We Are Sunshine

TODAY’S HEADLINE STORY: The math showing that indoor tanning is a great source of vitamin D is indisputable.

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

Tanning beds may be even more effective as a vitamin D producer than was previously believed. That’s the consensus of new research published by Dr. Michael Holick’s group at Boston University. Holick’s group studied 15 people aged 20-53, tracking their vitamin D blood levels as they tanned in tanning equipment three times a week. How’d they do?

  • 2008-11-13-in-case-you-wondered-copy.jpg50 percent higher vitamin D blood levels after one week of tanning.
  • 150 percent higher vitamin D blood levels after 5 weeks of tanning.

COULD SUPPLEMENTS DO THAT? Not at over-the-counter levels. Consider: Three tanning sessions a week will deliver the equivalent of 30,000-75,000 international units of vitamin D (depending on skin type and other factors) – levels that cannot possibly be obtained through any other source. Even fresh salmon from the stream has a maximum of only 1,000 IU of vitamin D – not enough to move vitamin D blood levels nearly as much as tanning.

VITAMIN D SCIENTISTS now target vitamin D blood levels of 40-60 ng/ml (nanograms per milliliter). Smart Tan is starting to call these levels “Natural Vitamin D levels” – amounts that are consistent only with natural outdoor living in sunny climates.