Warning people to stay out of the sun may have led to vitamin D deficiencies, British newspaper The Independent reported Monday.
The newspaper cited a confidential report from Cancer Research U.K., which revealed the charity was reconsidering its advice about avoiding the sun between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. The charity was responding to concerns that people were at risk of a lack of vitamin D without adequate exposure to sunlight.
Medical researcher Oliver Gillie told the newspaper the current warnings to stay out of the sun may be causing health problems.
“Lack of sunshine and the vitamin it makes in our skin is probably the most serious single cause of disease in the U.K. today. Vitamin D deficiency is well known as the classic cause of rickets and serious bone diseases," he said.
The draft document states: “Cancer Research U.K’s SunSmart campaign encourages people to enjoy the sun safely and avoid exposures that lead to sunburn. However, for most people, sunlight is also an important source of vitamin D, which is essential for good bone health. It is important to ensure that skin cancer prevention messages are balanced with the need to make enough vitamin D.”
A Cancer Research U.K. spokeswoman said the document was not yet finalized.