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UV LED Lights More Effective in Creating Vitamin D3 than Sunlight

A research published recently in Scientific Reports reveals that light from RayVio's 293 nm UV LED is more efficient than sunlight at creating vitamin D3 in skin samples.

Tyler Kalajian and his research team, led by Dr. Michael F. Holick, Ph.D., M.D., and supported by Boston University School of Medicine and a Boston University Ignition Award, discovered that skin samples exposed to RayVio's UV LED for merely 0.52 minutes created over twice as much vitamin D3 as samples exposed to sunlight for 32.5 minutes.

We tested ultraviolet LEDs from different sources and at different wavelengths. RayVio's 293nm LED showed the most significant potential for vitamin D3 production in the shortest amount of time. This study will lead to a new generation of technology that can be labeled as photopharmacology in which the use of LEDs with targeted wavelengths can cause specific biologic effects in human skin to help treat and prevent chronic illnesses.

Dr. Holick, a Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine, and endocrinologist at Boston Medical Center.

Vitamin D deficiency is linked with rickets, osteoporosis, and other metabolic bone diseases and is more widespread in northern and southern latitudes where sunlight is inadequate for a greater part of the year. This device for creating vitamin D is ideally applicable for patients with fat malabsorption syndromes including gastric bypass surgery and inflammatory bowel disease.

The research reveals that RayVio's UV LEDs could be employed to treat patients who are vitamin D deficient. A vitamin D3 making UV LED device could be used on skin areas that get less exposure to sunlight such as upper arms and legs and back and abdomen, thus reducing risk of non-melanoma skin cancer. The UV LED device also discharges a lot narrower band of UVB light and thereby reducing chances of skin damage that can happen when the skin is exposed to higher wavelengths of UV radiation.

"The potential of digital UV technology for phototherapy is enormous," said Dr. Robert C. Walker, RayVio's CEO. "Dr. Holick's research with our UVB LEDs demonstrates the potential for new applications that can potentially improve and save hundreds of thousands of lives.

About Vitamin D3 Two forms of vitamin D are important to humans: vitamin D2 produced by plants, yeast and mushrooms, and vitamin D3 produced by skin when exposed to sunlight or the appropriate wavelength of ultraviolet light.

U.S. alone, seventy-five percent of teens and adults are vitamin D deficient. Thanks to the work of the research team and the pioneering work of the Boston University Photonics Center on UV LEDs, we may soon see innovative treatment options like simple integration with a wearable device could aid millions of people."

The paper’s co-authors, all from Boston University, include T.A. Kalajian, A. Aldoukhi, A.J. Veronikis, K. Persons, and M.F. Holick.

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