Darque Tan Prevents You From Dying Of Vitamin-D Deficiency

According to an article in The Daily Texan, law student Emily Prewett, has filed a complaint with the Texas Attorney General against the company Darque Tan because of their misleading and irresponsible ads. One of their television commercial begins with a man in white lab coat saying, “Science has discovered that UVB from tanning converts cholesterol into Vitamin D.” Then the narrator says, “Mmm yeah. Vitamin D-licious. Come get yours with a free week of level 1 tanning.” The TV ad and more details, inside…

In another advertisement a man in a lab coat says, “Getting the Vitamin D you need has never been easier. To get you 4000 IU, it takes 20 cans of sardines – Mmm good – or 40 glasses of milk, if you tolerate lactose. Better yet, get a full 4000 IU of Vitamin D in just five minutes in a tanning bed at Darque Tan.” Darque Tan seems to want us to believe we would drop dead from a Vitamin D deficiency unless we nourish our bodies with their life giving tanning beds.

Prewett is concerned because the ads portray tanning as a health benefit with no risks. “I don’t have an issue with the company, I just have in issue with that particular advertising campaign,” said Prewett. “I think that’s the wrong message to be sending potential customers. And it’s prohibited for a reason, and it’s because there are so many health studies that link cancer and other risks to UV exposure.”

Prewett’s is not the first complaint lodged against Darque Tan’s advertising campaign. In fact, Darque Tan’s health claims are in clear violation of Texas’ health and safety code which states, “A tanning facility operator may not claim or distribute promotional materials that claim using a tanning device is safe or free from risk or that using a tanning device will result in medical or health benefits.” Doug McBride of Texas Department of State Health Services said, “They cannot make that claim legally. They cannot make any health claim.”

There is little doubt that prolonged UV exposure carries significant risks whether it be from the sun or tanning beds. We agree with Emily that these advertisements are composed of 1 part fact per one hundred parts fiction. With tanning or any product it is irresponsible and dangerous to circulate advertisements that exaggerate or invent health benefits and ignore all of the health risks. Obviously advertisements are going to be biased but there has to be a line that should not be crossed to help up us stay safe. We tip our sun visors to you, Emily.

Darque Tan ads elicit complaint from law student [The Daily Texan] (Thanks to Brad for sending this in!)

Comments

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  1. rmz says:

    Also doesn’t change the fact that tanning beds make you look like an orange martian. No thanks.

  2. AnderBobo says:

    Hmm… the Hollywood Tans I used to go to had this huge sign out front espousing the benefits of tanning, including the Vitamind D properties (others were clearer skin and faster metabolism). So I guess they are in violation to, but considering their refund policy I doubt they care if they are in align with any sort of statute regarding consumer rights.

  3. lesspopmorefizz says:

    @rmz: for sure. then, when you get older, you’re not only orange, you’re orange and leathery. and will have chunks missing from your flesh where they took out the cancerous parts. noooo thank you.

  4. friendlynerd says:

    The first (and only) time I went tanning, the front counter was staffed by a lady in her 40s (I think) that looked like a wrinkled leather handbag.

    Didn’t do much for my feelings about tanning.

  5. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    @rmz: In excess, sure. But someone like me who is stuck in a cube from sun-up to sun-down, sometimes getting some artificial sun is nice.

  6. strixus says:

    Its times like these I’m glad I’m a soulless ginger who can’t tan no matter what. Stick me in one of those beds, and I’d come out with second degree burns.

  7. Hellblazer says:

    That’s what the weekends are for, baby. Go outside and stay outside. Nature doesn’t bite… well, it does, but you get my point.

  8. Lambasted says:

    When I look at all the people laying out frying their skin in the hot sun all I think about is 10 years from now their skin is going to be rough and tough enough to scour pots. RAWHIDE!!

    It is beyond me why anyone would purposely prematurely age themselves. Yes, there are some pasty looking people out there and tanning can add a little life to a pale ghost-like face. But learn that makeup is your best friend not Crisco grease tanning oil.

  9. Baukie says:

    The orange color people get is from the lotions they use that contains bronzers (almost a brown skin dye)

    When people dont have a good base tan and use a heavy bronzer, red skin plus brown lotion usually equals the oompa loompa orange color.

    Just like tanning outside, keeping the skin hydrated and safe from over exposure is key.

  10. chiieddy says:

    There was an article in the Boston Globe yesterday about how Kelly Pedroia (Red Sox’s Dustin Pedroia’s wife) had skin melanoma at age 19 thanks to tanning beds.

    They just opened one of these idiot-joints near my house. I rather be pasty white, thanks.

  11. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    @chiieddy: Did the article make any mention of how often she tanned?

  12. chrisdag says:

    @chiieddy: The article link is here: [www.boston.com]

    … interesting read. She kept tanning even after having cancerous melanoma’s removed. The article talks a lot about how she “finally gets it” and is now working to keep youngsters out of the tanning booths.

  13. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    @chrisdag: Yeah…

    “She was 14 when she started”

    “My mother and I would just fry ourselves with tanning oil and no sunscreen”

    “But just days after her surgery, she was back in the sun.”

  14. ChuckECheese says:

    @Baukie: I believe that shade is called Spanish Pumpernickel.

  15. ElizabethD says:

    Tanning (outdoors, moderately and slowly over the summer with a low-SPF sunblock) is my last remaining vice. My doc and I check my moles etc. annually.

    Is there a qualitative difference between a tanning-bed tan and the kind I get from sunshine?

  16. TheBigLewinski says:

    After looking at the picture it reminds me that I like DOUBLE D’lecious

  17. lpranal says:

    the only “good” thing about the ad is they didn’t mention the oh-so-ubiquitous “Powerful antioxidants!” That has got to be the biggest “healthy ingredient” scam since Coke was actually made with cocaine.

  18. mgy says:

    @lpranal: Yeah, but you have toxins in your feet that need to be flushed out of your system organically. Toxins, toxins, toxins.

  19. johnva says:

    I can’t believe that tanning salons are even legal and have not been sued out of existence, given their proven link to cancer. That they are now trying to promote themselves as “healthy” is outrageous, and I hope they get the smackdown from the government. It’s about time that we bring in some more science-based regulation and start cracking down on these charlatans and other snake-oil salesmen (like most of the “alternative health” industry).

  20. moore850 says:

    Tanning beds… vitamin D… yeah, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work that way. That’s like saying that to get more calcium, you should swim into shark-infested waters and eat the calcium-rich coral reefs. The one thing is beneficial, but its consequence is likely deadly in the immediate future.

  21. crackers says:

    @Diet-Orange-Soda:

    According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, women who visited tanning parlors 10 times or more a year had SEVEN TIMES greater incidence of melanoma than women who did not use tanning salons.

  22. Wow, I feel so validated in my pastiness. I’m a pale, non-tanning red-head, and I wear sunblock on my face 365 days a year, and lots of linen and denim long-sleeve workshirts in the garden in the summer, and big floppy hats. And, of course, the SPF infinity!

    I’m glad I got me a husband who finds tanning creepy and likes the pale. :D Also, I’m such a convenient nightlight, glowing in the dark like I do.

  23. crackers says:

    @Eyebrows McGee:
    I’m pale, too, and I’m happy to notice more and more pale folks around…even some celebrities. I would love for people to get rid of the misconception that being tan=”looking healthy.”

  24. @Eyebrows McGee: (I mean I feel validated by all the other proudly-pasty people here.)

  25. johnva says:

    @CCS: and, according to a study they link to on their website, people who had ever used one had 15% higher incidence of melanoma. (Of course, I’m sure part of the explanation for that is that a large part of people who have ever used one used them fairly frequently).

  26. @CCS: I remember near the end of high school or beginning of college reading an article in a fashion magazine about Nicole Kidman and how to preserve her complexion she wears giant floppy hats even to cross the street, and I was like, “That’s it, I don’t care if people mock my hats, if Nicole Kidman can do it, I can do it too.”

    I’m always pleased when I see her in a fashion magazine, especially when they mention the great lengths Australia’s gone to to reduce skin cancer and emphasize pale-as-beautiful; Kidman herself frequently emphasizes the importance of avoiding excess sun exposure.

    Not the biggest fan of her as an actress (and she looks a little botoxy these days), but I’ll always like her because she was the first media-approved-as-beautiful pale person I remember seeing. :)

  27. crackers says:

    @johnva: Yikes! I also found it alarming that when investigated, lots of tanning salons were exceeding the FDA’s “safe” UV levels. Good thing I’m quite happy to be pale, pale, pale.

  28. crackers says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: Yes, Nicole is a great example of beauty transcending the social norm. Most recently, I was impressed by actress Michelle Trachtenberg; she’s a young, “hot” starlet that’s not afraid to be very pale. I think that shows a lot of gumption at her age, in her profession. Hopefully more people will follow suit!

  29. Drowner says:

    I realized I’m preaching to the (pale and lovely) choir but I’ve been befuddled by tanning for a while. Tanning has to be the strangest, most foreign thing white people do. EVER. Why? Why do this? Why have you made an industry out of getting cancer? Why do you spend hundreds of dollars to fool other people into thinking you spent that money on a cruise or a pair of running shoes and an IPod? Why why why?

    There’s a darque tan on the B-Line in boston. I keep meaning to go in there just to see if they’d sell me a tan. Would they really, without question, let a black person tan? I should probably ask them the benefit of tanning…

  30. johnva says:

    @CCS: Further scary stats: people who first used tanning beds prior to age 35 had 75% greater incidence of melanoma. So the evidence is pretty clear that no one should ever use UV tanning beds. Now we need to tear down the lingering idea that pale = unhealthy and that tanned = healthy. Government absolutely should not tolerate advertising of this type from the tanning industry, and probably should just shut them down entirely.

  31. bohemian says:

    You only need 10 minutes out in the sun without sunblock on to get enough sun to produce needed vitamin D.

    IIRC tanning beds produce a different group of UV rays compared to the actual sun. As in all the bad and none of the good.

    If you need more D. Go out in the sun for a bit or take Vit D and calcium together.

  32. crackers says:

    @johnva:

    Yes! I HATE it when I inadvertently get a little sun on my face and people say, “Oh, you look so healthy!” Um, actually I just did some permanent damage to my skin cells, thanks. That’s why I’m not a fan of sunless tanning either…it just helps perpetuate that stereotype.

  33. EyeHeartPie says:

    This is why I am happy that I am a healthy natural brown. Natural sunscreen :)

    And no need to worry about whether I look healthy (read: burnt) or unhealthy (read: unburnt and natural-looking).

    I approve of all the pasty and proud of it crowd on this thread. Three thumbs up!!

  34. ludwigk says:

    @bohemian: I’ve researched and found very different figures. For instance, the amount of time varies by a factor of up to 5x depending on how dark your skin is, and by a similar factor depending on how much skin you have exposed. If you’re wearing slacks and a long-sleeve shirt, it makes sense that 10 minutes won’t cut it.

    Plus, in certain regions and during certain times of the year, the particular UV spectrum is blocked by atmosphere throughout portions of the day, making the midmorning-midday slice the only time that these figures hold.

  35. TPS Reporter says:

    I used to not worry about being out in the sun (Phoenix) until my Mom got skin cancer on her face. She had to have the doctor use liquid nitrogen on them to burn them off her face. After the numbing wore off she said it felt like a lit cigarette was being held to the 4 or 5 spots on her face. After that, if you want to call me pasty, have at it. No thanks to tanning.

  36. johnva says:

    @ludwigk: Regardless, no matter what, it doesn’t make damaging your skin through indoor tanning healthy. Any benefit from vitamin D is outweighed by the risk of skin cancer. There are far safer ways to get vitamin D if you really think you need more of it.

  37. valthun says:

    Pale is beautiful there are no two ways about it. I am glad my girl doesn’t obsess over the sun. My step mom does and she had her first face lift at like 40. She does the Arizona sun though, no a booth. Booths freak me out especially how many of them are in California. It seems that some people think that they are healthier, or they go in the winter so they don’t freeze out in the sun.

  38. snoop-blog says:

    Funny timing. I just went tanning for the first time in about a year. Every year I go to Florida, and the first time I went, I got sooooo burnt, it ruined 4 days of my vacation. From that point on, I decided to start tanning (in a bed) like 2 weeks before my trip.

  39. johnva says:

    @snoop-blog: A much better idea would be to just wear sunscreen properly. (That means reapplying it regularly, etc).

  40. thwarted says:

    Blah. My mother has skin cancer, and she STILL thinks tanning is healthy because of “research” like that. “You know, kids these days are getting sick because they’re not getting enough sun!”

    If I had a dime for every time she told me to go outside and “get some color” while I was growing up, I’d be a rich, rich girl.

    Blah. Blah, I say.

  41. snoop-blog says:

    Also, personally I think a natural tan is sexy. I’m not talking about overly tan here, or the color you get from a bed. Pale is not pretty. Sorry. Fair skin is one thing, but my definition of pale is being able to see your veins through your skin. no thanks. my fiance has fair skin, and it’s pretty much impossible for her to tan, but she gets enough of one to have a little pigment to her skin. Now that’s just my opinion. I’m sure plenty of people dig the pale goth look, but not me.

  42. Serpephone says:

    I used to tan when I was in high school and college. It made me feel good about myself. I personally do not like being pale but I don’t tan anymore due to health and cancer concerns. I tried the lotions but I always look too orange and my hands are NEVER the correct color!

    So here I sit, pale as a plain white piece of copy paper…

  43. johnva says:

    @snoop-blog: It’s not being “pale” that is healthy so much as it’s being your natural skin color. A tan is your body’s response to skin damage. If your skin is naturally pale, then that’s healthiest for you. But it’s not healthy or smart to damage your skin in order to get a certain skin tone look. I would never want someone I cared about “get some sun” and risk their health for a reason as shallow as skin color.

    Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t safe ways to darken your skin (though I understand they’re not perfect).

  44. joellevand says:

    For all the people who tan because it makes them feel good…

    …you’re addicted to the endorphins released by UV exposure, dears. For the same feeling, you can take up running or just go out and fall head-smashingly in love. Both will give you the same high, sans-cancer.

  45. MrEvil says:

    Seriously, a tan looks good now, but in 20 years your smooth tan skin looks like my shoes. If you’re of the Caucasian persuasion your skin is supposed to be pasty white, though not pasty grey like a corpse. When I see a tan, I don’t see healthy, I see walking melanoma.

    @joellevand: Wouldn’t running or strenuous exercise do the same thing as well? I’ve heard of runner’s high and I feel the same euphoria after going for a jog.

  46. @Drowner: Yes. I had a hall-mate in college who was black, very dark-complected (like, say, Alek Wek), and used to go tanning. She did indeed get darker, though it doesn’t exactly register as “tan” unless you’re used to seeing her “not-tan.”

    (I actually thought it made her color flatter; she had these lovely sort-of rich nutty-brown “highlights” to her skin when she was “not-tan.” When she tanned, she became much more monochromatic, sort-of like when a caucasian who’s naturally peaches-and-cream tans into a single tone. But then I know people put on a lot of makeup to have dead-even skin tone, so maybe that was on purpose.)

    I don’t really know WHY she did it except that she liked being warm and liked the sun and never lived south of Indianapolis. :)

  47. crazydavythe1st says:

    Only thing I think about when seeing a tanning bed is this D-list horror movie I saw where the pretty blonde girl says “I wanna tan!”, does the gratitutious d-list horror film nudity, gets into the tanning bed and mysteriously can’t escape from the bed which is frying her alive.

  48. snoop-blog says:

    what doesn’t give you cancer nowadays?

  49. snoop-blog says:

    @johnva: dude your going to one day need to realize not everybody wants to live to be 200. if people want to tan, who cares? i would agree the advertising for this particular company is bad and misleading, but when i’m 50 or even 40, i’m not going to be “so shallow” to give a crap what i look like, (weather my skin is leathery or not). the funny thing about cancer is, there not really sure what causes it, they just know what “increases” your risks. some doctors even believe it’s genetics that play a part. i’ve known people who smoked their whole life and died of natural causes (never got cancer or emphyzema), then there are those who never smoked once in their whole life but got lung cancer. sure i’m partially disgusted by those who are already grossly tan but continue to keep going (reminds me of the anorexic girls that think they are fat when they only weigh 80lbs, but stupid is as stupid does.

  50. Robbie-S says:

    To: Texas Department of Health

    Dear Mr. McBride,

    My company, Darque Tan, has recently been drawn into the spotlight due to a complaint from a UT law student regarding the legality of our advertising.

    In an article in the Daily Texan, Darque Tan was accused of violating Texas Health and Safety Code § 145.007.

    The journalist wrote: “In response to Prewett’s support of the health code, Segler wrote, “If you were a lawyer living in the North in the 1850s, would you have returned runaway slaves to their Southern ‘owners’ in compliance with the Fugitive Slave Act?” He also asked Prewett if she would have supported genocide in Nazi Germany, or the modern-day “beheading of apostates and the stoning of women for adultery.””

    My comments were taken completely out of context, from a private email with a law student, regarding the morality of blindly following laws regardless of their content. My concern here is that the implication that somehow I am acting in defiance of the code as some form of civil disobedience. I can assure you this is not the case. I respect the Statute and have always operated within its requirements.

    Our commercials clearly state that tanning produces vitamin D. Somehow this is being confused as making a health claim. This is not a health claim!

    The fact that tanning produces vitamin D is simply a statement of a consequence of the tanning process. Our commercials do not state whether producing vitamin D is healthy or not.

    I believe this is analogous to me stating that tanning produces darker skin. Is darker skin healthy? That’s for each individual to decide, just as is whether or not vitamin D is beneficial.

    I am been very careful to not violate the Texas Statute. I am not looking for a fight. As a precedent for our actions, I would ask that you take a look at the decision Canada Health made in regards to this issue (see attachment). In the Fabutan case, settled late 2006, it was determined that tanning salons could state that tanning beds produce vitamin D, but salons could not advertise any benefit to vitamin D. I have simply followed this lead.

    If our advertising crosses some line, I would welcome the opportunity to correct this. I am happy to assist in any way I can to resolve this issue.

    Best Regards,
    Robbie Segler

  51. PetrinaCougar says:

    Comment on Darque Tan Prevents You From Dying Of Vitamin-D Deficiency You body does need vitamin D. You create vitamin D in sunlight,
    ordinarily. Except we are told relentlessly that the sun is bad.
    People make LOTS of money by perpetuating this fear.

    Sun, in moderation, is good for you. It’s OK to not be covered from
    head to foot. It’s OK to spend time in the sun in moderation.

    Further, it’s OK to tan and what’s more, tanning beds produce the same
    ultraviolet rays that produce vitamin D in humans.

    Yep, radiation is known to cause cancer. The rub? Lots of vitamin D in
    your system helps you survive cancer.

    If the tanning salon is legally in the wrong by making health claims,
    that’s one thing. But legally wrong and actually wrong is another.

    Vitamin D is a very necessary nutrient, and the closer to a pole you
    live, the more likely you are to be deficient. The US RDA is not
    enough. A few glasses of milk is not enough.

    Please read the research.

  52. Maurs says:

    Um, beyond the cancer-causing issue of tanning beds, according to a letter response by John H. White in the March 2008 issue of Scientific American, tanning lamps usually produce more UVA, and not enough UVB, which is the type of UV radiation that actually stimulates vitamin D production. Just take a multivitamin, people.

  53. Robbie-S says:

    Wrong Maurs!

    Tanning lamps today are made to virtually mirror the same UVA/UVB mix as outdoors. The main difference between outdoors and indoors is not the rays, but the controlled predictable environment offered by professional tanning salons.

    Regarding your comments on melanoma, the facts are that 18 of the 22 studies ever conducted on indoor tanning and melanoma show NO CONNECTION AT ALL, including the largest and most recent study. In some studies frequent tanners had a lower risk as compared to non-tanners. (Garland Naval Study)

    In a 1997 International Journal of Cancer paper, J. Elwood cited that regular exposure to sunlight decreased the risk of melanoma by 14% and in 2005, Dr. M. Berwick in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute stated that melanoma patients who had a history of sunlight exposure had increased survival rates.

    The connection between tanning beds and melanoma has been thoroughly disproved and refuted.

    Real risk factors for melanoma are diets low in anti-oxidants, increasing the risk of melanoma by 50%, alcohol consumption increases the risk 65%, and smoking increases the risk 85%.

    If you are really concerned about cancer, let’s put skin cancer properly in context.

    There are approximately 1,000 skin cancer deaths that occur each year. This is a preventable and easily treated cancer that kills less than 1/10th of 1% of the people who get it. These non-melanoma carcinomas come largely from over exposure to UV light, which is why tanning salons preach moderate controlled exposure.

    Melanoma is far more dangerous, claiming 30,000 deaths a year, but as I demonstrated earlier, the link between this and UV exposure is not straight forward and the link between melanoma and indoor tanning is non-existent.

    The 1,000 skin cancer deaths that occur each year pale in comparison to the nearly 2,000 internal cancer deaths that occur each day!

    The most egregious consequence of this situation is the silent epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency in this country, directly resulting from the stay-out-of-the-sun message.

    Unbeknownst to the public, more than 50% of white people and 90% of black people suffer from this deficiency in this country, placing them in higher risk categories for diseases far worse and far more prevalent than skin cancer!

    Breast cancer mortality alone could be halved in this country if people were encouraged to seek optimal Vitamin D blood levels. This is true for a whole host of other cancers, autoimmune diseases and heart disease.

    The death toll from Vitamin D deficiencies due to inadequate exposure to sunlight was examined in a 2004 paper “UV Radiation, Vitamin D and Human Health” by Drs. Grant, Holick and Garland and was estimated to be between 50,000 – 63,000 persons annually with an economic burden between $40 – $56 billion. That means that 63,000 deaths can be prevented every year!

    This is a real number and one that I put squarely on the shoulders of those who spread the sun-scare hype. Unwittingly they, like you, are filling the coffers of the sunscreen industry (who really fund this message) but the unfortunate fall-out is the real human lives and unnecessary sickness that result from the “stay out of the sun” message.

  54. firefoxx66 says:

    Vitamin D deficiency, eh? Sounds really dangerous. I guess we all need to get our asses out there in the tanning booths!

    Wait a second – let me go check my fridge. Oh look – one serving of milk or vitamin D enriched orange juice has 25% of my daily Vit D value. That plus the fact that I do get some sun exposure during the day, and I think I’m golden – no tanning salon needed.

    Sunlight causes your DNA to mutate. EVERY TIME you expose your skin to sunlight, your DNA is going to freak out – form dimers, etc, etc. Trust me on that, I’m a biologist. Luckily our bodies can repair themselves, and we have a lot of ‘junk’ DNA that won’t be harmed even if the next round of transcription/translation is messed up by the dimer. The chances of you getting a dimer that’s not correctly repaired and is in such a location that it leads to cancer is overall quite slim. HOWEVER it’s like Russian roulette. Every second more you spend out in the sun, you’re pulling that trigger one more time. More time = more trigger pulls = more chance you’re going to find that bullet!

    Have fun with that.

  55. Robbie-S says:

    Trust you… because you’re a biologist?

    Perhaps you should have paid more attention in class when they were discussing why we evolved as the hairless ape, and why skin types got lighter the further they migrated toward the poles.

    It amazes me how we survived all this time if we were damaged EVERY TIME we stepped out in the sun.

    Here’s a geeat article from Monica Reinagel, “the nutritionista” who puts this issue properly in context…

    May 01, 2008

    Vitamin D: Now I’m a believer

    To me, the most compelling reason why vitamin D is really in a category of its own, and why most people need far more vitamin D than they can ever get through their diet, is this: Our bodies were not designed to meet our vitamin D requirements through dietary sources–we evolved to produce vitamin D in our skin, when the sun hits it.

    That’s why people who originally lived further from the equator have lighter skin–it allows more UV rays to penetrate, which compensates for the weaker rays at those latitudes. The traditional diet of the northern and southern latitudes is also more likely to include oily fish, the richest dietary source of vitamin D.

    But now, most of us spend most the daylight hours indoors. Any skin that is showing is slathered in sunscreen to prevent skin cancer and wrinkles. We don’t eat much cod liver. We get most of our vitamin D from fortified dairy products and vitamin supplements, but it’s not nearly enough to meet our requirements.

    Holick claims that the majority of Americans are chronically and dramatically D-deficient. Among those at particular risk are those with dark-skin, the elderly, the obese (because vitamin D tends to become trapped in fat cells) and anyone living about the 35th parallel (which runs through Arizona and Georgia). That is the latitude above which it is impossible to manufacture vitamin D in the winter months, even (as Holick to colorfully pointed out) you were to stand on the roof stark naked from noon to 3pm every day.

    So what?

    Every cell in the body has a receptor for vitamin D. Low blood levels of vitamin D are strongly linked to increased rates of cancer, osteoporosis, chronic pain syndromes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Type I diabetes, and hypertension.

    In fact, if you chart deaths from colon cancer, prostate cancer, or multiple sclerosis geographically, you can pick out the 35th parallel by eye because the difference in mortality rates is so much higher above that line. (Deaths from multiple sclerosis are 100% higher above 37 N. than below it! )

    There’s much more to Dr. Holick’s argument (about 280 slides worth) but suffice it to say, I’m a believer. Vitamin D is now one of only three nutrients I take as supplements (along with fish oil and calcium).

    Dr. Holick and others are compaigning to have the government recommendations for vitamin D increased from the current recommendation of 200 – 600IU (depending on your age) to 1,000IU of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) for everyone. Based on his data, I support that recommendation.

  56. Hambriq says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of tanning. But Robbie-S is right, in this situation, sort of. (I disagree with the idea that melanoma isn’t linked to tanning, but that’s not an argument that can be solved here).

    So instead, I’ll get to what I agree with Robbie-S on. Unfortunately, multi-vitamins and artificially fortified foods are not the cure-all for vitamin deficiency. There’s a reason why prescription-strength Vitamin-D contains 50,000 IU of Vitamin-D, or roughly 250 times the daily recommended allowance. Because oral Vitamin-D simply isn’t as bioavailable as skin-manufactured Vitamin-D, especially considering most people’s high-fat diets.

    The raw chemical form of a vitamin will never be as bioavailable as the natural form of the vitamin. That 100IU of Vitamin D you get from your milk? That’s because it’s been fortified with Vitamin-D derived from fungus. Your body has a much more difficult time converting that to the useful chemicals than it does the Vitamin-D that’s produced in your skin.

    Does this mean that tanning is “just what the doctor ordered”? Of course not. There are plenty of reasons to avoid excess sun exposure. But Firefoxx66’s sentiment that you can just take care of your vitamin-D problem with a little bit of fortified milk or a multivitamin is misguided, and frankly, the reliance on multi-vitamins is indicative of a much larger nutritional issue we face as a society.

    But I think it’s time to put the soapbox away.

  57. Anonymous says:

    This whole article is biased right from the start of where it is located..health risks?
    The sun gives you life and you can not deny it! If you think it doesnt, heres a little experiment YOU can do. Try putting some seedlings in a closet and see how they rapidly turn white and DIE in just a couple weeks! bring them outside and they will thrive!
    As far as melanoma…
    Melanoma is mostly a MANS skin cancer and it usually apperars where the sun has never shined but ladies are the predominate ones using tanning beds who tan sensibly and in moderation. Outdoor workers (men) are more at risk than anyone (can you say overexposure?) and even then the amount of actual melanomas are very rare. Between 2000 and 2004, 97 % of people who died from melanoma were over 39 and the median age of those deaths was 67! From what you have read in the media would you have guessed that?
    Overall the fatality rate for melanoma is 3 out of every 100,000. In less abstract terms,Thats like going to a sold out football game and 3 of those people will perish from melanoma. When you use the same analogy with lung cancer, 56 people in the crowd will die.

    If any of you paid attention,The ad states 5 minutes, NOT a full session in a tanning bed which is moderate and sensible and will not harm anyone, a good starting point for most.
    No one said you should start out pasty people at a full time session and only an idiot would do such a thing. Unfortunitly it is the customer who usually demands more time than is recommended and therefor the ones who are most at risk of burning and BURNING is the key here. Burning IS BAD!!! Moderate and Sensible tanning is not.
    Over doing anything is unhealthy and if there were no sunbeds then people would spend too much time outside BURNING instead of learning how tanning works from a professional. Just wait and see how the underage girls who have to get sun from the beach now because of being outlawed in some states and watch the skin cancer rates skyrocket. You Know kids, they get what they want no matter what.

    You people really need to get your facts straight and get some sun! Your body will thank you for it. Why do you think everyone who goes on vacation goes where it is sunny? Because it FEELS GREAT and they come home with a nice tan!