Can You Get Vitamin D From A Tanning Bed? Learn In Details

Vitamin D is a very important element for a healthy body which comes through the UV ray emitted by the sunlight.

Now that you know that tanning beds work with UV rays, you might think can you get vitamin d from a tanning bed?

While there are a lot of debates on the fact that if tanning beds are totally safe for our bodies, getting vitamin d seems like a much more controversial topic.

Though some studies show that tanning beds do produce vitamin d in our bodies, others point out the health hazards tanning beds might cause.

So, I have decided to share my research and thoughts on the topic. I would suggest you read the whole article to get a clear idea of the relation between tanning beds and vitamin d.

What Is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin for our body that keeps our bones strong and helps in maintaining blood levels.

It also helps to prevent serious diseases like rickets and osteomalacia. The main source of our getting vitamin d is the UV ray of the sunlight. Vitamin d is produced in our body when the sunlight reacts with our skin.

However, vitamin d production decreases as we age. So, doctors recommend taking pills for sufficient vitamin d after the age of 50.

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How tanning beds actually work:

Tanning beds include fluorescent bulbs that release UVA and UVB rays in order to tan our skin. The UVA light excites the melanin production in our body which is responsible for our skin darkening.

On the other hand, UVB light is responsible for stimulating cells in the melanocytes that also helps in the production of melanin.

You will need several tanning bed sessions to get the perfect dark tanning. While there are a lot of debates on the topic of tanning beds and vitamin d absorption, we are not yet 100% sure about the answer.

Tanning beds and vitamin D: discover the truth

The good news is some scientists believe that tanning beds can produce the necessary vitamin d for us!

Since tanning beds work with UV light mimicking the natural sunlight, it can help to produce vitamin d in our skin. Basically, the UVB ray emitted by the tanning beds is responsible for this.

When the UVB ray gets in direct contact with our skin, vitamin d or cholecalciferol is created and transported directly to our liver. However, the amount of vitamin d production depends highly on the tanning bed pressure.

Since you need the UVB light to get vitamin d, “low pressure” tanning beds will be your best option which we may also refer to as “vitamin d tanning bed”.

Low-pressure tanning beds emit more of the UVB lights whereas “high pressure” tanning beds release more of the UVA light.

High-pressure tanning beds are highly discouraged because the UVA light is strongly responsible for wrinkling, cancer, and photoaging.

Also, you have to make sure that you get the electronic ballast tanning bed rather than magnetic ballasts. So, in conclusion, low pressure but electronic ballast tanning beds are what you need for vitamin d production in your body.

Now if you want some stats on the topic, researchers suggest that exposure to UVB rays from the tanning beds can produce 10,000 to 50,000 IUs of vitamin d. Sounds great, right?

Amount of UVB Exposure you need

“Excess of anything is bad for health” – This proverb is true for everything including the amount of UVB from the tanning beds. Your body will start creating vitamin D within minutes after UVB tanning exposure.

Getting too much of that might cause serious health risks. SO, experts suggest taking half of the UVB tanning bed contact that would burn your skin.

However, there are still debates on how much tanning is necessary to process vitamin d in our skin.

Health risks of tanning beds

The way tanning beds provide you with vitamin d is really awesome. But you can’t ignore the fact that tanning beds are quite threatening for our skin.

Most of the tanning beds emit more UVA rays than UVB rays which are the main reason for skin cancers. Studies show that the first use of a tanning bed before you turn 35 increases the risk of melanoma by 75% which is the most life-taking form of cancer.

Not to mention the wrinkles, sunburn, freckles, premature ageing, and other skin damages. Also, your eyes are not totally safe with tanning beds.

So, there is still a lot of research and discussion left on the topic if tanning beds are really dangerous or not.

Tanning beds as a Vitamin D source

Now that you know that tanning beds can produce vitamin D for you that doesn’t mean that you can get into the tanning beds for your daily vitamin dosage.

You might get sufficient vitamin D from that but you will end up getting serious skin diseases like cancer. No source is better for getting vitamins than food.

If you think you need more vitamin d and your bones are disturbing, you should most probably ask your doctor for pills and dosage but stay away from too much tanning!

Final Thoughts

I tried to share everything related to this topic and hope that you now know the answer to the question: can you get vitamin d from a tanning bed?

Though still debatable, most research suggests that tanning beds do produce vitamin D for you. However, you shouldn’t think of it as the only way of getting sufficient vitamins for your body.

While we got one positive side of the tanning beds, they still threat great health risks.

So, whatever you do, be sure to keep your health in mind first.


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