Vitamin d and the sunshine

I stay in a lot work from home and I lack vitamin d which I believe is one of the major contributors to my hypothyroid.basically I get no sunlight or not enough .Now I have bought a sunbed and I am only going on it twice a week for ten mins I don't burn I use after cream and I am sensible.before I would have said no no no in Amy winehouses woods to a sunbed but if used only twice a week it's yes yes yes to boosting my vitamin d levels .this is why I'm worse in the winter and I can't tell you how much I've improved ,it has given me a nice glow cheered me up made me less tired made me feel better all over .so please think about sunbeds in responsible ways and maybe it's easier than pills as vit d can be toxic if overdone and hard to boost by diet....just a though I wanted to share

23 Replies

  • Thanks for sharing your experience. It's great to hear of anything that people find helpful. I would love a sunbed in my home, but simply don't have the space to accommodate one! Presumably then you have bought a sunbed which doesn't only tan you, and give you that oh so needed bright light, but also has the vital UVB rays to boost your vitamin D?

    Out of interest, have you had your vitamin D level measured before and since using your sunbed?

  • hi red apple

    I bought a stand up sunbed from eBay there's lots for about £100 it's a Philips stands in corner of room and I out it over the bed .yes I had vit d levels checked and they were well out then I got sunbed and now it's better.maybe your local gymn does a sunbed .yes it has UVB rays

  • I think you can get the UVB only or full spectrum lamps, but they're expensive - for those a bit dubious about the sun beds (I'd love one too btw).

    Meanwhile taking Vit D3 drops, and feeling better! (it takes a lot to overdose, but some folks can't take them with other medication I believe). You only get 10% max from diet sadly, and even an Egyptian holiday didn't make much difference for me! J :D

  • Whether your skin makes vitamin d or not from the sunbed depends on whether the TUBES provide UVB.

    You used to be able to buy sunbed tubes that were rated to supply about 5% UVB, which would be sufficient to increase vitamin D status providing you didn't spend so long under the tubes you burnt. Unfortunately EU regulations made these illegal. The highest UVB output tubes I can see on EBAY are 3.6%.

    Generally the UVB output declines with age of tube. They are rated for say 500 or 800hrs UVB output. But you'd need a UVB meter to find out if the tubes in the sunbed you bought are still producing UVB.

    The only sure way to know if the sunbed is working to increase your vitamin D level is to get 25(OH)D tested. You can get these by post for £20~25 from Birmingham NHS path lab

    City Assays Vitamin D Blood Spot Test

    It would be helpful if more people did what I do and that is to buy 10 packs at the discounted price and share them, at cost price, with family, friends and colleagues at work.

    The natural level human DNA achieves vitamin d equilibrium and human milk is vitamin D replete is 125nmol/l. That is the level at which it works best as an anti inflammatory agent.5

    It's sensible to raise vitamin D to that level BEFORE you use a sunbed or go sunbathing because at that level it works as a NATURAL SUNSCREEN PROTECTION. So you are less likely to burn.

    When skin burns iron is released from blood and it's this iron that damages DNA and starts the cascade that leads to skin cancer. Becoming a blood donor helps reduce excess iron in blood.

    5000 iu vitamin D are available from Amazon UK for less than £9.00

    The chart at this link shows how much vitamin D per lb or per KG weight you require to reach 125nmol/l or 50ng/ml

  • sunbeds. Not sure if you can use the link above but

    A google search will take you to the article.

    Whilst providing a good source of vit D remember

    Skin cancer risks. I work in a skin cancer clinic

    And sunbeds definentley ain't recommended for

    Topping up vit D levels. That said its weighing up

    Risks and benefits! Take Care and glad you feel better


  • Hi, I found this interesting as I am wondering about vit D levels. However, I wouldn't use a sunbed.

    The last couple of weeks have been difficult because of the snow, but now I am at home most of the time I try to go out for a walk of at least half an hour a day, could you do that in your lunch break, so you are maximising the sunlight by going out in the middle of the day? When I worked in an office about half the staff went out for a walk at lunch time, it refreshes you for the afternoon. Going for a good walk has lots of other benefits, too.

  • Getting out for a walk in the middle of the day is great advice for getting the blood flowing and letting your eyes experience natural daylight, but unfortunately it will do absolutely nothing for your vitamin D level.

    In order to make vitamin D from sunshine, you need to expose large areas of your bare skin to the sun... not something you're likely to want to do at this time of year in the UK! And even if you were super brave enough to try this, the sun is not strong enough at this time of year for this to happen anyway.

    Lots of info on the Vitamin D council website. It's worth taking the time to learn about this vital hormone.

  • This time of year my GP always gives me a liquid dose of vit D - it comes in a glass tube (almost as if it can be also injected). This started long before I had a problem with thyroid issues. He always said it was to improve my mood during the winter (I must have always looked cross). I think the dose is meant to cover 3 months. I am in the South of France and so we have far more sunshine than the UK, but they still recognise that longer nights etc can have an impact on 'moral'.

  • If only all GPs were so 'enlightened'!

  • Re vitamin D --- can anyone help. Had a test done; range 50 to 250, mine at 54. This to me is far too low. GP said as I am in range no need to supplement?. I beg to differ. Taking Holland & Barrett Vit D 3 (not with calcium) 50mg daily in the morning. Is this sufficient dosage and, as I am on quarter of 25mg T3 daily which I also take in the morning is one likely to outwit the other so there is no benefit. Not been taking it long. Reason for T3 is am highly intolerant to T4 so cannot ever take that again. T3, well, will have to have a break from it very so often. Many thanks for reading and for all the wonderful blogs with fabulous information. x

  • do you mean mcg? (microgram) not mg (milligram) as that would be 2000iu a day (not 2 million!)

    2000iu is a good dose, but Ted's link & chart above recommends double that (grassroots page 3) to get to optimum 125 nmol/l. Make sure you get tested regularly to check your levels. J :D

  • Hi, yes it is mcg and it is 1/4 of a 20 (not 25mg)

  • Here's what my test gave me:

    Serum vitamin D: 41nmol/L (should be greater than 60

    Less than 30nmol/L Vit D deficiency

    30-50nmol/L Vit D insufficiency

    If it's over 50nmol/L should be sufficient.

    I'm currently taking 400IU of vegetarian vit D every other day (about twice the recommended amount)

  • @ should be greater than 60

    But 60nmol/l is still not a NATURAL vitamin D level.

    People who live as human DNA evolved Traditionally living populations in East Africa have a mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration of 115 nmol/l. or 46ng/ml and these levels RISE with pregnancy, lactation and with age.

    It's only at this level that human milk is vitamin D replete. and it's only at this level that you benefit from the maximum anti inflammatory action of the vitamin.

    See How Vitamin D Inhibits Inflammation

    Cells incubated in 30 ng/ml vitamin D and above showed significantly reduced response to the LPS. The highest levels of inflammatory inhibition occurred at 50 ng/ml.= 125nmol/l.

    I hope your vegetarian vitamin D is indeed CHOLECALCIFEROL like vitashine-d3

    It's possible you are using ERGOCALCIFEROL which is definitely less effective as it speeds up the rate your body gets rid of vitamin D.

    Meta-analysis looks at efficacy of D2 vs D3

    The chart at this link gives you an idea of how much vitamin D you should be taking per LB or KG weight to get to 125nmol/l = 50ng/ml

  • My GP thought I might be Vitamin D deficient and the bloodtests show that I indeed am at 27.3 nmol/L. Crikey!!

    He's prescribed me Colecalciferol capsules (50,000 unit dose) which I initially had to take once a day for 3 days, then once a month. Between these megadoses I have to chew Adcal-D3 Lemon tablets (1500mg per tablet) twice a day. I've not noticed any difference yet, but then I didn't have any symptoms before. The GP thinks that once my Vitamin D status is remedied, I will be able to better tolerate the B12 injections (I have Pernicious Anaemia as well as hypothyroidism) - which have been put on hold as I was having very nasty reactions to them.

    The follow-up bloodtest should be interesting...

  • It will be very interesting to know if raising your D level solves the B12 injection intolerance. I wonder what makes your GP think this will work... please keep us posted on how things go :)

  • Personally, I think he's clutching at straws! ;o)

  • Vit D3 is essential for the good health of the mucosal lining of the gut, if the gut health is poor the first thing affected is absorption of most anything.....perhaps this is behind your GP's thinking.....???

  • injections of B12 are going to by pass the gut though ( there is also the problem of pernicious anaemia in the first place where lack of intrinsic factor causes failure to absorb B12 from the gut which is why injections are used !)

  • My colleague's Mum is having difficulty with B12 injections and was recommended to boost her Vitamin D first too (she has PA) J

  • @ have to chew Adcal-D3 Lemon tablets (1500mg per tablet) twice a day.

    That is an awful lot of calcium to be taking.

    The RDA for calcium is just 800 mg/daily and there is good reason to believe that it is wiser, when also restoring Vitamin D status with EFFECTIVE amounts of vitamin D to limit daily calcium from supplements (calcium in food or water is better utilised so is safer) to no more than 600mg/daily.

    for more information Dr Davis of the Heartscanblog (Track your plaque) explains here

  • Dr Mercola website has useful info about sunbeds.He does reccomend them for vit d but says must avoid the ones that have electromagnetic ballasts(i think thats what they're called).

  • For anyone considering using UVB tanning tubes to raise vitamin D3 levels it is sensible to prepare your skin first.

    This blogpost explains the problem

    Skin Texture, Cancer and Dietary Fat


    Because of the changes in meat production most meat now is finished or produced using GRAIN based feeds rather than the animals just eating grass, Chickens and Pigs may not see any grass at all. Consequently when combined with the use of sunflower, soy, corn and other omega 6 oils the ratio of pro inflammatory omega 6 foods is much higher than the amount of anti inflammatory omega 3 foods. and the proinflammatory foods change the potential of our skin to burn.

    When skin burns the iron that is in our blood is released and is able to oxidise our DNA and this damage to DNA initiates the changes that result in skin cancer.

    So knowing this it's possible to take various measures to PREVENT burning (as well as limiting and UV exposure BEFORE there is any sign or hint of burning.)

    there are some good tips here

    Natural Sunscreen Options - Healthy Fellow

    Eat Your Sunscreen? - Wellness Mama

    But do be aware it takes TIME to change inflammatory potential of the cells in your skin. If you start NOW and not only raise vitamin D3 levels with supplements to get to 125nmol/l the level at which it offers the most natural anti-inflammatory photoprotection, but also use omega 3 marine sourced EPA and DHA.

    It takes at least 3 months maybe 5 months to reach Vitamin D homoeostasis and as long to change or omega 3 omega 6 ratio.

    Becoming a blood donor and giving blood as often as they permit is also a good idea for everyone who can, as that reduces iron overload and the potential for iron oxidation and DNA damage.

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