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Medicine Science

Endorphins Make Tanning Addictive 51

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-not-easy-being-orange dept.
Rambo Tribble writes: Research published in the journal Cell describes a mechanism whereby exposure to UV light leads to endorphin production in the skin. Additionally, they show that rodents exhibit the characteristics of addiction to those substances. This adds to earlier studies which demonstrated withdrawal-like symptoms in frequent tanners One of the researchers, Dr. David Fisher, commented, "It sounds like a cruel joke to be addicted the most ubiquitous carcinogen in the world,' The researchers conclusions are subject to some skepticism, however. Addiction researcher Dr. David Belin is quoted as opining, "... their study is going to be seminal even though their conclusions are not supported by their results." The BBC offers nicely rounded coverage, as well.
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Endorphins Make Tanning Addictive

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  • by jythie (914043) on Saturday June 21, 2014 @12:16PM (#47288837)
    Comparing it to runner`s high is what I was thinking too.

    I think the criticism of the paper was a little off, or at minimal the person was creating an unnecessarily high bar. Not all addition is equal, not all withdraw symptoms are crippling, and "must be life destroying" only applies when you are talking DSM level addiction, not the physiological process.

    Caffeine would be a good example of this. Physically addicting, has withdraw symptoms, but does not rise to the level of DSM addiction since people generally do not choose it over all other things. But it is still addictive.
  • by manu0601 (2221348) on Saturday June 21, 2014 @09:56PM (#47291069)

    Summary says

    It sounds like a cruel joke to be addicted the most ubiquitous carcinogen in the world

    But UV exposure let the body produce vitamin D, which enables the immune system to fight cancer more efficiently, hence things are not that simple

    In fact, avoiding UV probably means swapping skin cancers with other cancers. The nice point with skin cancers is that you have a chance to spot them early, so personally, I would choose UV exposure.

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