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Comparison of narrowband ultraviolet B exposure and oral vitamin D substitution on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration

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Published:25th Mar 2020
Background: A short course of narrowband ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) exposures increases the serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentration in patients with psoriasis and healthy subjects. Objectives: To compare the effects of NB-UVB and oral vitamin D substitution in healthy subjects in winter. Methods: Healthy adult hospital employees and medical students were screened for serum 25(OH)D concentration. Those with 25(OH)D below 75 nmol L?1 were randomly given either 12 NB-UVB exposures or 20 ?g of oral cholecalciferol daily for 4 weeks. The NB-UVB exposures were given with a Waldmann UV 7001 cabin and the mean cumulative dose was 48�4 standard erythema doses. Serum 25(OH)D was measured before and after the treatments by radioimmunoassay. Results: The baseline serum 25(OH)D concentrations were 52�9 � 10�4 (mean � SD) in the 33 NB-UVB-treated and 53�5 � 12�7 nmol L?1 in the 30 oral cholecalciferol-treated subjects. The mean increase in serum 25(OH)D was 41�0 nmol L?1 [95% confidence interval (CI) 34�8�47�2; P < 0�001] in the NB-UVB group and 20�2 nmol L?1 (95% CI 14�6�26�0; P < 0�001) in the cholecalciferol group. The difference between the two treatments was significant at 2 weeks (P = 0�033) and at 4 weeks (P < 0�001). One month after the treatments the 25(OH)D concentrations had increased further. Conclusions: The present study shows that 12 NB-UVB exposures given during 4 weeks increase serum 25(OH)D concentration significantly more than 20 ?g of oral cholecalciferol daily. A short NB-UVB course is an effective way to improve vitamin D balance in winter and the response is still evident 2 months after the course.

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