Content » Vol 96, Issue 4

Investigative Report

Narrowband Ultraviolet B Exposures Maintain Vitamin D Levels During Winter: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Toni Karppinen, Meri Ala-Houhala, Lasse Ylianttila, Hannu Kautiainen, Heli Viljakainen, Timo Reunala, Erna Snellman
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-2269


Exposure to solar ultraviolet B radiation during the summer months is the main source of vitamin D (VD) for people living in northern latitudes. The aim of this study was to determine whether artificial narrowband ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) whole-body exposures could maintain VD levels in winter. The intervention group received 2 standard erythema doses (SEDs) of NB-UVB exposures every second week from October 2013 to April 2014. In October 2013 serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations were 78.3 nmol/l in the intervention group (n=16) and 76.8 nmol/l in the control group (n=18). By April 2014 the concentrations had increased by 11.7 nmol/l (p=0.029) in the intervention group and decreased by 11.1 nmol/l (p=0.022) in the control group. The baseline VD concentration showed a negative correlation (p=0.012) with body mass index (BMI). In conclusion, a suberythemal NB-UVB dose of 2 SED every second week maintains and even increases serum VD concentrations during the winter. A high BMI seems to predispose subjects to low levels of VD.


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