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UVB 3X per week raise vitamin D levels more than did 1600 IU daily – Aug 2012

Narrowband ultraviolet B three times per week is more effective in treating vitamin D deficiency than 1600 IU oral vitamin D3 per day: a randomized clinical trial

M.K.B. Bogh1, J. Gullstrand2, A. Svensson1, B. Ljunggren1, M. Dorkhan3
Article first published online: 20 AUG 2012
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2012.11069.x
© 2012 The Authors. BJD © 2012 British Association of Dermatologists 2012
British Journal of Dermatology

Background? It is known that narrowband ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) radiation and oral vitamin D3 supplementation can both improve serum levels of vitamin D, expressed as 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 [25(OH)D3]. However, surprisingly few studies have compared the effects of the two interventions in treating vitamin D deficiency.

Objectives? To compare the effect of NB-UVB exposure with oral vitamin D3 supplementation on vitamin D levels in patients with vitamin D deficiency.

Methods? Seventy-three participants with vitamin D deficiency [25(OH)D3 ? 25 nmol L?1] were consecutively enrolled from February 2010 to May 2011, avoiding the summer period (June to September). The participants were randomized into two groups, one receiving full body NB-UVB exposure three times per week, the other receiving 1600 IU (40 ?g) oral vitamin D3 per day together with 1000 mg calcium. Thirty-two participants completed the 6-week study period, 16 in each group. In both groups blood samples were obtained at baseline and after 3 and 6 weeks.

Results? We found a significantly greater increase in 25(OH)D3 levels (mean) in the NB-UVB treated group (from 19·2 to 75 nmol L?1) compared with the oral vitamin D3 treated group (from 23·3 to 60·6 nmol L?1) after 6 weeks of treatment (P = 0·02), accompanied by a significant decrease in parathyroid hormone for the whole group (from 5·3 to 4·2 pmol L?1, P = 0·028).

Conclusions? Full body NB-UVB three times per week is more effective in treating vitamin D deficiency than prescription of a daily oral intake of 1600 IU (40 ?g) vitamin D3.
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Comments by VitaminDWiki

  • Strange that the RCT did not also give Calcium to the UVB group
  • Strange that the abstract did not mention the duration nor intensity of the UVB dose
  • There are many ways that the supplement group could have achieved 2X higher response
    Examples: almonds, Magnesium, Vitamin K2, and of course – more IU of vitamin D

See also VitaminDWiki

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