Vitamin D, aka the sunshine vitamin, is a fat-soluble vitamin that is vital for regulating calcium, magnesium and phosphorus absorption in our bodies. It is a vitamin with an important role in human health that has been associated in some studies with a reduced risk of conditions such as breast, prostate and ovarian cancers, multiple sclerosis and diabetes.
According to Health Canada, sunlight is the principal source of vitamin D for humans worldwide. Its production is stimulated in the body when skin is exposed to UVB radiation, regardless of the source. Over the course of millions of years, exposure to UVB radiation has been an effective and practical vitamin D fortification strategy. Health Canada also confirms that tanning beds that emit UVB produce vitamin D.
In fact, Dr. Michael Holick of Boston University has shown that vitamin D produced by UVB radiation from a tanning bed maintains longer lasting and more consistent levels of vitamin D than taking vitamin D supplements.
Fabutan has a dose of vitamin D that is easy to swallow
You could eat just under 38 tsp of fortified margarine or drink a 100 glasses of milk to get the Canadian Cancer Society's daily recommended dose of 1,000 IUs of vitamin D, or you could come to Fabutan to relax, get a healthy glow and stimulate vitamin D production the way nature intended.
Although you don’t actually have to tan your skin, tanning at Fabutan helps your body produce vitamin D because our beds use low-pressure lamps to simulate the amount of UVA and UVB rays present in natural sunlight. If a tanning bed emits only UVA it will not provide the benefits of vitamin D production.
Click here to learn more about Fabutan's tanning equipment.
Canadians and Vitamin D
According to Dr. Reinhold Vieth of Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital, “Canadians do not receive adequate exposure to sunshine year round to maintain healthy levels of vitamin D.” To further this fact, Health Canada has stated that at 52 N in Edmonton, no synthesis of vitamin D occurs in the skin between October and March.
Even during the summer months when the sun is shining, vitamin D can be hard to come by for Canadians due to their frequent use of sunscreen. Sunscreen's ability to protect us from harmful wavelengths of UV light also stops UVB rays from penetrating our skin – meaning the body is not stimulated enough to create vitamin D.
In addition to increased use of sunscreen, Health Canada has cited that latitude, time of day, season, amount of skin exposed, pigmentation of the skin and air pollution also have a dramatic effect on the quality of vitamin D produced in the skin.
While there is not a whole lot we can do about out geographic latitude, we can take care of ourselves by getting a healthy balance of vitamin D from controlled exposure to small amounts of UVB rays at Fabutan, as well as supplementing our diets.
Vitamin D Disclaimer
The Commissioner of Competition has asked that any messages to the public concerning any relationship between exposure to UVB and possible health benefits associated with vitamin D are framed within the following context:
Tanning, whether by sunlight or sunbed, may cause premature aging of the skin and skin cancer. Exposure to UVB, whether by sunlight or sunbed, produces Vitamin D in the body. However, mild exposure to UVB is sufficient. Tanning is not required to generate Vitamin D. Vitamin D levels in the body may be increased by oral supplements without tanning. Increased Vitamin D levels have been associated in some studies with a reduced risk of conditions such as breast, prostate and ovarian cancers, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes. These associations have not been proven conclusively. Further information on vitamin D and human health is available at Pubmed.com, the site of the United States National Institutes of Health.
Additionally, Fabutan acknowledges that UVB exposure does not stimulate the thyroid.