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Medicine Science

Endorphins Make Tanning Addictive 51

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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  • No worries (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 21, 2014 @11:43AM (#47288715)

    Geeks can't get a tan from their mothers basement.

  • by Sqr(twg) ( 2126054 ) on Saturday June 21, 2014 @11:47AM (#47288739)

    I can certainly believe that tanning would be addictive. I know some people who just don't seem to be able to stay off the tanning beds. At age 30 they have the skin of 60-year-olds. (Although this is in Sweden, where you only get a couple of hours of natural sunlight per day in the winter, and lack-of-sun depression is probably more common than tanning addiction by orders of magnitude.)

    • Re:I've seen it. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <> on Saturday June 21, 2014 @08:00PM (#47290573) Homepage

      Seen the same thing here in Canada, also the land of a few hours of sunlight in the winter. And yep, lack-of-sun depression is far more common here as well. Few years ago, they ramped up the "take D3 supplements" and the winter depression bit does seem to be dropping off slightly.

      • Most of the Canadian population isn't that far north. Toronto for example is at 4342N, which is about the same as Florence, Italy (4347N), and southern France (Marseille, 4318N). Calgary is at 5103N, which is around London, England (5130N) and the middle of Germany (Dresden, 5102N). Stockholm is much farther north, at 5920N, similar to Whitehorse at 6043N. It's really interesting to compare the latitudes [] between North America and Europe. Europe has great weather considering how far north it is.
  • by king neckbeard ( 1801738 ) on Saturday June 21, 2014 @12:00PM (#47288787)
    First, Colorado legalizes weed, resulting in a Rocky Mountain high, and now we have evidence that sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.
    • At first, I laughed and thought your post was funny, witty, and a good reference. On second reading, it was disturbingly insightful. Good catch.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Listen to the children, the stuff they draw has actually a meaning. They know sunlight makes addictive, this is the cause why they draw a smiley into the sun.

  • So going outside and getting some sunshine makes you feel good. Who would have guessed?
  • Didn't have enough pictures. C'mon, we're nerds here - we only clicked on the link to see some "rounded coverage" (or rounded un-coverage).

    Sunlight is addictive. So is food. So is water. So is oxygen. Do without any of these things for an extended period of time and you'll see what I mean.

    Too much sunlight is bad. Too much food is bad. Too much water is bad. Too much oxygen is bad. Do your own experiments if you need to confirm these things - but don't complain to the rest of the world when you e

    • Actually a pure oxygen environment is survivable, it just tends to make normally innovuous materials quite explosive.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Actually a pure oxygen environment is survivable, it just tends to make normally innovuous materials quite explosive.

        Actually... pure oxygen is toxic even at standard pressure. At standard pressure (1 atmosphere) it takes several days for it to become apparent. People being treated with pure oxygen need periodic breaks of normal air to avoid the toxic effects.

        At higher pressures (like when scuba diving), the exposure limits are much less. Usually the nitrogen limits are hit first, so you don't have to worry about it. However, if you are using enriched air or decompression, oxygen toxicity becomes the limiting factor.

  • So being in the nice sunshine makes you feel good. Wow, all those PE coaches and Rec Center Activity directors were all right. Not to mention my mom who always kept telling to go play outside. Or was that play on the freeway? I can't remember.

  • Another thing that's obvious made to sound groundbreaking.

  • by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Saturday June 21, 2014 @02:17PM (#47289289)
    Dr. David Fisher, commented, "It sounds like a cruel joke to be addicted the most ubiquitous carcinogen in the world.' This doesn't seem like a really intelligent thing to say. Smoking is probably just as addictive due to nicotine and clearly, it's a carcinogen as well. I guess that would be a cruel joke too?
  • by jpellino ( 202698 ) on Saturday June 21, 2014 @02:41PM (#47289393)
    ... for kicking the habit so publicly.
  • I know a girl that tans so much she has to dye her brown hair black because it looks weird if her skins darker than her hair. But then her eyebrows didn't show up so she started dyeing those. But it was too hard to keep up with so she had them removed with a laser, and TATTOOED her eyebrows and eyeliner on black. Her friends jokingly call her an umpa lumpa to her face and she giggles and goes along with it. So yea, there's either something addictive about tanning or that chicks bat shit crazy.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Either way she's bat shit crazy...

  • ...who would like to remind you that sunshine will kill you, so be sure to get your vitamin D by drinking four to eight glasses of milk every day.
  • When I've lived in northern climates, I've occasionally had a couple of tanning sessions to fight the winter blues. It works great.
  • 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.

    • The effectiveness of vitamin D as a cancer treatment is highly debatable [], and anyone claiming otherwise (for or against) is mistaken or selling something. Not all UV radiation has the same effect on your skin. Tanning beds are tuned to make you tan; they are not particularly effective for vitamin D production. []

      You should avoid tanning. I am sure no one who has had skin cancer would recommend the experience. You're presenting a false dichotomy. Even if vitamin D were effective as a cancer remedy, it does not

      • []
        "This was a 4-y, population-based, double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial. The primary outcome was fracture incidence, and the principal secondary outcome was cancer incidence."

        Eating a lots of vegetables and fruits and mushrooms can also reduce cancer risk (see Dr. Joel Fuhrman's summary works like "Eat To Live" with many references). I've found by eating more fruits and vegetables that my skin tone has changed from pale to having more color (even in winter). Ad

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