By Dr. Marc Sorenson, Sunlight Institute
A study last year published in the journal DermatoEndocrinology found that standard tanning salon sunbeds are very effective in raising serum levels of vitamin D. Those who used the beds were able to attain optimal levels (more than 100 nmol/L) [40ngml] D during winter. Actually, another earlier study had also showed similar results, so this research served to corroborate that finding.
The significance of this evidence cannot be overemphasized. This is transcendentally important information! Many North Americans receive little or no vitamin D-producing sun exposure in winter. It is similarly important for all others who live at high latitudes, work indoors or are rarely exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency, primarily due to lack of sun exposure, is a disaster that becomes larger each year.
This new research builds on the importance of vitamin D health impacts that were outlined in a recent study: It found that if Canadians raised their vitamin D blood levels to an optimal 100 nmol/L, it could prevent 23,000 premature deaths. It could also save $12.5 Billion annually in direct health care costs. The researchers indicate that low vitamin D levels in winter leave one more susceptible to many diseases. Some of these include colds and flu. But they also lead to more serious illnesses such as osteoporosis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, many cancers and heart disease.
Due to the scare tactics of those who frighten the public out of the sunlight, many other facts about the beneficial effects of sunbeds have been forgotten or hidden. Below are a few more of those facts.
Effects of Sunbed use:
- Sunbed use strengthens bone. As mentioned above, one study compared 50 subjects who used a sunbed at least once weekly, to 106 control subjects who did not use them. Sunbed users had 90% higher vitamin D levels than non-users. They also had significantly higher bone-mineral density, indicative of stronger bones.
- Sunbed use can control psoriasis and eczema. Research showed convincingly that sunbeds are a valid treatment for psoriasis. And, it also stated another conclusion: Sunbeds could be useful “as a treatment option for atopic dermatitis [eczema], mycosis fungoides, acne, scleroderma, vitiligo, and pruritus, as well as other UV sensitive dermatoses.”
- Sunbed use reduces chronic pain. A study of pain in fibromyalgia patients, conducted by dermatologists, revealed that those who used UV-producing sunbeds experienced a decrease of 0.44 points on a 10 point scale (Likert scale), when compared to those who did not receive UV light. Feelings of well-being and relaxation were also reported among the tanners.
- Sunbeds may help unborn children. Sunbeds are now being recommended for use by pregnant women who will give birth in a winter month, in order to protect the unborn child from osteoporosis during adulthood.
- Sunbed use reduces the risk of clots. In an eleven-year study of the sun-exposure habits of 40,000 women, venous thrombotic (clotting) events were measured. It was found that women who sunbathed during the summer, on winter vacations, or when abroad, or used a sunbed, were at 30% reduced risk of clots compared to those who did not sunbathe.
- Sunbed use is associated with lower breast-cancer risk.
- Sunbed use reduces the risk of death. Perhaps the most important research on sunbeds was a 20-year study: It showed that women who used sunbeds were 23% less likely to die from any cause than women who did not use them.
SmartTan.com news articles regularly report medical and scientific information to keep you abreast of current events related to UV light. This information is not intended to be used by any party to make unwarranted health claims to promote sunbed usage. Indoor tanning businesses are obligated to communicate a fair and balanced message to all clients about your products and services including the potential risks associated with indoor tanning. Contact your Smart Tan representative to find out more about what you can and can’t say in your tanning salon business.
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