Narrowband ultraviolet B three times per week is more effective in treating vitamin D deficiency than 1600 IU oral vitamin D-3 per day: a randomized clinical trial

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Background It is known that narrowband ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) radiation and oral vitamin D-3 supplementation can both improve serum levels of vitamin D, expressed as 25-hydroxyvitamin D-3 [25(OH)D-3]. 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 D-3 supplementation on vitamin D levels in patients with vitamin D deficiency. Methods Seventy-three participants with vitamin D deficiency [25(OH)D-3 <= 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 mu g) oral vitamin D-3 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)D-3 levels (mean) in the NB-UVB treated group (from 19.2 to 75 nmol L-1) compared with the oral vitamin D-3 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 mu g) vitamin D-3.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Dermatology and Venereal Diseases
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-630
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Diabetes and Endocrinology (013241530), Department of Dermatology and Venerology (013241320), Centre for Teaching and Learning (013100003)