Serum folate levels after UVA exposure: a two-group parallel randomised controlled trialReport as inadecuate

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BMC Dermatology

, 1:8

First Online: 20 November 2001Received: 20 September 2001Accepted: 20 November 2001


BackgroundPhotodegradation of certain vitamins such as riboflavins, carotinoids, tocopherol, and folate has been well-documented. Previous observations suggest that ultraviolet UV radiation may cause folate deficiency. This is of great importance since folate deficiency is also known to be linked with the development of neural tube defects. To investigate the influence of UVA radiation on serum folate levels in vivo, we conducted a two-group randomised controlled trial on healthy subjects.

Material and methodsTwenty-four healthy volunteers with skin type II were enrolled into the study. Eight volunteers of the study population were randomly assigned to the control group. UVA irradiation was administered with an air-conditioned sunbed. Blood samples were taken from all volunteers at baseline T1, 30 min after the first UVA exposure T2, and at the end of the study 24 h after the sixth UV exposure T3. The volunteers had two UVA exposures weekly within three weeks cumulative UVA dose: 96 J-cm. Volunteers of the control group had no UVA exposures. Serum folate was analysed with an automated immunoassay system.

ResultsAt all times of blood collection the differences between serum folate levels were insignificant P > 0.05, except of the non-exposed controls at T2 P < 0.05. We did not observed significant differences of folate levels between UVA exposed and non-exposed volunteers P > 0.05.

ConclusionsOur data suggest that both single and serial UVA exposures do not significantly influence serum folate levels of healthy subjects. Therefore, neural tube defects claimed to occur after periconceptual UVA exposure are probably not due to UVA induced folate deficiency.

List of abbreviationsUVultraviolet

NTDneural tube defects

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-5945-1-8 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Thilo Gambichler - Armin Bader - Kirsten Sauermann - Peter Altmeyer - Klaus Hoffmann


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