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Riboflavin and Tanning Beds for Fungal Infections? | Chris Masterjohn Lite #145

August 17, 2019

Could riboflavin supplements and tanning beds be an effective combination for fungal infections? Hi. I’m Dr. Chris Masterjohn of of And this is Chris Masterjohn Lite, where the name of the game is “Details? Shmeetails. Just tell me what works!” And today we’re going to talk about the possibility that the combination of riboflavin and tanning beds could be an effective combination to combat fungal infections in the skin. And I want to make it clear that I have posed this as a question, and I’m not saying that it is effective. I think that it is a possibility that’s worth discussing. I know from my own experience when I had a major crisis of barium toxicity combined with indoor mold exposure at the turn of 2016-2017, so at the beginning of 2017 was my major period of recovery, I went through a lot, and one of the problems that I had was a very extreme problem with a fungal infection in my skin, and the standard treatments that I was getting from the dermatologist were modestly helpful but were not the things that really made it go away. And it was really the combination of a number of different nutritional treatments that I engaged in including vitamin A, but eventually using a tanning bed two to three times per week with the tanning beds that emitted a mix of UVA and UVB proved to be one of the most important things that rounded out me being able to clear my skin up. So I think that tanning beds on their own can be very important. And I was not taking riboflavin supplements at the time, and I know that this isn’t all about riboflavin because it is definitely the case that ultraviolet light is just poisonous to many fungi through a number of different mechanisms, some of which have nothing to do with riboflavin. However, in doing a lot of research into riboflavin more recently for the massive podcast that I did with Alex Leaf, I stumbled upon a couple connections between ultraviolet light and riboflavin and antifungal properties that I think are very interesting. So first of all we know that in classical riboflavin deficiency, the crusty, greasy, red dermatitis that affects many areas in the face oftentimes is infected with Candida, which is the most prevalent human fungal pathogen. So that right there tells you that even under normal conditions of health, part of the reason that you don’t have Candida overgrowing in your face is because you have enough riboflavin. So the riboflavin being there is part of the natural defense. Another thing that’s characteristic of normal health is that while you have some riboflavin in your skin, your skin especially in your face and hands, is also exposed to sunlight. So perhaps there’s an interaction with sunlight and riboflavin that is keeping the fungal pathogens that could otherwise infect your skin in check. The third thing that’s interesting is there’s some research in a laboratory, so this is not done in humans, but in a laboratory they use an antifungal drug called amphotericin B to poke holes in the cell walls of several fungi. And when they do that, they then treat those fungi with the combination of riboflavin and ultraviolet light in the form of UVA. And what happens is that the ultraviolet light destroys the riboflavin. When it does, it converts the riboflavin into a riboflavin antagonist that actually poisons riboflavin-dependent enzymes. The amphotericin B pokes a hole in the cell walls of these fungi, and the riboflavin antagonists produced by the UVA enter into the fungi, into the fungal cell, and they start destroying the riboflavin-dependent machinery because they’re acting as riboflavin antagonists inside those fungal cells. This has been shown to be effective against Candida, Fusarium, and Aspergillus. Now, these studies imply that you need the amphotericin B to poke holes in the fungal cell wall in order to make the combination of the UVA and riboflavin effective. But like I said at the beginning, why do we find Candida infecting the face in classical riboflavin deficiency? I think it’s the case, and this is just me speculating, but I think it’s the case that although the amphotericin B might make that more effective, and maybe that’s warranted in certain severe fungal infections, it seems very possible to me that when you’re talking about a modest fungal infection in your skin and you’re talking about normal exposure to sunlight or even just use of tanning beds to try to get a better dose of ultraviolet light against those fungi, that part of that mechanism might be through the light creation of riboflavin antagonists, and that you might be able to enhance that by taking riboflavin supplements. And you should probably try to protect sensitive areas. So if you don’t need to zap your face, don’t zap your face. It might accelerate aging there. And if you’re a guy, and you can get away with not zapping your balls, in other words if you don’t need the antifungal effect in that area, then I’d cover them up just in case you would wind up damaging your sperm. If you’re willing to endure whatever risks there are to using tanning beds for your skin health, then I think it’s probably harmless to add the riboflavin in. As a measure of precaution, I would not take the riboflavin right before you use the tanning bed. I would say use the tanning bed in the morning and take your riboflavin later in the day with food so that in the morning you’ve kind of gone through the process of getting the riboflavin out of your blood and into your skin. In terms of dosing, there’s not much to say since there’s no direct human research on this, but I think it’s safe to experiment with 100 milligrams of riboflavin at each meal after the tanning bed. And let’s collect some data. If you decide to try this, let me know how it went. This episode is brought to you by Vitamins and Minerals 101. This is my new free 30-day course providing one lesson a day on each nutrient delivered straight to your inbox. It can go to your email or it can go to your Facebook Messenger. If you get the Messenger version, it’s taught by Chris MasterBot, my baby bot. It’s more interactive, there are more emojis, and there are more jokes. But both email and Facebook Messenger are incredibly educational. Each lesson covers why the nutrient is important to your health, how to know if you have too little or too much, or the wrong balance with other nutrients, how to get it from food, and when you should think about supplementing. It is not a technical or advanced course. It is completely minimum in its technical jargon, and it is designed for the beginner with no background in nutrition and no background beyond high school in the basic sciences. Nevertheless, many people who have backgrounds in nutrition are saying that it is an amazing refresher course full of nuggets of valuable information in each lesson. Sign up completely free by Facebook Messenger or by email at This episode is brought to you by Testing Nutritional Status: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet. This is my recipe to empower you to banish any deficiency or nutritional imbalance from your body. I’ve been through the pain of my teeth falling apart, my stomach being in constant pain, and my OCD going off the rails during my stint with veganism to the point where panic attacks were the norm and I was afraid to eat any of the food in my house. I’ve been through the path of healing using nutrient-dense animal foods to nourish all the systems of my body and become a new person, but I’ve also learned that my needs change over time. The red meat and liver that were so healing in my recovery from veganism later started sapping my energy and brain power only to find out that I’m genetically predisposed to iron overload and need to manage it with blood donations. And I’ve learned from friends, colleagues, and clients that everyone is different. Your needs are not mine. Mine aren’t what they were ten years ago. Yours won’t be what they are now in ten years. That’s why we need a precise recipe to know exactly what’s missing, exactly what’s overloaded, exactly what’s imbalanced, and an action plan to fix things, and a way to measure our success. That’s what I’ve done with Testing Nutritional Status: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet. Get your copy at and use the code: LITE20 That’s L I T E and the number 20 to get 20% off. For ad-free versions of these episodes with transcripts that you can read and getting early access to the episodes often weeks or maybe even months ahead of time, you can sign up for the CMJ Masterpass at and use the code: LITE10 to get 10 percent lifetime discount. The audio of this episode was enhanced and post-processed by Bob Davodian of Taurean Mixing. You can find more of his work at All right, I hope you found this useful. Signing off, this is Chris Masterjohn of This has been Chris Masterjohn Lite. And I will see you in the next episode.


  • Reply Optimize with Science June 11, 2019 at 10:14 am

    Wow, you're sometimes making videos about topics I haven't even thought about 😀

    Still great content always!

  • Reply Hot and sassy June 11, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    I have recently started taking a good amount of riboflavin and man I love that vitamin! So many benefits I’ve noticed from it. Makes me think I was low in it as I spend so much tome out in the sun!

  • Reply Leyla Turayeva June 11, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Can natural sunlight be used instead of the tanning beds?

  • Reply Bob Bine June 12, 2019 at 12:49 am

    Providone iodine externaly.
    Lugoils iodine internaly.
    Oregano oil
    Garlic oil

  • Reply Atomic Space Bunny June 12, 2019 at 8:33 am

    How would you think the best way would be of killing fungal infection variations of athletes foot and fungal nail infections of the foot?

  • Reply Adam Blaknovski June 23, 2019 at 5:49 am

    You ate the wrong vegan diet clearly.
    Grains, nightshade plants and their fruit and tubers, legumes, indeed any vegetables that need cooking to be edible, refined sugars, processed or cooked food is what causes all our illnesses along with other environmental toxicity.
    Animal products are not necessary and are not digested properly by the human digestive system, which is herbivorous not omnivorous.
    How do I know? Omnivores all eat shit. Their own, other members of their same species and that of other species, along with other omnivore eating traits we don't have, like not being able to chew very well, whereas we as humans are master masticators.

    We are supposed to eat all our food raw just like every other organism on Earth, shocker, and to think that cooking our food was in any way an improvement to our nutritional needs and intelligence is to ignore all the current scientific data.
    Healthy human gut flora (in the lower intestine) is able to digest raw plant fibres and release energy for our own glycolysis, omegas and amino acids along with Vitamins, potentially from background bacterial die-off amongst other sources.
    When you have a teeming healthy gut source from a healthy compost colon, you have no need to consume b vitamin rich food sources as you're carrying a b vitamin factory around with you.
    Getting there is no easy feat though, neither is staying there with so many gluten rich Roundup soaked poisonous treats waved in your face daily totally by accident of Commerce with no evil machinators in the background twisting our reality with temptation or anything.

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