Sep 14, 2017: Ultraviolet LEDs emitting in the 290 to 300nm range are more efficient than sunlight in producing vitamin D3 in skin samples. This has been documented by the researchers of the Boston University School of Medicine. They have published a paper titled “Ultraviolet B LEDs Are More Efficient and Effective in Producing Vitamin D3 in Human Skin Compared to Natural Sunlight” in the Scientific Reports journal.
The researchers have carried out an experiment with Rayvio’s 293nm LED, and the UVB LED was found to be 2.4 times more efficient in producing vitamin D 3 in human skin than the sun in less than 1/60 th the time.
The researchers said in the paper that just 0.52 minutes of LED exposure produced more than twice as much vitamin D 3 as when the samples were exposed to 32.5 minutes of sunlight.
The researchers expect that the new study would lead to a new generation of technology that can be called photo-pharmacology, in which LEDs with targeted wavelengths can be used, which can cause specific biologic effects in human skin, and help treat and prevent chronic illnesses.
Vitamin D deficiency causes osteoporosis, rickets and other metabolic bone diseases and is more prevalent in northern and southern latitudes where sunlight is limited for a significant part of the year. A device that produces vitamin D 3 UV LED can be used on skin areas that experience less exposure to sunlight like upper legs, arms, abdomen and back, minimizing risk for developing non-melanoma skin cancer.
The UV LED device also emits a narrower band of UVB light, thus decreasing likelihood of skin damage that can occur when the skin is exposed to higher wavelengths of UV radiation.
Dr. Robert C. Walker, CEO of RayVio, that provided the 293nm UVB LEDs, said that the potential of digital UV technology for phototherapy is enormous. He added that in the US alone, 75% of teens and adults are vitamin D deficient. “We may soon see innovative treatment options like simple integration with a wearable device could aid millions of people,” he said.