If any of the Jersey Shore cast members have been keeping up with current scientific research they might be quick to point out the findings of a recent study published in “The New England Journal Of Medicine”, which offered recommendations to treat vitamin D deficiency. Surprisingly the reccomendations included the use of tanning beds…
We know that sufficient levels of vitamin D are vital for optimal skeletal health, and decreasing the likelihood of developing hypertension, osteoporosis and a multitude of cancers. How do we ensure that we are getting enough Vitamin D?
Source of Vitamin D (Ranked in order of max vitamin D production)
- Sun Exposure (between 11am-3pm)
- Tanning Beds (for real!)
- Food (oily fish, cheese, beef liver, egg yolk, and some cheese)
- Supplementation (vitamin D pills, usually taken orally)
- Blue light therapy (check out the video by clicking the image below….kind of cool – good business idea too!)
Thought Tanning Beds Were Bad For Us…..
Most tanning beds emit 2 to 6% ultraviolet B radiation and are a recommended source of vitamin D3 when used in moderation. Tanners had robust levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (at the end of the winter the tanners had higher bone density as compared with non tanners). For patients with fat malabsorption, exposure to a tanning bed for 30 to 50% of the time recommended for tanning(with sunscreen on the face) is an excellent means of treatingand preventing vitamin D deficiency. This reduces the risk of skin cancers associated with ultraviolet B radiation.
While this excerpt does not give us the green light to subject ourselves to unlimited minutes in the tanning bed, it sends a message that the use of a bed could help improve the health of a vitamin D deficient person. So who is most at risk?
In the last post I discussed the role of vitamin D and how adequate levels provide us with a relative immunity to different medical conditions.
Even though science is pointing us in the right direction, many people are experiencing vitamin D deficiency, and most of it is largely undiagnosed. You could be suffering and not even know it!
What Are The Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency?
- Depression (especially seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Chronic Fatigue
- Weight Loss
- Cardiovascular problems
- Aching bones
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, then you may be suffering from Vitamin D deficiency
Soak Up The Sun Northerners
The study also suggests that excess Vitamin D is stored in fat cells for future use in our body! So make those last few days of summer really count, and get as much sun as possible!
Is It Possible To Have Too Much Vitamin D?
Not really. The study shows that to experience vitamin d toxicity you would need to have about 50,000 UI in your body at one instance, which can really only occur with overdose on supplements, not prolonged exposure to the sun.
Doses of more than 50,000 IU per day raise levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D to more than 150 ng per milliliter (374 nmol per liter) and are associated with hypercalcemia and hyperphosphatemia. Doses of 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day for up to 5 months, however, do not cause toxicity.
Here is Rihanna basking in the sunshine to get her vitamin D fix. We know that skin pigment, nationality, and gender do play a role in our our ability to produce vitamin D from sunlight. However, it is generally accepted that sun exposure is beneficial for everybody regardless our background, meaning everyone is susceptible to vitamin D deficiency. Women are at an even greater risk.
More Severe Implications For Women
Women are particularly vulnerable to the detrimental health effects of low vitamin D levels. Women with Vitamin D deficiency are more susceptible to developing breast cancer, bladder cancer, ovarian cancer and colon cancer.
Other symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can only be seen in women, including mood changes during premenstrual syndrome. Women are also more likely to experience the effects of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The best bet to stifle SAD is to use some form of Vitamin D supplement. (http://www.vitaminddeficiencysymptomsguide.com/)
We know that going to the gym and cleaning our clothes are great ways to stay fresh and healthy, but maybe we should consider adding tanning to a healthy plan. Even the fake tan, if used in moderation, and for the purpose to treat Vitamin D deficiency. In the right circumstance GTL – Gym, Tan, and Laundry makes perfect sense!
Perhaps, Jersey Shore isn’t so crazy after all.
You can check out the full article here:
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