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Sunlight is the fuel that permits the body to manufacture vitamin D. However, the amount of vitamin D formed in a given period of exposure depends on the color of your skin -- how rich the skin is in melanin.
Melanin absorbs UV radiation therefore it diminishes the production of vitamin D.
The UV light you get from tanning lamps is efficient for getting vitamin D. It can be safer than the UV light you get from tanning in the sun.