Vitamin D Synthesis Following a Single Bout of Sun Exposure in Older and Younger Men and Women

Jenna R. Chalcraft, Linda M. Cardinal, Perry J. Wechsler, Bruce W. Hollis, Kenneth G. Gerow, Brenda M. Alexander, Jill F. Keith, D. Enette Larson-Meyer
2020 Nutrients  
Older adults are frequently cited as an at-risk population for vitamin D deficiency that may in part be due to decreased cutaneous synthesis, a potentially important source of cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Previous studies found that cutaneous D3 production declines with age; however, most studies have been conducted ex vivo or in the photobiology lab. The purpose of this study was to characterize the response of vitamin D metabolites following a 30-min bout of sun exposure (15-min each to the
more » ... 15-min each to the dorsal and ventral sides) at close to solar noon in younger and older adults. Methods: 30 healthy individuals with skin type II/III were recruited; a younger cohort, aged 20–37 (n = 18) and an older cohort (n = 12), age 51–69 years. Exposure was at outer limits of sensible sun exposure designed to enhance vitamin D synthesis without increasing risk of photo ageing and non-melanoma skin cancer. Serum D3 concentration was measured at baseline, 24, 48 and 72 h post-exposure. Serum 25(OH)D was measured at baseline and 72 h post-exposure plus 168 h post-exposure in the older cohort. Results: D3 increased in response to sun exposure (time effect; p = 0.002) with a trend for a difference in D3 between cohorts (time*group; p = 0.09). By regression modeling of continuous data, age accounted for 20% of the variation in D3 production. D3 production decreased by 13% per decade. Despite changes in D3, however, serum 25(OH)D did not change from baseline to 72 or 168 h post exposure (p > 0.10). Conclusions: Serum D3 concentration increased significantly in response to outdoor sun exposure in younger and older adults. While ageing may dampen cutaneous synthesis, sunlight exposure is still a significant source of vitamin D3.
doi:10.3390/nu12082237 pmid:32727044 fatcat:v4pnndsbgnbx5cxrr7w3rnv4nq