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Friday, January 25, 2013
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Kelowna BC – June 15 – Canada’s dermatology industry lobbying group Friday called tanning beds “an inefficient” source of vitamin D in an apparent attempt to mislead Canadians about the relative sources of vitamin D.

“Canadians are getting a lot of mixed messages when it comes to vitamin D and some information can be quite misleading,” CDA President Dr. Ian Landells said in the press statement. Ironically, CDA’s press statement inaccurately stated that sunbeds are “an inefficient way to produce vitamin D because they emit mainly UVA rays, while it is UVB rays that stimulate the production of vitamin D in the skin” — itself a deception since natural sunlight is mainly UVA rays as well.

The reality: Both summer sunlight and sunbeds are about 95 percent UVA and 5 percent UVB in the UV range and both stimulate vitamin D production in the skin.

  • A single sunbed session can manufacture 10,000 – 20,000 IU of vitamin D in the skin — 100-200 times what is supplemented into an 8-ounce-glass of milk. (
  • Regular sunbed users have the highest vitamin D levels of any group in Canada, according to independent research in the journal Public Health.
  • Sunbed users have 90 percent higher vitamin D levels compared to non-users, according to research published the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“Sunbeds and summer sunshine are effective means by which to increase our serum 25(OH)D levels. The advantage of a tanning bed is that exposure to UV light can be controlled more precisely than casual sun exposure and thus can be safer than advising the public to guess at their own sun exposure from sunlight,” Dr. Reinhold Vieth, one of Canada’s leading vitamin D researchers, reported in 2007.

CDA also mis-stated in its press release, “Most Canadians receive enough sun exposure during their day-to-day activities in the spring through the fall to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D” — a statement that lacks any legitimate foundation and which is challenged by virtually the entire vitamin D research community.

“CDA is clearly trying to mislead people,” Steven Gilroy Executive Director for the JCTA said. “It is not appropriate for a medical association to present information this way. It’s beyond dispute that UVB exposure is the body’s natural and intended way to manufacture vitamin D. Dietary sources and supplements are merely surrogates for what nature intended. The sunbed industry has been very honest about this and continues to promote non-burning exposure in an appropriate fashion.”

About the Joint Canadian Tanning Association

Founded in 2002, the JCTA is a national non-profit organization created to increase understanding of the professional tanning industry’s scientifically supported position that regular moderate ultraviolet exposure from sunshine or sunbed, in a non-burning fashion, is part of a responsible lifestyle that recognizes both the inherent benefits and the manageable risks associated with ultraviolet light exposure. provides a balance to the messaging Canadians receive regarding sun exposure and tanning beds.

For further information contact

Steven Gilroy at

1.800.915.0367 Ext 1

M: 250.863.8765