Nutrition and Healing
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  • Lightbulb moment

    New study offers scientific proof about tanning beds’ ability to boost vitamin D levels

    How does it feel to be one step ahead of the leading expert on vitamin D?

    Dr. Wright has referred to Michael Holick several times in Nutrition & Healing for his groundbreaking research on this essential nutrient. But it turns out that his most recent study investigated the answer to a question many of you asked Dr. Wright, Can tanning beds help increase levels of vitamin D in the body?

    And Holick’s study proved that Dr. Wright’s long-standing answer is indeed correct. Tanning beds can help boost vitamin D levels — if their bulbs emit the right type of UV light.

    In his study, Holick found that “Exposure to lamps that emit UVB radiation is an excellent source for producing vitamin D3 in the skin.”

    But as Dr. Wright has explained before, the sun and tanning beds have two types of radiation — UVA and UVB. Most salons use tanning beds that have 95 percent UVA radiation because it penetrates deeper into your skin and gives you a longer-lasting, golden brown tan. The salons shy away from the UVB radiation because it only affects the outer layer of your skin, causing you to burn more easily and the tan to fade more quickly. But all of the vitamin D benefits come from the UVB rays — not from the UVA rays typically used in tanning beds.

    So the short answer to the tanning bed question is that you can get vitamin D from them. It just may take a little legwork on your part to find a salon that uses UVB-emitting beds.

    “Tanning beds can reverse vitamin D deficiency with UV light, reveals Michael Holick’s pioneering research,” Natural News (, 11/3/08

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