Avoiding Natural Sunlight or Indoor Tanning Beds
May Result in Increased Risk of Cancer
- UV exposure in low-level doses may prevent hypertension, diabetes,
osteomalacia and osteoporosis, as well as
cancers of the colon, prostate, ovary and breast -
Atlanta, GA. September 15, 2003- Can sunshine, now shunned by so many who fear skin cancer and wrinkles, save many more lives than it harms? People who avoid the sun or ultraviolet light tanning beds may be at increased risk of breast, prostrate, lung, breast, colon, ovarian and pancreatic cancer according to published scientific research that links UV light to the photosynthesis of vitamin D in human skin.
A recent study in the medical journal CANCER estimates that tens of thousands of Americans die each year of cancers possibly caused by too little sun exposure and too little vitamin D. Scientists at the National Cancer Institute recently found that the chances of dying from many of these cancers was reduced by 10 to 27 percent for people who live in the sunniest areas. Current indoor lifestyles, sun-blocking pollution and sunscreens reduce Vitamin D production, which is found in few foods consumed today. The body relies on UV light to get most of the vitamin D it needs to stay healthy.
According to decades of research not previously made available widely to the media, controlled exposure to UV light can have powerful health benefits into the many roles played by vitamin D in the body, according to Dr. Michael F. Holick, professor of Dermatology, Medicine, Physiology and Biophysics at Boston University Medical Center. Dr. Holick has concluded that brief exposure to sunshine or artificially produced UV light produced by indoor tanning beds can help to ward off a host of debilitating and sometimes deadly diseases, including osteoporosis, hypertension, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, depression and cancers of the colon, prostate and breast. According to his studies, exposing people with high blood pressure to UVB rays in a tanning salon lowers their blood pressure readings as much as a drug will, and he also found that increasing vitamin D improved the heart's pumping ability and reduced cardiac strain.
Vitamin D is made in the skin when it is exposed to the ultraviolet B (UVB) rays in sunshine, as well as those from indoor tanning beds. A sunscreen with an S.P.F. of 8 blocks 95 percent of the skin's ability to make vitamin D, and an S.P.F. of 15 blocks it by 99 percent, according to Michael Stepp, CEO of Wolff System Technology, the founder of today's modern indoor tanning industry.
"We advocate the use of a sunscreen outdoors for people with vulnerable skin types as well as those who can tan well. But only after exposing the skin moderately to produce the necessary vitamin D," said Stepp.
People who might switch from the sun's natural ultraviolet tanning to chemical tanning such as "spray-on" tanning booths or self-tanning creams may also be at risk. "They are great options for people who can't tan because of their skin type but these tanning techniques do not allow the absorption or collection of Vitamin D." said Stepp.
"Given the weight of the scientific research on the anti-cancer effects of frequent solar ultraviolet exposure, the anti-exposure advice of the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Cancer Society, and the Skin Cancer Foundation must be balanced with tips on tanning responsibly," said Stepp. "Anti-tanning lobbyists have intentionally confused the public to believe that any UV light exposure is dangerous. In fact, regular moderate sun exposure is not linked to melanoma, but intermittent sunburn - particularly among those who are predisposed to sunburn - is believed to be the risk factor," he said. "We encourage responsible tanning not the avoidance of it," Stepp said.
For every dermatologist warning against sun exposure, UV light was the most popular prescription many physicians recommended to patients before the invention of antibiotics in the 50's. Today, with the over prescription of antibiotics becoming a mainstream infection concern, some physicians such as Dr. Gordon Ainsleigh advocate responsible UV exposure because "its dramatic benefits for immune system stimulation and cancer suppression far outweigh any risks."
Referring to the pioneering scientific research of Frank and Cedric Garland and Ed Gorham, Gary G. Schwartz, William B. Grant, and Esther John, in addition to his own work, Dr Ainsleigh stated that routine non-burning sun exposure inhibits the progression of all of the top - 5 killing cancers in America for men and women. "American Cancer Society statistics show that sun-inhibited internal cancers kill at more than 100-times-greater frequency than do sun-promoted skin cancers, so increasing sun exposure will save many lives. It substantially decreases deaths from the frequently-fatal internal cancers, while losing so few lives to skin cancer that it defies measurement," said Dr. Ainsleigh.
About Wolff System Technology
Wolff System was founded by Friedrich Wolff, "the father" of the indoor tanning industry. The company manufactures lighting systems for tanning beds and with patents in 16 countries, is the exclusive licensor of Wolff System certified tanning beds in the United States and Canada. As the leading manufacturer of lamps for indoor tanning beds, Wolff has more than 500,000 systems in use worldwide. With licensed Wolff System tanning equipment, the amount and type of exposure to ultraviolet light is predictable and consistent, unlike outdoor tanning where variables include the time of day, season, cloud cover, and proximity to the equator. For more information, contact 1-800-959-6533, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.wolffsystem.com