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Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2017 May-Jun;21(3):393-398. doi: 10.4103/ijem.IJEM_9_17.

Randomized Control Trial Assessing Impact of Increased Sunlight Exposure versus Vitamin D Supplementation on Lipid Profile in Indian Vitamin D Deficient Men.

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Growth and Endocrine Unit, Hirabai Cowasji Jehangir Medical Research Institute, Jehangir Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India.
Department of Pediatrics Endocrinology, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Manchester, England, UK.



Despite abundance of sunshine in India, Vitamin D deficiency is common and therefore there is an increasing trend toward taking Vitamin D supplements either as prescription medicine or as a nutritional supplement. Studies have suggested that duration of sun exposure may influence serum lipid profile.


To study the effect of increased sunlight exposure versus Vitamin D supplementation on Vitamin D status and lipid profile in individuals with Vitamin D deficiency (25-hydroxyvitamin-D [25OHD] <50 nmol/L).


A prospective, randomized open-label trial was carried out in apparently healthy Indian men (40-60 years). Based on 25OHD concentrations, individuals were divided into control (>50 nmol/L, n = 50) and intervention (<50 nmol/L, n = 100) groups. Individuals from intervention group were randomly allocated to two groups; either "increased sunlight exposure group" (n = 50, received at least 20 min sunlight exposure to forearms and face between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. over and above their current exposure) or "cholecalciferol supplement group" (n = 50, received oral cholecalciferol 1000 IU/day).


Significant increase in 25OHD concentrations was seen in both intervention groups (P < 0.01). Significant decrease in total cholesterol (TC), high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) was seen in individuals with increased sunlight exposure (P < 0.05). Cholecalciferol supplement group showed a significant increase in TC and HDL-C (P < 0.05) and insignificant increase in LDL-C.


Increase in Vitamin D concentrations through sunlight exposure significantly reduced TC, LDL-C, and HDL-C concentrations, and cholecalciferol supplementation increased TC and HDL-C concentrations.


Cholecalciferol; Indian; Vitamin D; cholesterol; sunlight

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