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  1. There’s no such thing as a sunscreen pill, the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday, telling companies that sell them to stop. These so-called sunscreen-in-a-pill supplements are fakes and people should not fall for the scam, the FDA said. “There’s no pill or capsule that can replace your sunscreen,” FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement on Tuesday.
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  2. As summers grow steadily hotter, many people feel a need to slather on ever more sunscreen—or wear more clothes—to prevent the sun’s ultraviolet radiation from crisping their skin and increasing the odds of developing cancer. But scientists may have found a new way to block these dangerous rays: melanin-imitating nanoparticles that protect skin cells from within. If proved, this approach could be used to develop better topical protection and possibly treatments for certain skin disorders as well. The darkening pigment melanin is one of the body’s primary natural defenses against UV-induced DNA damage. Below the skin’s surface, special cells secrete melanosomes, which produce, store and transport melanin. These structures are absorbed by skin cells called keratinocytes and form protective, UV-blocking shells around the cells’ nuclei. People suffering from diseases such as albinism and vitiligo, however, have faulty melanin production and are highly susceptible to the effects of UV. To create synthetic versions of these melanosomes, researchers at the University of California, San Diego, bathed dopamine—a signaling chemical found in the brain and other parts of the body—in an alkaline solution. This step produced melaninlike nanoparticles with shells and cores made of polydopamine, a dopamine-based polymer. When incubated in a petri dish with human keratinocytes, the synthetic particles were absorbed by the skin cells and distributed around their nuclei like natural melanin. Read more:
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  3. Date: May 1, 2017 Source: American Osteopathic Association Summary: Results from a clinical review find nearly 1 billion people worldwide may have deficient or insufficient levels of vitamin D due to chronic disease and inadequate sun exposure related to sunscreen use. Results from a clinical review published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association find nearly 1 billion people worldwide may have deficient or insufficient levels of vitamin D due to chronic disease and inadequate sun exposure related to sunscreen use. The study also found that 95 percent of African American adults may have vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency. Vitamin D variations among races are attributed to differences in skin pigmentation. "People are spending less time outside and, when they do go out, they're typically wearing sunscreen, which essentially nullifies the body's ability to produce vitamin D," said Kim Pfotenhauer, DO, assistant professor at Touro University and a researcher on this study. "While we want people to protect themselves against skin cancer, there are healthy, moderate levels of unprotected sun exposure that can be very helpful in boosting vitamin D." Dr. Pfotenhauer also said chronic diseases like Type 2 Diabetes and those related to malabsorption, including kidney disease, Crohn's and celiac disease greatly inhibit the body's ability to metabolize vitamin D from food sources. Considered a hormone rather than a vitamin, vitamin D is produced when skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D receptors are found in virtually every cell in the human body. As a result, it plays a wide role in the body's functions, including cell growth modulation, neuromuscular and immune function and inflammation reduction. Symptoms for insufficient or deficient vitamin D include muscle weakness and bone fractures. People exhibiting these symptoms or who have chronic diseases known to decrease vitamin D, should have their levels checked and, if found to be low, discuss treatment options. However, universal screening is likely neither necessary nor prudent absent significant symptoms or chronic disease. Increasing and maintaining healthy vitamin D levels can be as easy as spending 5-30 minutes in midday sun twice per week. The appropriate time depends on a person's geographic location and skin pigmentation -- lighter skin synthesizes more vitamin D than darker skin. It is important to forgo sunscreen during these sessions because SPF 15 or greater decreases vitamin D3 production by 99 percent. "You don't need to go sunbathing at the beach to get the benefits," said Dr. Pfotenhauer. "A simple walk with arms and legs exposed is enough for most people." Food sources such as milk, breakfast cereals, and Portobello mushrooms are also fortified with vitamin D. Dr. Pfotenhauer said supplements are a good option, as they are effective and pose few risks, provided they are taken as directed and a physician is consulted beforehand. Research is ongoing to determine whether vitamin D deficiency has a role in multiple sclerosis, autoimmune disorders, infections, respiratory disease, cardiometabolic disease, cancer, and fracture risk. "Science has been trying to find a one-to-one correspondence between vitamin D levels and specific diseases," said Dr. Pfotenhauer. "Given vitamin D's ubiquitous role in the body, I believe sufficient vitamin D is more about overall health. Our job as osteopathic physicians is to recognize those patients that need to be tested and treat them accordingly." Currently, insufficiency is defined as between 21 and 30 ng/ml and deficiency is considered below 20ng/ml by the Endocrine Society.
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