can u get vitamin d in a tanning bedcan u buy vitamin b12
by Marcelle Pick, OB-GYN NP Spending time in the sun can supply the body with vitamin D which is essential in helping to defend against depression, heart disease, stroke, cancer and osteoporosis. Sometimes though, especially during the winter, some of us have difficulty squeezing even a few minutes of sunshine into our busy schedules. Or we live in the northern part of the United States and there is very little sun in the winter months. In winter months daylight hours are shortened and outdoor activities may be less enjoyable for those in colder climates. When natural sunlight is hard to find, it might be tempting to replace time in the sun with a quick trip to a tanning bed. But do tanning booths provide the same healthy benefits as sunlight? Particularly, are tanning beds a safe source of vitamin D? Tanning salons might like you to believe they are, but don’t be fooled. Tanning indoors is not a desirable source of vitamin D. The reason is because of the harmful characteristics of ultraviolet light rays, and the effects they have on the body.
Both the sun and tanning booths send out two kinds of ultraviolet light rays – UVA and UVB. Your skin absorbs both types, but in alternate ways. UVA rays have longer wavelengths that are able to reach the deepest layers of the skin. UVB ray’s wavelengths are shorter and only penetrate the uppermost layers of skin. Both forms of rays add to the health risks related to sun exposure, for instance the threat of developing skin cancers. But UVB rays also trigger the synthesis of the vitamin D precursor in the skin, and so are solely responsible for the healthy benefits of sunshine. For many individuals, exposing one’s arms and face to sunshine for about 20 minutes each day provides the skin with sufficient UVB rays to do away with vitamin D deficiencies, without causing long-term skin damage. However, while UVB rays are responsible for the health benefits of sunshine, tanning salons are most concerned with the UVA rays. The reason for this is that overexposure to UVB rays, which affect the surface layers of skin, quickly causes the skin to burn.
UVA rays, though, create the bronze-brown tan coveted by most salon-goers. Because of this, most tanning salons regulate their beds to emit approximately 95 percent UVA rays. This calibration maximizes the tanning effects of the booth and minimizes the risk of burning. Unfortunately, it also minimizes the amount of vitamin D that can be used, in proportion to the exposure to damaging UVA rays. A tanning bed could actually be calibrated to emit a higher percentage of UVB rays. It is vital to remember that the safety of exposure to either type of UV rays depends upon its moderation. Most people do not enter tanning beds fully clothed. Exposing large areas of skin surfaces can result in excessive absorption of ultraviolet light rays very quickly. While it’s exciting to know that something as easy as spending time enjoying the sun can be beneficial, be careful not to underestimate the risk of overexposure. Approximately 15–20 minutes of sunshine, three or four days per week will provide adequate UVB absorption for most fair-skinned people to optimize their vitamin D levels.
People with darker skin colors require more exposure time. Another point to remember is that this natural method does not work equally well at all latitudes and seasons, or in all people. If you are uncertain of the amount of sunshine you need, you can have your vitamin D levels tested. It might be worthwhile to consider supplementing your vitamin D3 intake. Most tanning booths, while offering a golden-brown hue, place you at high risk for unnecessary and excessive exposure to dangerous ultraviolet rays. They are not a good substitute for old-fashioned sunshine. Most of our patients need vitamin D supplementation – so be sure to have your levels checked. Women to Women has formulated our own high-quality vitamin D supplement enhance your health – click here to find out more. Visit the Mercola Video Library Sun exposure is crucial for optimal health for a number of reasons, with Vitamin D production being the most important. The best way to get vitamin D is direct sun exposure, but for many, that simply is not practical, especially in the winter.
Nearly everyone today has insufficient vitamin D—a deficiency that can negatively impact your health in numerous ways. Timing of your sunlight exposure is important though. In order to help you understand this complex topic you can review my video below. The images used in this video belong to The United States Naval Observatory (USNO) To find the information for your area, please visit the USNO site. If natural sun exposure isn't an option, then you will need to select another way of optimizing your vitamin D level. The next best means of doing this is by artificial ultraviolet light. You cannot get vitamin D from full spectrum bulbs; it has to be a bulb that produces ultraviolet radiation. Are Tanning Beds Safe? UVB is the type of ultraviolet light that causes your skin to convert cholesterol into vitamin D. It is possible to get UVB from a tanning bed, but the EMFs produced by magnetic ballasts used by the vast majority of tanning beds are of major concern.
You want to make sure you're using a tanning bed that employs newer electronic ballasts, which virtually eliminate this risk and are safe. They also use about 30 percent less electricity and produce more light, so they are far more economical to run. But doesn't ultraviolet light cause melanoma? Rates of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, have been rising for at least the last three decades, and this increase has been largely blamed on exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun.However, research published in the British Journal of Dermatology1 shows that the sun is likely nothing more than a scapegoat in the development of melanoma, and the sharp increase may actually be "an artifact caused by diagnostic drift."Researchers believe the rising rates of melanoma are due to an increase in diagnoses of non-cancerous lesions classified, misleadingly, as "stage 1 melanoma." Exposure to sunlight, particularly UVB, is actually protective against melanoma—or rather, the vitamin D your body produces in response to UVB radiation is protective.
Oral Vitamin D Supplementation If natural sunlight exposure or a safe tanning bed are both unavailable to you, then the third option is to take an oral vitamin D supplement, in the form of vitamin D3. The oral non-sulfated form of vitamin D might not provide all of the same benefits as the vitamin D created in your skin from sun exposure, as it cannot be converted to vitamin D sulfate. However, an oral supplement is better than no vitamin D at all. Based on the research available as of 2011,it appears as though most adults need about 8,000 IU's of vitamin D daily in order to get their serum levels above 40 ng/ml. In 2007 the recommended level was between 40 to 60 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml). Since then, the optimal vitamin D level has been raised to 50-70 ng/ml, and when treating cancer or heart disease, as high as 70-100 ng/ml. This means your risk of overdosing is very slim, even if you take 8,000 IU's of vitamin D3 a day. I recommend having your vitamin D level regularly tested (it's a blood test) to make sure you're within the therapeutic range.
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