Using Tanning Beds to Treat Vitamin D Deficiency
The Dangers of Using Tanning Beds to Treat Vitamin D Deficiency
Tanning beds are designed to deliver ultraviolet rays to the body through a
controlled mechanism. In order to synthesize vitamin D, the body requires
sufficient exposure to sunlight. However, due to changes in lifestyle where
people tend to remain indoors, it means that they may not get adequate sunlight.
When used properly, safe tanning beds can help produce the radiation required to
help the body synthesize vitamin D.
What is vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D is part of the fat-soluble prohormones and this vitamin is
essential in helping the body absorb and metabolize minerals like phosphorous
and calcium. This means that without vitamin D, these minerals may not be broken
down and utilized in the body as desired. People who have sufficient exposure to
sunlight do not require vitamin D supplements because the skin is able to
utilize the sunlight and synthesize this important vitamin.
Benefits of vitamin D
Vitamin D is important in absorbing a metabolizing calcium and phosphorus for
healthy bones. It is also helps in regulating the immune system and this is due
to the fact that vitamin D is a steroid hormone that influences every cell
activity. This vitamin also plays a role in keeping the brain functioning
properly during the old stage in life. The vitamin reduces the severity of
asthma and helps in maintaining healthy body weight. Vitamin D has also shown
good results in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in women. Vitamin D also helps
in reducing growth of cancer.
What causes vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency occurs when the body does not have enough of this
sunshine steroid vitamin. If you do not take the recommended amounts of the
vitamin, you are likely to suffer vitamin D deficiency. In the same way, when
you do not have sufficient exposure to sunlight, you are also likely to have
deficiency of this vitamin. People with darker skin have more concentration of
melanin, something that reduces the ability of the skin to utilize sunshine to
synthesize vitamin D.
If you have insufficiency of vitamin D, you are at a higher risk of suffering
from cognitive impairment, cardiovascular disease, muscle weakness, and bone
pain. You may also be at a risk of suffering cancer if you have prolonged or
persistent deficiency of vitamin D. Children with deficiency of vitamin D risk
suffering from severe asthma. People tend to deprive the body of natural
sunlight because they fear the damage it could cause to the skin. They turn to
using tanning beds to supplement vitamin D needs not knowing the risk they are
exposing themselves to. Although there are safe tanning beds, if you happen to
get treatment of vitamin D deficiency with unsafe tanning beds, the
repercussions may not be impressive.
How tanning beds help in synthesis of vitamin D
Indoor tanning with use of tanning beds can help correct the insufficiency of
vitamin D in body. For the skin to synthesize this vitamin, it requires the B
band or spectrum of ultraviolet rays. Sunlight releases both A and B bands of
ultraviolet rays. The damaging part of sunlight is the ultraviolet-A band. If a
tanning bed releases both ultraviolet-A and B bands, then it means that it may
cause damages to the skin.
Tanning beds have been associated with increased cancer growth. When exposed
to ultraviolet-B band or UVB light, the dermis of skin is able to produce
vitamin D3-sulfate. One good thing with vitamin D3-sulfate is that it is water
soluble and easily dispersed in body fluids for fast absorption. The sulfated
vitamin D derived from safe tanning beds can move freely and fast in blood
stream unlike the unsulfated vitamin D that is obtained from diet supplements.
Unsulfated vitamin D also requires bad cholesterol to aid in its transportation
to different parts of the body.
The risks of using tanning beds to treat vitamin D deficiency
To clearly understand how tanning beds can be a health hazard to users, it is
important to know how these beds are designed to function. Tanning beds are
designed to produce artificial sunlight. The natural sunlight contains both
ultraviolet-A and ultraviolet-B spectrums of rays. Ultraviolet-A rays do not
help in the synthesis of vitamin D and they are the damaging spectrum of the
Full Color Spectrum of Natural Sunlight Peering Into the
On the other hand, ultraviolet-B rays are the radiations, which are able to
stimulate the synthesis of vitamin D. The ultraviolet-A rays have a longer
wavelength and they can penetrate materials like glass, and in the body they are
said to cause complications like melanoma skin cancer. These UVA rays not only
cause skin tanning but also damage the already synthesized vitamin D, something
that leads to accelerated aging of the skin.
The cosmetic tanning beds found in the market are specially designed to emit
more of ultraviolet-A, which causes skin tanning and these may not be the right
machines for treating vitamin D deficiency. Therefore, in order to ensure that
you do not suffer from the dangerous ultraviolet-A rays, you need to use a
tanning bed that emits UVB rays.
It is imperative to ask the operator of a tanning bed to tell you the types
of rays emitted by the machine before using it. Apparently, some of the
cosmetologists who use these beds to tan the body skin do not actually know the
types and intensity of ultraviolet rays that are released by the machines. It is
this lack of knowledge which leads to problems on users who use the tanning beds
to treat vitamin D deficiency.
Some tanning beds especially the older ones are designed of electromagnetic
field and EMF exposure from these beds can contribute to development of cancer.
Usually, the tanning beds designed of magnetic ballasts produce a buzzing noise
when you are inside and this is one way you may detect that the tanning bed is
made of dangerous magnetic blasts. Moreover, when using the tanning beds, you
should not overexpose yourself to the ultraviolet rays.
Like in natural sunlight, the rate at which the skin utilizes ultraviolet
rays released by tanning beds to synthesize vitamin D takes place very fast.
However, because the tanning beds are designed with great comfort, users tend to
extend the time they get exposed to the ultraviolet rays. The more time you
spend on those beds, the more you are damaging your skin. You may not know
immediately that you have burned your skin until after a day or two. It only
requires a few minutes inside the tanning bed for the body to utilize the UVB
rays and manufacturer sufficient vitamin D for the whole day. Therefore, you do
not have to tan your skin or overexpose it to the rays to get the required
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