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Is the action spectrum for the UV-induced production of previtamin D3 in human skin correct?

  • Mary Norval
  • Lars Olof Björn
  • Frank R. de Gruijl
Publishing year: 2010
Language: English
Pages: 11-17
Publication/Series: Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences
Volume: 9
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry

Abstract english

The universally recognised action spectrum for the UV-induced conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol to previtamin D3 in human skin was published in 1982, and indicates a maximum at about 297 nm with essentially no production above 315 nm. This work represents a milestone in research on vitamin D, but limitations in the original data should be recognised. Various findings have arisen in recent years which cast doubts on the accuracy of the action spectrum and its application for spectral weighting in calculations of effective UV doses. In conclusion, the construction of an entirely new computational model to predict previtamin D levels is recommended.


  • Biological Sciences
  • previtamin D
  • ultraviolet radiation
  • action spectrum
  • vitamin D


  • Photobiology
  • Photobiology-lup-obsolete
  • ISSN: 1474-9092
Lars Olof Björn
E-mail: lars_olof [dot] bjorn [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emeritus

Molecular Cell Biology

+46 46 222 72 53