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Sun Tanning May Be Addictive

Dr Tasreen Alibhai, ND
Sun Tanning May Be Addictive

Summer is here and it’s a hot one! The beaches are full with people enjoying the sunshine. Recent research shows sun tanning may actually be addictive!

The study conducted at Harvard Medical School exposed mice to UVB light 5 times a week for 6 weeks. They found increased levels of endorphins in the rat’s brains, the same chemicals that make you feel good and are involved in addiction.

Sun tanning may be addictive:


Most of us love the sun. But don’t forget the harmful effects of the sun. UV light triggers inflammation and damage to our skin that can lead to skin cancer, wrinkles and aging.

Although sunscreen does offer some protection from sun damage to our skin, it is also important to provide internal protection, namely in the form of antioxidants.

Antioxidants protect our skin from damage, both by increasing our skin cells defense mechanisms and by neutralizing free radicals that lead to sun damage.

Foods, herbs and nutritional supplements are a great way to give your body the super-dose of Antioxidants it needs to protect against sun damage and skin cancer.

Here are my favorite top 5 antioxidant nutrients to protect your skin from sun damage, Naturally!

*The information provided is not intended to diagnose or treat any health condition. Please consult with your doctor or Naturopathic Doctor before starting any new supplement program as they may have interactions with certain medications. *
  1. Resveratrol is found in the skin of grapes, red wine and cocoa. It is a strong antioxidant plants naturally produce to protect themselves from UV light damage and climate changes.

    A study conducted at the National Institute of Health found, when Resveratrol was applied to the skin of laboratory animals, it protected them from UV light damage (like a sunblock). It prevented skin cancer from the UVB radiation.

    Prevention of UVB radiation damage by resveratrol in mouse skin is mediated via modulation in surviving


    Recommended dosage: 200mg/day

  2. Grape seed extract. This is extracted from the seed of grapes. It contains proanthocyanidins that are powerful antioxidants, excellent to protect your skin from UV damage.

    Here is a great study showing the mechanism of how GSE can help prevent photo-induced skin cancer.

    Grape seed proanthocyanidines and skin cancer prevention: Inhibition of oxidative stress and protection of immune system.


    Recommended dosage: 150mg 1-2x/day. Look for a preparation that contains up to 95% OPC proanthocyanidins.

  3. Citrus Bioflavanoids are the pigment found in citrus fruits, red wine, green tea and dark chocolate. They give the red, yellow and blue pigment.

    These are excellent antioxidants for your body and skin cells.

    Recommended dosage: Citrus bioflavanoid supplements are available alone or in combination with other nutrient supplements. Approximately 1gram per day is a safe, effective dosage.

  4. Vitamin E is an excellent antioxidant for your whole body, including your skin cells. It protects your skin cells from the photo damage and DNA damage that UVB light can produce. Recent research suggests combining vitamin E and C together is important to get the benefits for sun damage protection.

    Differential effects of topical Vitamin E and C E Ferulic Treatments on Ultraviolet Light B-induced Cutaneous Tumor Development in Skh-1mice.


    Recommended dosage: 400IU mixed tocopherol Vitamin E plus at least 1000mg Vitamin C per day.

  5. Green tea contains polyphenols (Green Tea Polyphenols) to prevent skin tumors and skin damage. Drink at least 2 cups per day.

    In mice studies, green tea actually repaired the DNA damage caused by the sun.


At Vitalia Health Care, we develop individualized programs to meet your specific health needs. We understand that no two people are the same. From a 1 hour initial evaluation, we can customize a health plan that is specific to your goals. This includes our weight loss programs, specific nutrition evaluations and consultations, and developing a supplemental program specific to your health needs.

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