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    RittenRemedy's Avatar
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    Question Tanning beds and vitamin D

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    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)??

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    jo's Avatar
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    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.

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    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.
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    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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    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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    Quote 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.

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    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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    Quote 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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