Ultraviolet-B radiation increases serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels: The effect of UVB dose and skin color

Laura A.G. Armas, Susan Dowell, Mohammed Akhter, Sowjanya Duthuluru, Christopher Huerter, Bruce W. Hollis, Richard Lund, Robert P. Heaney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

221 Scopus citations


Background: Ultraviolet (UV)-B light increases vitamin D levels, but the dose response and the effect of skin pigmentation have not been well characterized. Objective: We sought to define the relationship between UVB exposure and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH-D) concentrations as a function of skin pigmentation. Methods: Seventy two participants with various skin tones had 90% of their skin exposed to UVB light (20-80 mJ/cm 2) 3 times a week for 4 weeks. Serum 25-OH-D was measured weekly. Results: Eighty percent of the variation in treatment response was explained by UVB dose and skin tone. Therapeutically important changes in 25-OH-D were achieved with minimal tanning. Limitations: Four weeks was not long enough to reach a steady state at the higher dose rates. Conclusions: The response of 25-OH-D levels to UVB light is dependent on skin pigmentation and the amount of UVB given, and useful increases in vitamin D status can be achieved by defined UVB doses small enough to produce only minimal tanning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)588-593
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology


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