Does light therapy increase vitamin D levels?


Does light therapy increase vitamin D levels?

Not all forms of light therapy increase vitamin D levels. It all depends on the type of light used. Ultraviolet light therapy is necessary to treat vitamin D deficiency. Specifically, phototherapy should use ultraviolet light in order to stimulate the production of vitamin D in the body. 

Light can be divided into many different wavelength ranges. Different wavelengths of light lead to different physiological processes occurring in the body. All these processes have different effects on health and the human body. Different types of light therapy use different spectrums of light to support health. 

The human eye can detect wavelengths from 380 to 700 nanometers (nm). Shorter than this range is the spectrum of ultraviolet light, which can be further divided: 

UVA light has the longest wavelength at 320-400 nm. UVB light has a wavelength between 280-320 nanometers. About 95% of UVB light is absorbed by the ozone layer. UVC light has a wavelength between 100 and 280 nm which is very harmful to human skin. Fortunately, the Earth’s atmosphere absorbs the UV spectrum almost completely. 

The majority of skin-related benefits from sunlight stem from the UV spectrum. It is this light spectrum that stimulates the production of vitamin D in the skin. Solius uses a narrow spectrum of ultraviolet light, between 293-303 nanometers, which is most effective in stimulating vitamin D production.   

Does sadness light therapy provide vitamin d?

Phototherapy for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is ineffective in treating vitamin D deficiency. SAD lamps use an entirely different physiological process that uses the visible light spectrum to stimulate the retina in a way that has an effect on the circadian rhythm.

Does red light therapy provide vitamin D?

Red light therapy does not provide vitamin D. Red light therapy uses wavelengths between 630-700 nanometers that are absorbed by the mitochondria in your cells. 

Does blue light therapy provide vitamin D?

Blue light therapy does not provide vitamin D. Blue light therapy uses the blue spectrum of visible light to treat a variety of skin conditions. 

Do Tanning Booths Provide Vitamin D?

The tanning booths use UV light mostly in the UVA range for tanning. While these stalls have the potential to increase vitamin D levels, this is not a recommended form of vitamin D light therapy due to the damage it does to your skin. Tanning occurs when UVA rays stimulate melanocytes to produce melanin, the brown pigment that leads to tanning. These UVA rays damage the deeper layers of the skin which can lead to premature skin aging and skin cancer. 

Sunlight therapy for vitamin D deficiency 

Some doctors say that being out in the sun is the best form of vitamin D light therapy because that’s how humans are designed to get vitamin D. In order to get Vitamin D from the sun, we must expose our skin to direct sunlight when the weather and geographic conditions are absolutely perfect. Many factors limit our ability to produce vitamin D from sunlight, including latitude, season, time of day, cloud cover, altitude, use of sunscreen, and pollution.  


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