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J Invest Dermatol. 2010 Feb;130(2):546-53. doi: 10.1038/jid.2009.323. Epub 2009 Oct 8.

Vitamin D production after UVB exposure depends on baseline vitamin D and total cholesterol but not on skin pigmentation.

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Department of Dermatology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Bispebjerg, Copenhagen NV Vejle, Denmark.

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  • J Invest Dermatol. 2010 Jun;130(6):1751.


UVB radiation increases serum vitamin D level expressed as 25-hydroxyvitamin-D(3) (25(OH)D), but the influence of skin pigmentation, baseline 25(OH)D level, and total cholesterol has not been well characterized. To determine the importance of skin pigmentation, baseline 25(OH)D level, and total cholesterol on 25(OH)D production after UVB exposure, 182 persons were screened for 25(OH)D level. A total of 50 participants with a wide range in baseline 25(OH)D levels were selected to define the importance of baseline 25(OH)D level. Of these, 28 non-sun worshippers with limited past sun exposure were used to investigate the influence of skin pigmentation and baseline total cholesterol. The participants had 24% of their skin exposed to UVB (3 standard erythema doses) four times every second or third day. Skin pigmentation and 25(OH)D levels were measured before and after the irradiations. Total cholesterol was measured at baseline. The increase in 25(OH)D level after UVB exposure was negatively correlated with baseline 25(OH)D level (P<0.001) and positively correlated with baseline total cholesterol level (P=0.005), but no significant correlations were found with constitutive or facultative skin pigmentation. In addition, we paired a dark-skinned group with a fair-skinned group according to baseline 25(OH)D levels and found no differences in 25(OH)D increase after identical UVB exposure.

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