By Marc Sorenson, EdD, Sunlight Institute, for sensible tanning bed use
The online magazine, Life Science Daily, just posted an article regarding the health benefits of UV light from tanning beds. Surprisingly, they were quoting from research published in the British Journal of Dermatology. I say “surprising,” because so many dermatologists and dermatological organizations are vehemently opposed to a single ray of sunlight touching the skin. And heaven forbid someone should use a tanning bed.
Three times weekly, adult subjects were exposed to a tanning bed that emitted 95% UVA rays and 5% UVB rays, which is approximately the amount of UVA and UVB that midday summer sunlight emits. Each exposure lasted six minutes. Here are some of the salient points reported in the article:
- Any damage caused by the light exposure was repaired by the skin.
- One of the positive benefits of the light was the production of nitric oxide, which improves blood flow and reduces blood pressure.
- Another positive benefit was the productions of beta-endorphins, which reduce depression.
- A third benefit, of course, is the production of vitamin D, necessary for growth and bone strength, as well as asthma prevention.
Here is one of the important quotes from the article, from Dr. Michael Holick: “What this study shows is that you can get a reasonable amount of sunlight that would make enough vitamin D in your skin living in the U.K. Yes, the DNA is somewhat damaged, but because the body has adapted to its environment, it has the ability to repair it.” Dr. Holick also suggested that people become educated about the wide range of health benefits from modest sun exposure, which is superior to taking vitamin D supplements.
Step by step, the truth is overcoming the powers of darkness! Seek the sun, and let a tanning bed enhance your health in the winter.