UV exposure brings benefits

Sara Williams

Skin cancer and premature aging are among the many dangers associated with exposure to sunlight and tanning beds, but catching a few rays also has its benefits.

Moderate UV exposure increases synthesis of vitamin D, elevates mood and lessens the effects of seasonal affective disorder, also known as “the blues.”

“It can provide a mild mood benefit,” said Michael Moore, assistant director of the Psychological Clinic.

Moore said although he wouldn’t recommend tanning, for people who get stressed and really enjoy it, it could offer some benefits.

Kent State graduate Stephanie Vincent works at Darque Zone Tanning and uses the beds for free.

“You go in there and get away from everything,” she said. “Ten to twenty minutes to yourself.”

Besides elevating mood, the sun also provides Vitamin D, which helps with calcium absorption and bone strength. But Vitamin D can also be obtained through food.

Rose Ann Chiurazzi, a registered dietician at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, said there are more Vitamin D deficiency cases in Ohio than in sunny Arizona, where she used to live.

Chiurazzi said it’s a double-edged sword, because Vitamin D cannot be produced if sunscreen is applied.

Contact student life reporter Sara Williams at [email protected].