with a UV filter – even in the winter. This may be fine if you live near the equator but if you live in the UK like me then you’re probably putting yourself at risk of rickets.

Another reason is that people are just spending more time indoors. From home to work and the computer in the car, people are just not getting out in the sun.

People are struggling to ingest enough vitamins to make up the difference plus you have to consciously be aware of what foods contain vitamin D.

glass of milkPrevention

Taking a multivitamin is a good place to start since they are designed to have all the nutrients we need. Increasing your fatty fish consumption is another along with drinking milk which is fortified with Vitamin D. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach along with almonds, garlic, chives and oats are good dietary sources.

Get outside. Our skin needs the sun to produce the vitamin D we need. It’s also very important to take the proper measures to prevent skin cancer. Since our preventive measures are in part reducing our sun exposure and disabling our bodies from producing the necessary vitamin, finding a balance may be difficult.

I understand the need for sun, the problem is that I have very pale skin and so burn very easily. At the weekend I was out in the sun from 4:30pm to about 5:15pm and got burnt on my shoulders.

Life’s never straight forward!



  1. lizzie2uk says:

    Interesting item. I thought that the sunlight still penetrated the skin but didn’t burn with sunblock. It never occured to me that it could cause a problem with vitD assimilation. This is important for kids but also for avoiding osteoporosis.

  2. how do you feel about those vitamin water drinks? do they really help? personally I love to drink them thinking they’re helpful

  3. Very true, keeping a balance of enough sunlight and sun protection isn’t easy. If you are going out in the day when it’s very hot then sunscreen is a very important thing to be using.