Could riboflavin supplements and tanning beds be an effective combination for fungal infections? Hi. I’m Dr. Chris Masterjohn of of chrismasterjohnphd.com. 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. 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Signing off, this is Chris Masterjohn of chrismasterjohphd.com. This has been Chris Masterjohn Lite. And I will see you in the next episode.