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Want to get a tan and avoid sunburn? Here's how a few nutrients can help you do that

by , 16 July 2013

It's an all-too-familiar dilemma for many people in summer: You head outdoors into the sunshine with the expectation of a golden tan only to retreat indoors a few hours later looking like a boiled lobster. In a few days' time, your lobster shell peels away leaving you once again with a complexion that has come to be known as ‘pasty white'. But it doesn't have to be like this. Read on to discover an effective and natural way to get a tan without burning your skin.

While an inability to tan isn’t a life-threatening medical condition, serious sensitivity to the sun’s rays that results in serious burns after just a few hours is.

Fortunately, even if you have the fairest of complexions, it’s possible to increase the amount of time you spend in the sun without burning.

According to Dr Jonathan Wright of Nutrition & Healing, over 50 years ago, Dr. John Myers, who’s considered the pioneer of using trace elements in medicine, found an effective way to lengthen the time you can spend in the sun without burning and improve your tan, too.

“Dr. Myers’ ‘better tanning’ system is designed to help skin produce more melanins (skin pigments). The amino acid L-tyrosine is the precursor for all the melanin pigments,” explains Dr Wright. Some key co-factors in turning L-tyrosine into the various melanins include copper, vitamin B6 and vitamin C.

“Dr. Myers reasoned that supplying the skin with these nutrients would enable more and better melanin formation under the influence of sunshine and thousands of people have proven him correct,” says Dr Wright.

The key is to make sure all of these elements are in the right place at the right time. Trace elements (in this case copper) usually take two to three weeks to build up and start ‘doing their jobs’ in your body. But the other components necessary for this tanning technique work relatively rapidly. Vitamin B6 and vitamin C are water-soluble and L-tyrosine converts into melanin which then results in a suntan in just two or three days.

Want to try Dr Myers’ better tanning system and get a tan without sunburn?

If you want to try Dr. Myers’ better tanning system, you’ll need to take 4mg of copper daily. The sebacate form of copper appears to be the best absorbed, although other forms are okay.

If you’re not planning much sunshine exposure right away, start the copper first (remember, it takes longer to start working) and add the other three nutrients the day before you plan to tan.

But if your tan plan starts tomorrow, it’s okay to start everything at once. It’ll still help, just not quite as much as when the copper supplement gets a head start.

On the day before you head out into the sun on the quest for a new and improved tan, take the following combination three times a day: 1,000mg to 1,500mg of L-tyrosine, the same amount of vitamin C and 50mg of vitamin B6.

Since supplementing with copper can cause your body to excrete excess zinc, it’s best to take 30mg of zinc (picolinate or citrate) daily for as long as you’re using copper. It’s also best to ‘back up’ extra vitamin B6 with the entire B-complex; the amount found in any good megavitamin multiple is usually sufficient.

If you’re going to continue spending time in the sun throughout the summer months, continue taking these nutrients at the specified quantities.

One word of caution: “Dr Myers’ better tanning system WILL NOT prevent sunburn if you’re in the sun too long. It’ll enable you to stay in the sun longer before you start to burn. And it’ll improve whatever tan you usually get,” says Dr Wright. If you never tan, you’ll probably notice at least a slight difference from what you’re used to.

Although Dr Myers’ tanning system is effective, it’s still very necessary to take precautions against burning and to make sure your diet and supplements protect you against skin cancer.

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