A recent study published in JAMA Dermatology from the Mayo Clinic and the University of Pennsylvania confirmed that sun-protective measures – including wearing sunscreen or long sleeves and staying in the shade – do not decrease bone mineral density or increase the risk of fractures due to osteoporosis. Previous studies found that sunscreen does not impair vitamin D synthesis and has little effect on circulating levels of vitamin D.
The current study looked at the sun-protective habits noted above in approximately 3,400 men and women between the ages of 20 and 59 and found no increased risk overall of osteoporotic fractures in the participants. The bottom line: bone health is not adversely affected by sun-protective measures. This is additional reassurance for those who have concerns about not getting adequate vitamin D synthesis while protecting their skin from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays.