Keep up your vitamin D levels during darker months.
Vitamin D is a group of vitamins necessary to absorb calcium and build strong bones. It is no secret that a daily amount of Vitamin D is necessary to stay healthy. On the other hand, Vitamin D deficiency is associated with bone disorders such as Rickets and Osteomalacia. Roughly around 90% of Vitamin D is formed through sunlight by UVB rays in particular. Yes, you can still get a small percentage of Vitamin D via food and supplements. However, UVB rays are your main source of Vitamin D.
Vitamin D can provide several health benefits such as:
- Stronger bones
- A healthier immune system
- Improved cardiovascular function
- Treatment of skin disorders
- Anticarcinogenic effects
Sunbeds and Vitamin D
Recent studies have concluded that UV exposure from an artificial source (e.g. sunbeds) can even be more efficient in delivering Vitamin D than normal sunlight.
Sunbeds replicate the sun and emit a controlled dose of UVA which is responsible for skin pigmentation. We also have UVB which is the cause of Vitamin D production. Sensible and moderated use of sunbeds can be very effective at increasing your Vitamin D levels. When people are using a sunbed they must follow the recommended exposure times based on their skin type to avoid overexposure.
Using sunbeds during dark, winter months
Vitamin D deficiency is often reported during winter months, notably countries in central and northern Europe. This is due to limited sunlight, meaning people aren’t getting the Vitamin D they need. This period is usually between October and March. During this time, sunbeds could be an alternative option.
UVB and UVA
Research has shown that exposure to ultraviolet rays makes people feel better. This is because UV radiation (UVA in particular) triggers endorphin production which lowers blood pressure, increases relaxation and therefore has a great impact on a person’s well-being.
The use of sunbeds and other tanning equipment during the winter months has been linked with reduced SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) incidents. This is a depressive illness caused by the lack of sunlight and seasonal weather changes.
During this time of year when people are less frequently exposed to sunlight, the use of sunbeds can have a positive effect on a person’s mental health.
UVB is our main source of Vitamin D, which benefits our health. During dark winter months when exposure to sunlight is less likely, the use of sunbeds can be a good alternative to maintain your Vitamin D levels.
As with everything else in life, remember that moderation is essential. Misuse of sunbeds, resulting in overexposure of UV can have harmful effects on our skin, so people must always ensure they are following the recommended exposure times suited to their bodies.