Vitamin D Sources
Vitamin D is a group of vitamins necessary to absorb calcium and build strong bones. Research has shown that a daily amount of Vitamin D is necessary to maintain health. Vitamin D deficiency, on the other hand, is associated with bone disorders such as rickets in children, and osteomalacia in adults.
Approximately 90% of the requisite Vitamin D is formed through the sunlight and the UVB rays in particular. You can get a small percentage of Vitamin D from food and supplements. However, UVB rays is the main source of Vitamin D synthesis.
Main Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is associated with several health benefits such as:
- Strong Bones
- Healthy Immune System
- Cardiovascular function
- Skin disorders treatment
- Anti-cancer effects
Vitamin D and Sunbeds
Recent studies have reported that UV from an artificial source like sunbeds can be more efficient in generating Vitamin D than regular sunlight.1
Sunbeds imitate the sun and emit a controlled amount of UVA which is responsible for skin pigmentation and UVB which is responsible for Vitamin D production. Safe and sensible use of sunbeds and other tanning equipment can be really beneficial in boosting Vitamin D levels.
However, when people go on a sunbed they should follow the recommended exposure times based on their skin type and definitely avoid overexposure.
Use of sunbeds during winter months to boost Vitamin D levels
Many incidents of Vitamin D deficiency have been reported during winter months, and especially in countries in central and northern Europe, because exposure to sunlight is limited in winter and people are not getting the Vitamin D they need to stay healthy. Even exposure during the previous months cannot guarantee optimal level of Vitamin D. This period covers the months between October and March. During that period sunbeds could be an alternative option.
UVB for Vitamin D and UVA for physiological well being
Studies have shown that exposure to ultraviolet rays makes people feel better. This happens because UV radiation (UVA in particular) triggers endorphin production which causes lower blood pressure, increases relaxation and reduces tense and in general contributes to human’s well-being.2
Use of sunbeds and tanning equipment in winter is also associated with reduced SAD incidents. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is some sort of depressive illness caused by the lack of sunlight and the seasonal changes in general.
In winter months when people are not exposed to sunlight quite regularly, use of sunbeds can have a positive effect to their psychology and mental health.
Sunbed can be safer compared with uncontrolled sunlight exposure
Did you know that excessive exposure to sunlight can be more dangerous?
When people tan outdoors under the sun, they cannot control the amount of UV radiation they get, because of many environmental, physical or personal factors. Some of them are unpredictable, such as the time of the day, season, weather conditions, and proximity of the equator or the ozone layer. Personal factors have to do with differences among individuals.
On the other hand, in a sunbed, you have full control over your exposure. You can follow the recommended exposure times based on your skin type and tanning abilities.
UVB is the main source of Vitamin D which is necessary for people’s health. When exposure to sunlight is not possible, especially during winter months, artificial tanning and the use of sunbeds can provide people with sufficient amount of Vitamin D.
Sunbeds combine UVB with UVA which is also associated with health benefits.
In any case, moderation is the key. Excessive use and overexposure of UV can have adverse effects, so people should be careful and not overdo it.
Learn more about Vitamin D and how to boost your Vitamin D Levels with moderate sunbed use in our RESEARCH section.