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Old 10-03-2002, 07:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Important Information For Ask Don's Army:

An article by Nina G. Jablonski and George Chaplin titled "Skin Deep" was published in the October, 2002 issue of Scientific American.

I recommend that ALL tanning salon owners rush out and purchase a copy of this issue of Scientific American for the following reasons:

1. It contains some excellent information regarding the "evolutionary" reasons for the development of skin pigmentation.

2. It contains some excellent information regarding the importance of vitamin D.

3. HOWEVER, it also contains the assertion that "Throughout the world, human skin color has evolved to be dark enouth to prevent sunlight from destroying the nutrient folate (folic acid)..." and the statement that "Such observations led us to hypothesize that dark skin evolved to protect the body's folate stores from destruction. Our idea was supported by a report published in 1996 by Argentine pediatrician Pablo Lapunzina, who found that three young and otherwise healthy women whom he had attended gave birth to infants with neural tube defects (NTD's) AFTER USING SUNBEDS TO TAN THEMSELVES IN THE EARLY WEEKS OF PREGNANCY."

What Jablonski and Chaplin failed to tell the readers of Scientific American that, in the Lapunzina study (American Journal of Medical Genetics, February 16, 1996 titled "Ultraviolet light-related neural tube defects?"), (1) that folate deficiency WAS NOT PROVEN (no laboratory results were submitted), (2) that smoking, alcohol use, solvent exposure, maternal heat exposure (from hot tub or sauna use, fever, or high ambient temperature that would be expected in Argentina!), etc., WAS NOT EXAMINED AND/OR RULED OUT, and, (3) that the Lapunzina comments were made in "letter" format (and not a "peer reviewed" scientific article) that simply was inquiring (note the question mark at the end of the title to the article) whether or not there MIGHT BE a link.

What is really surprising is that Jablinski and Chaplin didn't mention an article by Gambichler, et al, from the Department of Dermatology, Ruhr-University Bochum, in Germany titled "Serum folate levels after UVA exposure: a two-group parallel randomised controlled trial" which showed that while "light" can degrade folate "in vitro" (in the test tube), their study DID NOT show a degradation "in vivo" (in the body) AFTER IRRADIATION IN A TANNING BED!

For more information, please click on the link below to read a report I posted on 7/11/02 (who keeps YOU up to date better than Ask Don?) regarding the Gambichler article.

http://www.tantalk.com/forum/uploads/pdf/02-Folate-UVR-RI.PDF

Some comments:

1. I am compiling a "letter to the editor" of Scientific American that I will send and post in the e-Magazine section for you to read.

2. I will set up an e-Campaign "link" to make it easy for those who want send a letter to the editor of Scientific American protesting the statement about tanning beds causing NTD's (neural tube defects) because of UVR-induced folate depletion.

3. Keep in mind that while the title of the Gambichler article states "UVA" the article included (Figure 1) a tracing of the "Spectral irraiance" of the sunbed and it clearly shows that UVB was included in the "delivered" UVR spectrum [Note: It is common to see sunbeds referred to as "UVA Sunbeds" when in fact both UVA and UVB is present because, I presume, that the percentage of UVA is far higher than the percentage of UVB.].

4. You should expect that the statement "Such observations led us to hypothesize that dark skin evolved to protect the body's folate stores from destruction. Our idea was supported by a report published in 1996 by Argentine pediatrician Pablo Lapunzina, who found that three young and otherwise healthy women whom he had attended gave birth to infants with neural tube defects (NTD's) AFTER USING SUNBEDS TO TAN THEMSELVES IN THE EARLY WEEKS OF PREGNANCY." will be used against our industry by the anti-tanning segment of the dermatology community. You should expect to see in featured on your local radio, TV and newspapers. That is why I suggest that you read and "print out" our article and use it (if necessary) to refute the Jablonski and Chaplin article.

Don "Who Keeps YOU Informed And Up-To-Date" Smith
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Old 10-03-2002, 01:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks Don, I will go find this magazine this week.
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Old 10-05-2002, 06:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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FYI:

I got a copy of the Lapunzina "Letter to the Editor" of the American Journal of Medical Genetics and I find it incomprehensible that Jablonski and Chaplin would rely upon this document to substantiate their premise that sunbeds cause folate depletion.

Some items from the Lapunzina letter:

1. He stated that "In spite of the fact that there are NO SUFFICIENT DATA to support the hypothesis of UV and/or hypothermia related tetratogenesis in these 3 patients, it is my wish to alert physicians until a proper, controlled study on sunbeds is carried out."

2. His letter, incredibly, given the title "Ultraviolet Light-Related Neural Tube Defects" and his premise that sunbeds somehow degraded folate, ABSOLUTELY NO DATA REGARDING FOLATE LEVELS WAS CONTAINED IN HIS LETTER! Thus, Lapunzina had no way of knowing if UVR from the sunbeds was degrading folate "in vivo" (in the body).

3. He found that the "mean rectal temperature" of 32 test subjects raised only 0.4 degrees, an insignificant increase. Therefore, Lapunzina's letter itself showed that tanning beds DO NOT raise the temperature to a level that would be dangerous.

You can click on the link shown in my first post to read about the findings of a study PROVING that tanning beds DO NOT cause folate depletion!

I will have a "formal" response to the Scientific American article completed shortly.

Don "Who Works Hard To Keep YOU Informed" Smith

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[ This Message was edited by: Don Smith on 2002-10-05 06:56 ]
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