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Tanning beds and vitamin D

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  • Tanning beds and vitamin D

    I've seen a few posts on whether or not tanning beds will give you cancer, and while I'm still wary of them, they don't look so bad if done right (low setting, infrequent, not super brorange crispy tan). But I'm more interested in their ability to help boost vitamin D.

    I work shift and have been living in a much colder climate for the past two years, so I'm a lot paler than I used to be, and a lot less able to get out into the sun. I also get SAD pretty badly, but I've been able to limit it by supplementing vitamin D. I know the sun is best, but would a little light tanning help to give that boost of skin produced D? And help from burning into a sweet potato chip the next time I see the sun (sob* can't come soon enough)??

  • #2
    When I lived in the Northern hemisphere I would use a sunbed during the winter months. While studies do show an increased risk of skin cancer, I think there are probably a lot of confounding factors such as sun worshippers who use sun beds AND have high levels of sun exposure. Unfortunately these can skew the figures. The most positive results seem to come from Scandinavian studies where excessive sun exposure is less likely.

    So long as you don't overdo it, you should be fine. I felt better after I used a sunbed. Whether this was vit D or something else I don't know.
    My website: http://www.shoppinganywhere.net/

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    • #3
      I've wondered this for years and have never gotten a definitive answer on it. I know that when I used to tan (I briefly tanned a couple times a week) I felt terrific. When I quit tanning, I stopped feeling so good. I was never an addict, I was just trying to keep from scaring people.
      High Weight: 225
      Weight at start of Primal: 189
      Current Weight: 174
      Goal Weight: 130

      Primal Start Date: 11/26/2012

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      • #4
        I started using sun beds the last couple of years just to get a slight tan at the start of summers so I don't go getting extra crispy sunburnt the first time I go out in the summer sun. Works great for me and I am pretty sure those crispy sunburns were worse for me than a month of sun bedding each year.

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        • #5
          Lots of info at www.vitamindcouncil.org
          Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
          Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
          Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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          • #6
            My husband has psoriasis, which is a condition that for many people is linked to Vitamin D levels. His psoriasis is always better in the summer, worse in the winter. It has also improved when he's used a tanning bed. I take that as a sign that it's probably a good way to get vitamin D, if done safely as others mentioned.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RittenRemedy View Post
              brorange
              Love that word. Ask about the UVB to UVA ratios at your potential tanning place. Some apparently adjust the beds for more UVB (causes synthesis of D3) and less UVA (causes tanning, maybe cancer too?) during the winter months.
              The Champagne of Beards

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              • #8
                What's wrong with just taking vitamin D supplements? Seems to me a far safer way to boost D levels than to subject your body to cancer-causing UV.
                I'm also in a northern climate, sunlight is in very short order here (and will be for a while) and, being anemic and iron deficient, I can relate to being so pale people assume I'm sick or in shock. Eating primally and boosting my vitamin D to 6000IU/day has helped immensely...many people have commented to me this winter that I don't look like I could be an extra in the next Twilight movie.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by BestBetter View Post
                  My husband has psoriasis, which is a condition that for many people is linked to Vitamin D levels. His psoriasis is always better in the summer, worse in the winter. It has also improved when he's used a tanning bed. I take that as a sign that it's probably a good way to get vitamin D, if done safely as others mentioned.
                  I also have psoriasis. I tan once a week in the Winter (Dr. recommended) . Absolutely improves mood.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rich Capalbo View Post
                    I also have psoriasis. I tan once a week in the Winter (Dr. recommended) . Absolutely improves mood.
                    Treating psoriasis with a UVB light unit at home is an economical and convenient choice for many people. Like phototherapy in a clinic, it requires a consistent treatment schedule. Individuals are treated initially at a medical facility and then begin using a light unit at home. Most tanning beds have about the same amount of UVA as sunlight (as opposed to UVB), while the 'warning signs' of overexposure, such as sunburn, do not appear at the same rate indoors as out. The UVA light is also more strongly associated with skin aging than UVB, and with genetic damage. Meanwhile Natural sunlight exposure has made studies of artificial tanning difficult, since all people are exposed to the natural sun. There are indisputable values to moderate sunlight exposure. UVB light induces the body to synthesize Vitamin D. I hope this info may help you alot And I wish you enjoy your tanning

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                    • #11
                      I don't believe that it is healthy to spend a lot of time in a tanning bed and the whole cancer thing is indeed true when you over do it and get burned.
                      However there is some benefit for those who are smart. Just use the tanning bed once a week and no longer then 15 minutes, but sure you start with no more the 5 minutes!!!!! I have seen pale folk get burns after just a few minutes. and use proper lotions, etc...

                      Besides that you can try to do it naturally. I do. I really don't care about getting a tan besides looking healthy and not ghostly pale. I start as soon as the sun starts to feel a little warmer and go outside on sunny days. Mostly covered in a blanket but my hands and face get sun light. When the temperature permits it more skin will be exposed and no more then 30 minutes to an hour.
                      If I take this slowly I can do without sunscreen up until april. After that the sun gets too strong and I will need sunscreen when I spend longer the 30 minutes outside. However when I do it right I will be able to get away with only 1 application for the whole day.
                      My story, My thought....

                      It's all about trying to stay healthy!!!!

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