Friday, December 17, 2010

Same Old Same Old.....

'Tis the season to be jolly…... and so like many others, I am reminiscing on things that have happened over the last year; and better still, about those old traditions that I grew up with in England and while they might be old, I still enjoy them! There’s no denying it, given half the chance, I would be back there like a shot to celebrate the Festive Season. So no matter that is 'same old', it is a same old that i, and millions of others enjoy.

Now, to a 'same old, same old' that I am getting totally fed up of hearing, is the anti-tanning brigade’s sunbed bashing scheme. Sadly, we are lumped together with the dross of the industry, then to add insult to injury, we are publically trounced by so called dermatology ‘experts’ who have their facts inexplicably wrong, but because they hold a medical/scientific qualification, we are expected to hang on their every word and believe every verbal utterance that spouts forth from their mouths. Sadly, the public/media have become so engrossed in their rhetoric they assume (incorrectly), they must be right. Of course, the media don’t ask them to explain or prove their findings – ‘they are qualified they must be right’ they say!

This leads me to answering something I have been asked recently: 'do sunbeds really give you vitamin D'. After such drivel that they don't has been blasted all over every newspaper and news programme in NZ of late – I will answer honestly and with pride; you see I do have to be accountable for what I say; and yes, I also have to provide backup for what I say – why? Because I own a sunbed studio of course, so I must be wrong – right? I will lay down the gauntlet of fact and let you judge for yourselves…..

The latest statement emanating from our screens by a so called local ‘dermatology-UV light-sunshine-vitamin D-expert’ claims that vitamin D is diminished by sunbeds – and thus you can't get vit D from a sunbed. This is absolutely, utterly, totally WRONG – these are the facts of nature:
Studies show/prove UVB light produces vitamin D and UVA light diminishes excess vitamin D in the skin. This is a natural process that helps the body regulate vitamin D production. Making the assumption that sunbeds do not emit UVB and only emit UVA (and subsequently diminishing vitamin D production) is factually wrong and is purely a scaremongering tactic!

To show this is a false assumption:
More than 90% of sunbeds emit 95% UVA and 5% UVB just like sunlight. Scientific studies have shown that indoor tanners have 90% higher vitamin D blood levels than non-tanners.
Studies have also shown that a single sunbed session can help the body produce 10 - 20,000 IU of vitamin D. Many doctors are referring their patients to indoor tanning salons (including megaSun studios) to increase their vitamin D blood levels.
As a point of interest, I have been personally involved in Vitamin D depletion and I have tested out the theory of supplementation vs controlled sunbed exposure – guess which one gave me the highest levels – yes the sunbeds. (I have skin type 2 and don’t tan outdoors as I burn but I never ever burn on a megaSun sunbed and I am no longer vit D deficient!!!! (note there is a difference between deficiciency an dinsufficiency but that is for another blog).

Professor Johan Moan has just won the prestigious Norway Award for his study: Sunbeds as vitamin D sources: a short extract of the results follows:
The sun bed sessions raised the 25(OH)D levels from typical winter values to typical summer values. For the purpose of maintaining a summer level through the winter, when no vitamin D is produced by the sun in northern countries, one should consider a significant increase of the recommended intake of vitamin D intake, and to encourage the population to get moderate, non erythemal sunbed exposures.
Congratulations to Johan for being an independent professor – not paid for by sunbed owners for his invaluable lifetime studies into vitamin D.

The 'same old, same old' anti-tanning, anti-sunbed message has gone too far and it is time for the general public to ask the so called ‘expert dermatologists’ to be accountable for what they say and face the embarrassment of 'proving' what they say is true when it goes in the face of ALL current scientific fact – especially when all they really want is to have sunbeds exclusively for their surgeries as ‘phototherapy beds’ and then they can have ALL the revenue that sunbed operators currently have as wages.

There are other issues to address, but I will save them for 2011. Till then dear readers and to our faithful clients at megaSun, the megaTeam wish you all the very best for Christmas and the coming year – and please remember if you are in a sunny climate, smart tan; have moderate sun exposure and a non-burning fashion is paramount!
Enjoy your holidays!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Just for a change

Instead of my usual mantra of vitamin D and all it's benefits, I thought I would talk about something different for a change. For although I have been studying Vitmain D and all that goes with it for more years than I care to declare, I have also held Vitamin C in absolute high regard. I was privy in the very early 1980's to be included in a very interesting study involving vitamin C and it's various formats and roles and in particular it's use intravenously. At the time, it was somewhat poo-pooed, but the so called 'those in the know' as just another study that bore no real evidence of just what this Vital Amine was capable of in the human body. How wrong they were; (and how nice it would be to say how 'the mighty have fallen', but I won't. How interesting then, it should come to light that the very same data is now being portrayed as not only useful, but in fact vital for most of us! One of the world's most well known advocates of natural health and healing, Dr Joe Mercola, is one such perosn who actually agrees with what I have been saying for all these yers and his friend Dr Ronald Hunninghake, confirms and elaborates on his experience and studies on vitamin C; confirming just how important this anti-oxidant really is. I strongly recommend you read the article and pass it on to appropriate people.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How Influential Are The Words I Have Just Chosen?


If you think about it, it is human nature to be influenced by language and expression; far more than we consciously realise, especially when words appear to have a melodramatic or scandalous story or headline attached. This is even more so if the words are written down. For example, which article are you much more likely to be drawn towards if you saw these in a newspaper: male 63 accused of touching young girl as she falls off her bike – or – male 63 commended for saving young girl as she falls off her bike. The first one suggests there is much more likelihood to be drama or a sensationalised story involved. And so it has been with the sensationalising of sunbeds and their uses. Newspapers, magazines and TV programmes would be too dull an boring if the real facts were dished out; but if you can throw in words such as addiction, the audience is likely to be more riveted and will buy in or tune in. However use the correct term when talking bout UV light – attraction – it won't sell!

You see that is what humans really do have – an attraction to sunlight – why? Because that is what nature intended us to do! We don’t have an addiction to the sun as those who have purported this to be the case have known for many years. So who are the so called experts who have continuously tried to scaremonger the public with their comments, tactics and false advertising? They are the dermatologists and cosmetic companies who make huge dollars out of selling chemical sunscreen. Yes, those applications used on the skin, often on a daily or even more frequent basis which are full of poisons! So wouldn’t these people have far more credibility if they had chosen their words more carefully, educated people on how to look after their skin and be smart in how they get their exposure to UVB? Yes of course it would, but how would they make excessive profits if they chose their words carefully!

The level of vitamin D deficiency is becoming pandemic across most nations – and once again some, but not all dermatologists have chosen to brush this aside and avoid giving the general public the real message. That truthful message is, how to take small, doses of UVB in non-burning moderation on a regular basis to ensure that their levels of vitamin D can be increased to a normal level. You see, the skilled, qualified sunbed operators who are well trained and use only professional sunbeds have been choosing their words carefully and teaching moderation and sunburn prevention for a very long time! At megaSun we take great care and pride in our work and our educational message – ‘small doses of UVB regularly in moderation and always avoid burning’ - and all without misconstruing words!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

If Vitamin D Is So Important - What Do I need To Know And DO

If vitamin D is so important am I likely to be deficient?
The answer quite simply is yes. Vitamin D deficiency is a growing epidemic across the world and is contributing to many chronic debilitating diseases and conditions. The reasons behind this are many and continuing to increase at a rapid rate.
So called experts have mislead the public for a long time - telling us to avoid the sun at all costs and if we do go out, apply as much sunscreen as possible and keep reapplying it. This has had disastrous consequences for more people than we care to think about in numbers!
The other main reason is that people spend far more time indoors than they have ever done before.

So how do you know if you are deficient?
Simple ask your GP for a blood test called at 25(OH)D - it is the most efficient test and cheap to perform. The worry aspect is that many doctors are of the ‘old school’ thinking anywhere around 15-18ng/ml is sufficient - it quite simply is no where near what you need to function well and help to prevent diseases such as breast, ovarian and prostate cancers - not to mention a whole host of other diseases and disorders! This level is SERIOUSLY deficient! The real experts believe that even 60ng/ml is on the low side and are even recommending that some people should be in the region of 100+ depending on their circumstances, skintype, ethnic background and genetic history of diseases.

Who is likely to be in the vitamin D deficient sector of the world?
If you fall into any, some or all of the following categories - get checked out ASAP then, make sure you have regular UVB exposure in moderated, non-burning amounts. Your trained megaSun team can take you through a recognised consultation process to ensure that you do not get over exposed to the UV light and get the correct amount of UVB exposure suitable for your needs!
* At least 60 percent of patients with type 2 diabetes have vitamin D deficiency.
* Studies show very low levels of vitamin D among children, the elderly, and women.
* People who always wear sunblock, and/or who limit their outdoor activities and avoid sunshine are almost always deficient.
* Dark-skinned people make significantly less vitamin D than other skintype groups.
* Vitamin D deficiency is at epidemic proportions in adults of all ages who have increased skin pigmentation, such as those whose ancestors are from Africa, the Middle East, Asia or India
*Increasing amounts of babies are born Vitamin D deficient and continue to be so with mother applying endless amounts of chemical sunscreen to their delicate skins
This list is not by any means exhaustive and is only a few examples of who is most likley to be seriously lacking in vitamin D

Should I just buy tablets or should I have sunlight(UVB) exposure to get the best levels?
Without shadow of a doubt, all of the well known experts - including Profs Sam Shuster, Brian Diffy and Oliver Gillie as well as Frank and Cedric Garland, Michael Holick and many other leading lights on vitamin D, agree that moderate, daily exposure in a non-burning fashion, to UVB - whether by sunshine or on a quality sunbed, is the way nature intended us to produce vitamin D i.e. NATURALLY! Supplements may not always be absorbed in amount that are suitable and not every supplement is guaranteed to deliver what you think it will and some are not vitamin D3 at all (which is what our bodies need. You should NEVER try to guess your own dose of vitamin D as a supplement as it can be toxic if you take too much! Another good reason to have your dose by controlled exposure. There is really only one best way to get your vitamin D and that is the way mother nature created us to get it through exposure to Ultraviolet light!

Just some of the chronic diseases that are caused by, and/or exacerbated by lack of vitamin D3
Cancers Hypertension Heart disease Autism Obesity Rheumatoid arthritis
Diabetes 1 and 2 Multiple Sclerosis Crohn’s disease Cold & Flu Tuberculosis Septicemia Signs of aging Dementia Inflammatory Bowel Disease Eczema & Psoriasis Insomnia Hearing loss Muscle pain Cavities Periodontal disease
Osteoporosis Macular degeneration Reduced C-section risk Pre eclampsia Seizures Infertility Asthma Cystic fibrosis Migraines Depression Alzheimer’s disease Schizophrenia Fibromyalgia Parkinson's

Saturday, August 21, 2010

So if vitamin D is so important what is the history behind it?

As this is a long and intricate subject, I will split the blog into two parts, trying to include enough information to make the reading interesting, but leaving out most of the highly technical information. In part two, I will also include more of the questions vs answers debate in vitamin D.

In a nutshell, Vitamin D is actually a “pre-steroid hormone” not a vitamin. It was discovered around the same time as other “vital Amines and was allocated the letter D – and so it came to be known by this accepted title. Unfortunately, this historical accident left everyone believing it was nothing more than a fat soluble vitamin.

The first scientific description of a vitamin D-deficiency, namely rickets, was provided in the 17th century by both Dr. Daniel Whistler (1645) and Professor Francis Glisson (1650). The major breakthrough in understanding the causative factors of rickets was the development in the period 1910 - 1930 of nutrition as an experimental science and the appreciation of the existence of vitamins. It was not until the 1930’s that vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 structures were chemically characterised. The elusive antirachitic (anti-rickets) component of cod liver oil was shown to be identical to the newly characterised vitamin D3. These results clearly established that the antirachitic substance vitamin D was chemically a steroid, or more specifically, a secosteroid. (A `secosteroid` is a molecule similar to a steroid but with a `broken` ring. Secosteroids are very similar in structure to steroids except that two of the B-ring carbon atoms (C9 and 10) of the typical four steroid rings are not joined, whereas in steroids they are. In humans, the most important secosteroid is Vitamin D).

Vitamin D is a fascinating molecule with a fascinating story. Historically, “vitamins” were defined as chemicals that humans required from their environment that were “vital” to human health. These chemicals were needed only in very small amounts to prevent disease; an absence of a particular vitamin in the diet led to a specific deficiency disease: vitamin C, scurvy; thiamine, beri beri. Other vitamin deficiencies were found to be a bit more complicated: vitamin B12 deficiency was found to cause a type of anemia, dementia, and spinal cord problems. Of course more modern research proves conclusively that vitamin D3 is also plays a major role in these diseases as well. Because vitamins are required in such small amounts, and are often present in small amounts in foods, their discovery was an opportunity to prevent and cure several diseases.

Heart disease is one of our three biggest killers (along with cancer and stroke). One of the better prospective studies done on vitamin D and heart disease followed subjects over time, measuring vitamin D levels and following them to see who developed a first incidence of heart attack. They found that those with low vitamin D levels who also had high blood pressure (a well-recognized risk factor for heart disease) were more likely to develop a first heart attack than hypertensive patients with higher vitamin D levels.

It is nearly impossible to ingest sufficient vitamin D in a typical diet, and it is nearly absent from breast milk. In areas where sunlight is scarce or where culture prevents sun exposure, rickets was more common. Rickets became rare in the U.S. once children’s parents began shoving them full of cod-liver oil, and once vitamin D was added to milk.

So make sure you get your dose of vitamin D - on your local, professional megaSun sunbed!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Professor states: why we can't give up our tan, and more importantly why we shouldn't try

For those of you who know us personally – or those who feel they are getting to know us from our blogs, Facebook or Twitter, you will no doubt by now, know how passionate we are about getting things right – and how long we have spent researching sunlight, vitamin D, Sunbeds and Tanning. We are well aware of the folk out there who like to jump on their bandwagon and have their say – even if it hasn’t a fragment of truth in it and they no nothing about the subject matter. On the other side of the coin, there are some very dedicated professionals out there who DO know what they are talking about and it’s about time we all listened to them very carefully if we want to stay healthy and prevent numerous diseases and disorders and of course keep the public cost of health to a minimum too.

One such person we need to take note of is the eminent Professor Emeritus Sam Shuster from Newcastle in England. We worked next door to Sam when he was at the RVI hospital and both of us have spent many an hour making special concoctions for Sam’s patients over the years we were there. He was instrumental in us taking an interest in all things related to vitamin D, disease prevention, tanning and all things related to UV exposure – and one of the reasons we take such painstaking care with what we do.

Sam has recently sent out a letter to newspapers in the UK as well as numerous other people and places, to explain why we must NOT give up tanning or controlled UV exposure on a good quality sunbeds. {we assume from what we know of Prof Shuster he would only approve of operators who know what they are doing, why and how!}

His excellent work is outlined on our website and the crux of the article is:
Skin cancer statistics are used to scare, not educate. Almost all of the 84,000 skin "cancers" that appear each year are in fact benign: they don't spread or kill; their cancerous name is a historical misnomer. Of course, sun exposure increases facial wrinkling, as does smoking, but the black ace in the fear game is melanoma, because the real thing is vicious.

The poor relationship of melanoma to cumulative UV dose had solarphobics running for cover in the idea the article quotes, that a one-off sunburn "could develop into a melanoma". But that doesn't happen: unlike the benign tumours that really are caused by UV, melanomas do not predominate in sun-exposed skin. There are commonsense reasons to avoid sunburn, and for use of sunscreens - but not, to prevent melanoma, for which they have been shown to be totally ineffective.

Self-image is measurably increased by a tan, and we will learn much from understanding the mechanism of this wellbeing. UV initiates the synthesis of vitamin D, essential for our bones, and sunscreen promotion has led to problems. It also has a profound effect on our immune function. Strangely, the bastard science of descriptive epidemiology that masterminded the melanoma myth now claims that UV lowers the incidence of many internal cancers and melanoma, thereby outweighing any harmful effects.

Plants and animals owe their existence to the sun, and it is hardly surprising that we've learned to adapt and use it. That's why we can't give up our tan, and more importantly why we shouldn't try.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My mum got cancer – so I opened a tanning studio

My mum got cancer – so I opened a tanning studio – yes you DID hear that correctly!

She had extremely low vitamin D as well as heart disease and diabetes. No one took any notice and suddenly, she developed ovarian cancer – she died a couple of weeks after being diagnosed. It was too late to help her. However, I have made it a personal crusade to let every woman I know understand just how important it is to have regular, controlled exposure to UV to prevent such atrocities. It is all very well the specialist being sad and saying ‘Oh if only we had known about Vitamin D preventing ovarian cancer, Marie could possibly have been saved’.

All the talk in the world won’t bring back my precious mum; but if everyone who reads this spreads the word to every woman they know, then maybe, just maybe we could see a massive reduction in some horrid horrid cancers that abound form the lack of this vital element in our bodies. Interestingly, my mother’s diabetes and heart disease could have been much better controlled too if she had only known that her rigid, daily regime of applying endless amounts of chemical sunscreen was actually killing her!!!

You owe it yourself and your loved ones to spread the word to all in sundry that we all need regular, non-burning exposure to UV light if we want to be fit and healthy.
I opened two upmarket tanning stuios to help combat the problems associated with sunbeds and operators who should not be in this industry. I guarantee that megaSun is truly different - and yes, we are all trained to deal with our clients sensitively, courteously and with passion!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tell The Truth and Shame The Devil!

I have spent many an hour debating with myself as to how to reach out and “spread the word” so to speak. Of course being a little “one man band” has never helped. How do you get to tell the world and his wife about issues that may have a huge impact on life and health – some of it positive; some of it negative? Of course we can tell those closest to us and try to get them to tell their friends and family, but what next? Social media and the networking it is providing is certainly a good platform to replace my “old soapbox” – I think there’s a strong possibility I have missed my vocation standing at Hyde Park on a Sunday afternoon; box and speech in hand, ready to inform all who are willing to listen!

Those of you who know me, understand only too well that I am a person who listens to reason and balances things carefully before making informed decisions. The fact I am writing blogs and they could be read by anyone, anywhere, anytime, means I need to make sure that anything I do say is credible rather than just ‘newsworthy’. So, how come when the subject of sunlight, UV exposure and sunbeds is mentioned, the so called ‘intellects’ of this world can paint such unbalanced pictures to inform the general public and get away with it? The answer is quite simply down to money.

Think about it; - sunshine is free, a controlled UV light exposure session on a sunbed costs very little and the vitamin D that is absorbed by the body from that exposure costs nothing. That means, there isn’t really a great fortune to be made from these. However a great fortune can be had and shared amongst a select few if you go completely against Mother Nature and how she intends us to live (exposed to UV light in moderate doses). It’s very simple really: get cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies to manufacture chemical sunscreens that block out UV light (and stop Vitamin D from being produced) and then scare people out of the sun, preferably by making the ‘sun scare’ announcements sound like public service messages via societies that appear totally credible in their actions (cancer societies and women’s ‘high society’ magazines for example). The manufacturers pay a nice tidy sum of money to their ‘chosen’ societies to spread the gospel according to St. Sunscreen and bingo – the public think the message of avoiding UV light like it is a plague, can’t possibly be wrong! $US35 billion shared around dermatologists, cancer societies and magazine advertorials/editorials is not to be sniffed at and let’s face it, who in their right mind would give up a share of that level of money?

It is interesting and heart warming to see that there are indeed some very honest and trustworthy professionals out there who are now brave enough to speak out against these shoddy practises and tell the world that sun scare is all wrong and that there has never ever been a proven case of a sunbed causing cancer anywhere in the world to date.

If you really care about your family and friends; and I’m sure you do, tell them to have a sunbed session at a studio with trained, knowledgeable personnel that have beds which are modern, well serviced and have a consistent dose of UVB or regular, moderate sun exposure. Make sure to let them know they must never ever burn and if they want to be educated about UV light exposure and vitamin D – make sure they ask someone who knows their subject matter and is an expert in their field! Our website has links to some of the most eminent professionals in this field and surely, they can’t all be wrong when they say a little and often is best and in the interests of health, you DO need sunshine.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Does sunlight cause skin cancer or does sunlight prevent skin cancer?

This is an excellent video that poses some intersting questions relating to skin care and sunlight. Does sunlight cause skin cancer or does sunlight prevent skin cancer? *How does sunbathing give you the so-called red neck? * Is tanning booth bad for you or does it help your body to generate Vitamin D under certain circumstances? (And what are the circumstances?) *What is the relationship between nutrition, Vitamin D and cancer? This is a video that reveals the truth about Vitamin D, sunlight and cancer. Find out more with Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, in this 23-minute video at

This text will be replaced by the player

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Give me one good reason why......

I am frequently asked questions about tan accelerator lotions. Everyone can remember the days when these were gimmicks with little or no substance to them – and while there are lotions around that still leave a lot to be desired, there are some fantastic creations that really do ensure you get the results you are seeking. We are very strict on what we sell at megaSun. I have studied cosmetic science and perfumery and really do have a much better understanding of what the lotions do and how they work, than I could ever possibly hve

The most frequently asked question seems to be “why would I bother with a lotion when your megaSun beds tan me so well anyway”. I have to agree, having owned other big name brands of sunbeds, megaSun is by far our favourite brands for many reasons. However, there are several reasons why you do need to use a tan accelerator.

You get:

1. A longer lasting, deeper tan
2. Deeper penetration of the ingredients gives a more solid block of tan with less chance of patchiness
3. A much faster tan – skin moisturised with the correct ingredients tans far more quickly
4. UV rays are absorbed into the skin more easily and ensure a superior tan
Smoother, softer, healthier skin
5. A youthful, healthy glow
6. Anti-free radicals are reduced thus making the process more anti-ageing

At megaSun, we are very very particular about the brands we stock. We aim to always give excellent value for money, but of prime importance is getting the right ingredients for the best possible results for all skin types and all stages of tanning. We do get the 'world and his wife' offering to sell us their products, but as we are so discerning, we turn the bulk of them down flat.

Of course it would be easy to pick up the various 'super-cheap' offers that are around - or (even more common), to buy in stock that is 'slightly' out-of-date or past it's useful life. Studios make huge profits pretending this junk is wonderful, but once clients see they don't get any results, the cat is out of the bag and they would never buy lotion again, and quite rightly so! We guarantee we NEVER do this. It is not only deceitful, but also unfair and the salons who do this invariably get caught out. We hate this sort of thing done to us, so why on earth would we even consider doing it to someone else! As far as the megaTeam are concerned, this practice stinks and should be outlawed!!!

If you need advice on what to choose and what is right for YOU - ask as many questions as you like; that is what we are here for, to make sure you get what your skin needs and what is right for you - not what is right for the neighbour three blocks away. Clients who come in to see us, know that we are very approachable as well as knowledgeable and experienced. We can tell you what is achievable and what isn't.

Come on down to High Street in the City or to College Hill inPonsonby and let us tell you how you can get the tan you really want.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Do You Have The Real Facts Behind Chemical Sunscreens?

Sunscreens - What are they doing to you and your body?

For many years, long before we opened megaSun Tanning Studios, I had a fascination with ingredients. In fact, I can quite clearly state, I was mesmerised by them from childhood; be it ingredients for cooking or food related or, when I was older, those contained in medicines and cosmetics. This possibly influenced my life choices of what I wanted to and where I wanted to work – but that as they say is another story. I have had an interest in sunscreen for many years, wondering what it does when the liver tries to metabolise it, what are the pharmacokinetics of them (key factors affecting their absorption and distribution in the body).

Those of you who know me well, know that once I get my teeth into something I just have to keep researching and reading until I find answers – answers that are plausible and from studies that are done with integrity and honesty. For some time now, it has been a concern as to what sunscreens really do – or don’t do. I have always had my own thoughts and feelings from what I have read over the years – and looking at the facts presented by clever scientists who understand the whole concept of neutral studies (i.e. without lies, pretention or hiding an ulterior motive). This article tells how it is - what has been known for a long long time. Read the full article here and be prepared to have a new perspective on sunscreens!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sun, wind and dioxines

It has been very clearly shown that people living in northern areas often suffer from vitamin D deficiency and lack of sunlight. Most indicators suggest that toxins in our environment are the root cause of the cancer epidemics, including skin cancer. The sun theory is now proven false, we all need the sun.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Should hospitals use sunbeds to prevent infections?

According to a “Naked Scientist" study, the answer is yes!

We get most of our vitamin D by the action of UVB radiation from sunshine on our skin, however, in the UK between October and March the radiation is too weak for vitamin D to be made. Consequently, our vitamin D levels are at their lowest in March. Is the winter peak in infections due to low vitamin D levels?

It is well established that vitamin D is important to the body's immune system - in the innate immune system it regulates the production of the antimicrobial peptides cathelicidin and beta-defensin 2 (http://""); in the adaptive immune system it controls the activation of T-cells (http://"").

And there appears to be a correlation between vitamin D and infections:From PubMed(http://"")
'Healthcare costs of Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile infections in Veterans: role of vitamin D deficiency'.

Clostridium difficile and staphylococcal infections are associated with increased morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs. Vitamin D deficiency may also contribute to increased healthcare costs. There is increasing evidence that vitamin D may have an antimicrobial role. We examined the relationship of serum 25(OH)D levels to staphylococcal and C. difficile infections to determine if vitamin D deficiency was associated with adverse outcomes.

Vitamin D deficiency is intimately linked to adverse health outcomes and costs in Veterans with staphylococcal and C. difficile infections in North East Tennessee. We recommend that vitamin D status be checked in patients with these infections and appropriate therapy be instituted to restore vitamin D level to normal in an expeditious manner.

From Digestive Disease Week 2010 conference (http://""):
Higher Resolution Rate of Clostridia Difficile Enteritis in Hospitalized Patients with Normal Vitamin D Levels (Abstract #T1793)

Researchers tracked 83 patients who had been admitted to the hospital who were then diagnosed with C. diff. They measured vitamin D levels in all of the patients, then followed their hospital course. Researchers noted how many patients were still alive after 30 days, and compared the outcome of patients with normal vitamin D levels to those with low levels. They found that up to 40 percent of people, especially in an older age group with multiple illnesses, died from some cause if they developed C. diff during that hospitalization.

Researchers found that those with normal levels of vitamin D had a higher resolution rate, and a lower recurrence rate than those with low vitamin D levels. These findings are consistent with what is currently understood about vitamin D — it plays a role in immune function, may be an important factor in fighting infection, low levels seem to be a marker for not resolving diseases in general and it is associated with higher mortality rates.

So improving vitamin D levels should at least improve infection outcomes, if not reduce infection rates But does anything prevent MRSA or C.Difficile infections? Beta-defensin 3 appears to be effective against MRSA (http://""). Beta-defensin 3 is created by UVB light.

From PubMed (http://"")
UV-B radiation induces the expression of antimicrobial peptides in human keratinocytes in vitro and in vivo

Real-time PCR of normal human keratinocytes revealed a dose-dependent increase of human beta-defensin-2, -3, ribonuclease 7, and psoriasin (S100A7) after UV radiation. This was confirmed at the protein level by intracellular fluorescence-activated cell sorting and in vitro immunofluorescence analysis. Immunohistochemistry of biopsies taken from healthy volunteers exposed to different UV radiation doses revealed enhanced epidermal expression of antimicrobial peptides after UV exposure. This was also confirmed by exposing human skin explants to UV radiation.

So a NB-UVB sunbed would increase a patient's vitamin D levels and produce skin-level antimicrobial peptides including beta-defensin 3.
The Naked Scientists Forum
Life Sciences Physiology & Medicine
Topic started by: Kevan Gelling on 06/05/2010 13:39:57

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Teaching The Correct Use of Sunscreen; Controlled Tanning; Sunburn Prevention and Optimizing Vitamin D Intake.

The Indoor Tanning Community’s BALANCED perspective on teaching the correct use of sunscreen; controlled tanning; sunburn prevention and optimizing vitamin D intake.

How Do Indoor Tanning Salons Teach Sunburn Prevention?

The indoor tanning industry is at the forefront in educating people how to successfully avoid sunburn over the course of one’s life.
Studies of indoor tanners have shown consistently that indoor tanning customers once they begin tanning in a professional salon, are less likely to sunburn than they were before they started tanning.
Studies have also shown that indoor tanners are less likely to sunburn outdoors than are non-tanners.

In recent years sunburn incidence in the general population has been steadily increasing while sunscreen usage has been declining. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the sub-group most likely to sunburn is older men.
Appropriate use of sunscreen outdoors is taught by Indoor Tanning Studios, thus optimizing vitamin D – the “Sunshine Vitamin” intake.

We believe that teaching people strictly to avoid the sun may be making them more likely to sunburn when they do go outside for summer activities – and everyone does go outdoors at some point.

1. Tanning is your body’s natural defense mechanism against sunburn, and indoor tanners have activated this defense against burning; non-tanners are more vulnerable when they inevitably do go outdoors.
2. Indoor tanners are educated at professional tanning facilities how to avoid sunburn outdoors, how to use sunscreens appropriately and how to properly moisturise and care for their skin, both in th estudio and at home.

When you also consider that the majority of people who sunburn are male, according to the AAD, and that 65-70 percent of indoor tanning customers are female, clearly, it is non-tanners who are doing most of the burning outdoors.In the war against sunburn, tanning salons are part of the solution. Those who abstain from sun exposure completely are more likely to sunburn when they inevitably do go outdoors, even if they attempt to wear sunscreen.

The professional indoor tanning community’s SCIENTIFICALLY SUPPORTED POSITION is summed up in this declaration:
Moderate tanning, for individuals who can develop a tan, is the smartest way to maximize the potential benefits of sun exposure while minimizing the potential risks associated with either too much or too little sunlight.

This position is founded on the following tenets:
1. Ultraviolet light exposure from the sun or from a quality indoor tanning unit, with properly rained staff, is essential for human health, and getting it in a non-burning fashion is the smartest way.
2. The professional indoor tanning industry promotes and teaches what we refer to as The Golden Rule of Smart Tanning: Don’t ever sunburn.
3. For the past decade, the indoor tanning industry has been more effective at teaching sunburn prevention than those who promote complete sun avoidance. Since the mid-1990s, tanning industry research suggests that non-tanners sunburn outdoors more often than people who tan indoors. The professional indoor tanning salon industry is part of the solution in the ongoing battle against sunburn and in teaching people how to identify a proper and practical life-long skin care regimen.
4. A tan is the body’s natural protection against sunburn. Your skin is designed to tan as a natural body function, and the body is designed to repair sun damage as a natural process.
5. Every year, millions indoor tanners successfully develop “base tans” before embarking on sunny vacations – tans that, combined with the proper use of sunscreen outdoors, help them prevent sunburn. (Proper use being defined as used to prevent sunburn).
6. There are known physiological and psychological benefits associated with sunlight exposure and there are many other potential benefits that appear linked to sun exposure, but need further research. The potential upside of these benefits is
considerable and deserves further consideration.
7. The body produces Vitamin D naturally when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency has become a recognized epidemic and overzealous sun protection practices have most likely contributed to this.
8. The risks associated with UV overexposure are manageable for anyone who has the ability to develop a tan.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tanning Linked to Easing Chronic Pain

Tanning Linked to Easing Chronic Pain

A North Carolina dermatologist, Wake Forest University's Dr. Steven Feldman,
is recommending indoor tanning for some patients suffering with chronic pain.
Feldman conducted a research trial of fibromyalgia patients which revealed
that those who used a tanning bed actually had their pain decline as compared
to those who weren't exposed to UV light. He attributes the relief to the
release of endorphins that results from exposure to ultraviolet rays.
The study lasted a month and a half.

One of his patients, Laura Hemrick, first tried exercise and drug therapy to
treat her chronic fibromyalgia - an illness that reveals itself with symptoms
such as loss of energy and mental clarity, as well as lots of pain. However,
she reveals that the only action that's brought relief for her is indoor tanning.
Her therapy has consisted of using a tanning booth three times a week for 12 to
15 minutes per visit. She much preferred that to the increased sickness she felt
when trying to take prescription medicine for her symptoms.

Beyond fibromyalgia, Feldman also acknowledges that indoor tanning equipment has
been used to treat the skin condition psoriasis.

The use of indoor tanning as a form of therapy was also a topic of discussion
among doctors when a study of people "addicted" to tanning revealed that
participants were tanning indoors to aid with back pain. In another study,
UV light recipients noted their arthritic conditions were improved.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Get Real! Myths About UV.

Get Real! Myths About UV.

Myths and Misconceptions About UV and Tanning......
The purveyors of sun-scare, in inexplicable blind zeal for their cause,
have made some outlandish and unsupportable statements about sunshine,
UV, Vitamin D and tanning.
Think about this: Because sunshine is free, there is no powerful pro-sun PR lobby aggressively countering these misstatements.
Think about it some more: Just imagine if a large pharmaceutical company did own the sun and was able to send you a bill or your monthly sunshine. The mass-media marketing message you got about sunshine – based on the same science that exists today – would be completely positive.
The statements that follow show you that, when it comes to “sun scare” marketing is more important than science.

She Said It:
“Many sunscreen companies have just teeter-tottered staying in business.
It’s not easy getting rich in the sunscreen business.”
– Boston University Dermatology Chair Barbara Gilchrest, in a guest
lecture at the 13th Workshop on Vitamin D, April 8, 2006 in Victoria,
Canada. Gilchrest was refuting the suggestion that sunscreen companies
profit from preaching all-out fear of the sun.

Get Real!
Sunscreen companies are enjoying record profits right now. Gilchrest
apparently doesn’t read sunscreen companies’ financial statements
very closely. Current up-to-For instance:

•» Mult-billion dollar pharmaceutical giant Schering-Plough (Coppertone)
reported sun-care sunscreens as making the division one of it's best
performers by percentage growth since 2003.This continues to grow annually.

•» Even bigger multi-billion dollar giant Johnson and Johnson’s consumer products unit – which markets sun care products like Neutrogena and Aveeno, continues to grow it's profits from sunscreen at an escalating rate every year without fail.
Neutrogena’s marketing uses some of the most aggressive sun-scare tactics of any sunscreen company.

Last year alone, the suncreen industry amounted to $US35 BILLION!!

Gilchrest and her peers apparently have an antiquated definition of
what a sunscreen company is. It isn’t just a beach product anymore.
Most women’s cosmetics today include sunscreen in their products
– marketing usage and need of the product based on over-hyping fear
of the sun. Because of this, most women wear sunscreen 365 days a year
in any climate – even when sunburn isn’t a possibility – because the
American Academy of Dermatology and sunscreen manufacturers have scared
them into over-use of sunscreen. “Sun scare” – is teaching total fear of
the sun instead of sunburn prevention – is a huge multibillion-dollar
business run by even larger multibillion-dollar cosmeceutical corporations.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The megaSun position on Tanning, UV light exposure & Vitamin D

We acknowledge that any exposure to sunlight can carry a risk; however at megaSun we have invested heavily in the use of the best possible equipment and staff training. We take health and all the implications that come with it, very seriously and our primary goal is to educate the public about tanning, UV light exposure and Vitamin D. Sunlight is vital for our survival, but sadly it is indiscriminate in its intensity; overexposure and burning pose huge risks to health – and in particular that of the skin.

The body’s own natural protection again sunburn is the brown colour that we call a tan. We must remember of course that not everyone can get a tan and all skin type 1 people must avoid sunshine and sunbeds and be educated on how to protect their skin and still have enough Vitamin D. For those of us who can achieve a tan, how we do it to avoid burning and damage is paramount! At megaSun our lamps are patented to give the same dose of UV light every visit, thus avoiding the aforementioned burning or fluctuations in dosage.

Sadly around the globe there are too many places offering the use of sunbeds where tanning is indiscriminate and clients can just do ‘whatever they choose’ in a less that favourable environment – invariably with untrained personnel. We are vehemently against this sort of practise at megaSun and spend time with every client going through a complete consultation – skin typing; sub typing; a medical questionnaire and previous tanning history. Prospective clients not only need to complete this extensive form, but they also need to read our mandatory document about UV light, exposure and control.

This form was designed – intentionally - in conjunction with the famous radiation scientific specialist Donald L Smith of the Non-Ionising Radiation Research Institute. We are grateful to Don for all the input he has given us. The information we post on our website, whether for news or health, is only ever taken from credible sources. In fact we endeavour to source the bulk of our information from consultants, professors and specialists who are noted for their work in fields connected to UV light, sun exposure and Vitamin D.

It is in the public interest for anyone who is involved in this industry to continually research and update their knowledge on Vitamin D – which after all, is not a vitamin at all (it just happened to be discovered at the same time as the other vital amines)l! In fact it is a potent steroid hormone and it its synthesis through UVB is a vital component for life itself. The form that we know made naturally from UBV is Vitamin D3 – cholecalciferol and should not be confused with vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) which is added to foods and confusingly, not really vitamin D at all. Vitamin D3 – that which you will achieve from controlled exposure to UVB in your megaSun sunbed, will give you approximately the same dosage as drinking 100 glasses of milk in one go!

The most important things we must remember are these – non-burning exposure of the body to UVB will ensure significant anti-cancer activity and properties that will boost the immune system. The health A-Z on our website will no doubt astound some people when they become aware of just how important sunshine is to the human body!

Friday, April 9, 2010


Scientist criticises unfair investigation methods of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – IARC report flawed as different skin types were not considered

Brussels, 1st April 2010 (ESA) – William B. Grant, one of the most renowned vitamin D re-searchers worldwide, has criticised the methods used by the International Agency for Re-search on Cancer (IARC) during their investigations concerning a relationship between the use of solariums and the risk of skin cancer. “The IARC drew on a total of 19 studies as a basis for a so-called meta analysis and after evaluating the data came to the conclusion that for the under-35 age group there is a connection between the use of solariums and the risk of skin cancer. Among these 19 studies, five were based on people with skin type one. As this skin type is genetically associated with a high risk of contracting skin cancer, this section of the population is always strongly recommended to avoid sunbathing – whether this may be in the solarium or outdoors. In order to carry out an accurate investigation, this group must be considered separately. The IARC clearly failed to do this“, explained William B. Grant. Should a separate evaluation be conducted, continued Grant,
no causal relationship between the use of solariums and the risk of skin cancer would be shown.

In a study recently described in the specialist journal “Dermato-Endocrinology“, Grant pre-sents the inaccurate investigation methods of the IARC in detail.

European Sunlight Association (ESA) is the European governing body of the tanning industry. ESA, based in Belgium, currently represents 30 national associations and companies from 17 EU member states, Norway, Switzerland, Russia and the USA.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


The team at megaSun takes tanning very seriously, and so should you. In fact megaSun is so focused on healthy tanning it is all they do. No hair salon or day spa distractions just the highest quality tanning equipment, well maintained and appointed private booths and the full attention of trained tanning professionals to ensure your personalised tanning session is a safe and enjoyable experience.

The physical and mental benefits of having a healthy tan are obvious to most of us but unfortunately misinformation and scaremongering can leave us wondering if tanning is a sensible option. Inevitably we have to face the sun on a daily basis; it is indiscriminant in its intensity and with changing seasons, very unreliable. Overexposure to the sun can be harmful so getting your tanning managed in the right environment with good advice and well maintained and regulated equipment is a must

Our skin types are unique and to ensure adequate Vitamin D intake - and that feel good, look good colouring - the rate of exposure needs to be maintained and regulated. This is just part of the megaSun service and benefit to its clientele.

To guarantee your tanning experience is of the highest quality MegaSun use only the best equipment from their modern megaSun brand sunbeds to the patented CPI® lamp technology ensuring you receive the correct exposure to UV that is appropriate to you – every time you visit. Our Managers all have been trained and awarded the prestigious Masters in Tanning from Smart Tan International Education Facility and undergo continuous professional development to keep up with industry trends and product developments.

The team at megaSun will ensure you are well looked after from the moment you walk in to our modern studio to the time you leave, we look forward to meeting you soon. MegaSun has two studios located in Auckland City for your convenience on the High Street and in Ponsonby.