Tanning For Vitamin D
Posted 15 April 2012 - 01:11 AM
I decided to - I bought a 90-day membership to a tanning company.
I am going to get 10 minute tans, three times a week. I had a 7 minute tan yesterday, and had a good day today. This may be a placebo effect.
Allegedly, many types of skin produce 10,000 I.U. of vitamin D in 10 minutes of tanning. Vitamin D is supposedly good for you. People on this forum often post about their low vitamin D levels. I wonder if anyone has tried treating their low vitamin D by visiting a tanning salon, or tried tanning in the hopes that it would improve their overall well-being, and thereby alleviate some of the symptoms of the dysautonomia.
My personal motivation for trying this is: I always seem to feel better when I spend many hours a day outside in the sun. I seem to be more alert and less tired. I want to know if this is because of sunlight contacting the skin or sunlight contacting the eyes. The eyes are blocked during tanning.
Once I tried blue-light therapy and it didn't really help. It just seemed to make me nervous. So I have some reason to think that the benefit of sunlight is not due to sunlight contacting the eyes. But blue-light is not sunlight, so not convinced.
I decided that the risk of skin cancer is small, since I will not be tanning for very long, and the marginal increased risk of skin cancer should be offset by a reduced risk for other kinds of cancer, since higher levels of vitamin D are thought to prevent cancer.
Posted 15 April 2012 - 09:18 AM
I'm with you on your view of minimal skin cancer risk (when weighed against feeling better) especially for a 10 min span of time.
I haven't had my vit D levels checked. The docs here say that they don't even bother checking it because they assume everyone is low.
Posted 15 April 2012 - 09:48 AM
Posted 15 April 2012 - 09:58 AM
However, I would warn you about going somewhere reputable-- I know some places don't change their lamps enough to keep them producing the type of rays needed to produce vitamin D-- some are just baking you and causing damage. Also, as POTS patients you probably don't want to visit the standing beds, but horizontal beds need to be cleaned really well to avoid spreading infections and I know some of us struggle with immune issues.
Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:26 AM
You said "Here in CO I often go to the local hot springs to get sun without freezing during our long,cold winter."
So you go swim in the hot springs? Or do you just hang out in their vicinity? Either way, that sounds really awesome and I wish we had something like that in Missouri. One of my life goals is to move to Colorado, and yet I was unaware of the significance of the hot springs.
Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:32 AM
Posted 15 April 2012 - 12:29 PM
I also know a lot of people have muscle or joint pain relief and relief from dry winter skin or skin conditions because of the mineral water and heat.
Posted 15 April 2012 - 12:59 PM
Dr. Mercola, is keen into tanning in beds - but, he recommends certain types of lights for tanning. You can go on his site and see what he recommends. He believes the benefits far outweigh the risk and that is the best way to get Vitamin D - according to him. He has some really good info on his site. He tells how long to tan and what not to do after tanning. Interesting info.
Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:51 PM
Anyways, the direct light does not get rid of my spells off Propranolol, and not sure now as recent stress. ( Pheo - seperate topic )
I have done a lot of research on sunlight. One think is the number of skin cancers is NOT correlated to amount of tan, it is correlated to # of sunburns. So I do not worry about being in sun. Another is one of the original authors of the (SAD 1984 Rosenthal et all. article) published on red light being effective in the fall/winter to increase energy and blue or green in the spring to calm the person. Most of the authors and literature shows decrease SAD closer to the equater. Different authors have published on this being due to longer time zone of day, earlier sun rise, color of light, or total amount of light in the day.
Color of light made absolutely no difference. Morning light helped but it may have actually been the morning walk every day was helping.
Getting lots of light helped for a short period, but did not "cure" me. Artificial lighting does not work for me ( like bright bulbs ) but for a long long time I had no symptoms while in the direct sunlight. All of this changed after I was tapered off B-blocker.
Despite all of the sun I have gotten, my vitamin D level was 37 last month, so retested 30, so had another doc run it last week and it was 18. My multivitamin tablet is also supposed to give me a little. I do not know why this would be low. ( normal is over 30 )
Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:02 PM
This master clock ( Superchiastmatic Nucleus ) sets the clock for every cell in the body. Every cell has its own genetic clocks to function syncronized by this master clock to control endocrine function, liver, pancreas etc... cycles.
I do not know what this has to do with POTS but in my case I believe sunlight does.
Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:58 PM
He has since changed his mind on supplementing with the pill form of Vitamin D - later he came out and said it would be okay for people - but, not as good as direct sunlight. You can do a search on his site and pull up all kinds of information. I just had remembered seeing this years ago.
Posted 17 April 2012 - 08:28 AM
I did a bit of online digging to see about the benefits of tanning beds a while ago - here's from the notes I took:
"UVA and UVB light rays are both emitted by the sun and tanning beds but UVB rays are responsible for vit. D synthesis. Tanning beds are calibrated to provide UVA rays to maximize tanning effects (UVB rays cause sunburn more than UVA rays)."
I didn't write down the source, but I recall some supporting sites that said that you won't get vitamin D in any significant amount from tanning beds, but I wasn't sure why until I found the information above.
I'd be interested to see if others have found conflicting info...
Posted 17 April 2012 - 09:49 AM
Among other info on this page:
"...study was conducted in Sweden which tested to see if indoor tanners were at increased risk of developing melanoma. The results indicated that there was a positive association between tanning beds and melanoma. In fact, there was a 55% increase in risk of melanoma after adjustment for sun sensitivity and measures of sun exposure. Other studies show that there are many other adverse effects of tanning bed use such as acute sunburn, skin fragility and blistering, suppression of cutaneous DNA repair and immune functioning, and ocular disorders (Levine)".
"Research shows that the standard UVB dose given during an average indoor tanning session greatly exceeds the recommended 25% of 1 minimal erythema dose (MED). The MED is different for people of different skin types. The recommended amount of UVB rays for people with type II skin is 12.6 minutes and people with type III skin is 17.7 minutes in a standard tanning bed... the exposure time of UVB radiation in tanning beds is 4.5 to 7 times the amount needed for optimal Vitamin D production (Levine)...as of now, it is suggested that regular sunlight is used as a source of Vitamin D. Doctors advise that the exposure of only hands, arms, face, and legs to sunlight 15-20 minutes a day, three times a week is adequate exposure."
Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:18 PM
I am now unsure whether the tanning bed is doing anything, or how seriously it increases my risk of cancer.
I had thought that there was a correlation between sunburns and cancer, but it seems that the sunburn is not the mediator of cancer - that is, sunburns are not what causes cancer but total exposure to UVA and UVB causes cancer. Apparently, some kinds of UV are more carcinogenic than others, but only UVB causes vitamin D production.