Transcript: Vitamin D Pills vs. Tanning Beds
As I’ve noted in previous volumes, vitamin D deficiency remains a major problem. Even if every day we do go outside and get 15-30 minutes of midday sun, the majority of North America is at such a high latitude that during the winter months the sun’s rays are at such an angle that it’s necessary to supplement our diet with this sunshine vitamin. There’s been a suggestion, though, that instead of taking pills, it’s preferable to go to a tanning salon. Well, a major review on just that topic was just published. What do you think they found?
Tanning beds for vitamin D: harmful, harmless, or helpful? Harmful. Last summer, the World Health Organization raised the carcinogen classification of tanning beds to the highest level. With evidence showing that tanning bed exposure can raise the risk of the deadliest kind of skin cancer by up to 75%, the International Agency for Research on Cancer bumped tanning beds up to a Group 1 carcinogen—along with things like asbestos, cigarettes, and arsenic.
Okay, more skin cancer, but wouldn’t the vitamin D you produce lower your risk of internal cancer so much that it would all balance out, like it does with moderate sun exposure?
The light produced by the sun is not the same as the light produced by tanning beds. Most tanning devices primarily emit UVA, which is relatively inefficient in stimulating vitamin D synthesis. So the health benefits can be fully disassociated from the risks with vitamin D supplementation for those unwilling or unable to get enough sunshine.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.
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