Too Much Vitamin D from a Tanning Bed? — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
June 3, 2014

Too Much Vitamin D from a Tanning Bed?

By Kelly Young

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and André Sofair, MD, MPH

Clinicians should consider tanning bed use when evaluating patients with excessively high vitamin D levels, suggests a case report in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

A 26-year-old white woman was referred to an endocrinology clinic because her serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level was above 339 nmol/L (the reference range is 75-185 nmol/L). She said she had minimal sun exposure and did not take supplements or consume inordinate amounts of dairy products.

She did, however, report using a tanning bed at least 3 times a week for the past 6 months. One month after being advised to stop tanning, her 25-(OH)D level had dropped to 182 nmol/L.

Reader Comments (2)

Nitin Trivedi

I am not aware of any reports showing that tanning beds improve BMD. However, there are few articles showing that the levels of vitamin D is higher in tanning bed users.
UV and dietary predictors of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations among young shift-working nurses and implications for bone density and skin cancer.
Public Health Nutr 04/01/2014 0

Vitamin D status relative to diet, lifestyle, injury, and illness in college athletes.
Med Sci Sports Exerc 02/01/2011 1

Tanning is associated with optimal vitamin D status (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration) and higher bone mineral density.
Am J Clin Nutr 12/01/2004

Lum, Caliann MD, PhD Physician, Surgery, Specialized

Would be interesting to see if these frequent tanners/high vitamin D level individuals have better DEXA scans compared to age/sex matched non-tanning controls (also stratified by serum vitD levels including those who take oral VitD supplements), and tanners/low vitamin D controls (if there are any).

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