Background/Aim: Ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation initiates vitamin D synthesis in the skin, making sun exposure a major source of vitamin D. We aimed to determine whether office lighting containing ultra-low levels of UV-B radiation could modify the winter decline in vitamin D status in the UK, while being safe and well tolerated.
Patients and Methods: Twenty commercial office desk lamps were modified with the addition of UV-B LEDs. Ten hospital office administrative staff received UV-modified lamps with UV-on, and 10 staff received identical placebo lamps with UV switched off, in a double-blind, cross-over pilot study during the winter of 2021/22. Circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] was measured every 4 weeks for 20 weeks: at baseline and during an 8-week trial period, 4-week washout, and a cross-over 8-week trial period.
Results: The linear regression combining the complete datasets for phase 1 and 2 of the trial showed that an 8-week UV light intervention significantly increased 25OHD by 7.13 nmol/l with a p-Value=0.02, compared to the placebo group. Similar results were confirmed by cross-over analyses using the datasets of those completing both phases of the trial both with and without using the inverse probability weighing method to handle dropouts.
Conclusion: The UV-B-modified lighting was well-tolerated and safe with weekly doses of UV-B of 0.5 - 0.9 Standard Erythema Dose [SED=100 Jm -2 erythema weighted UV radiation] measured at chest level. This ultra-low dosing was effective in reducing the winter decline in vitamin D status.