Vitamin D (VitD) deficiency is a health problem prevalent not only in the elderly but also in young adults. The primary objective of our observational pilot study “MUVY” ( Mood, UVR, Vitamin D in Young women) was to test both the short-term and long-term effects of a series of three suberythemal UV radiation (UVR) exposures on the VitD status and well-being of young healthy women during winter in a repeat measure design.
20 healthy young women (Fitzpatrick skin types I–III, aged 21–25 years) received three full body broad band UVR exposures with an escalating erythemally weighted dose schedule during one week in winter, and completed self-report questionnaires monitoring symptoms of depression (Beck Depression Inventory, BDI) and affective state/well-being (Profile of Mood States, POMS) at baseline and three days after the last UVR exposure. 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH) 2D) were measured in serum at baseline, and at study days 8, 36 and 50.
Mean baseline 25(OH)D level was 54.3 nmol/L (standard deviation (s.d.) = 24.1), with seven women having VitD deficient status. Relevant symptoms of depression, as indicated by low BDI total scores (0–8), were absent. After the three UVR exposures the increment of 25(OH)D was an average of 13.9 nmol/L (95% confidence interval (CI) = 9.4–18.4) and 26.2 pmol/L (95%CI = 7.2–45.1) for 1,25(OH) 2D. Δ25(OH)D, and corresponding baseline levels were significantly and inversely associated (rho = -0.493, p = 0.027). Only 25(OH)D remained significantly increased above baseline for at least six weeks after the last UVR exposure. A strong inverse correlation of the POMS subscale “Vigor/Activity” and the increment in 1,25(OH) 2D was found (rho = -0.739, p<0.001) at day 8.
Three suberythemal whole body UVR exposures during one week are a simple and suitable method for improving 25(OH)D levels during winter, for at least six weeks, and especially in young women with VitD deficient status.
German Clinical Trials Register (Deutsches Register Kinischer Studien) DRKS00009274