Even though I take Vitamin D supplements, I continue to be skeptical that they are equivalent to sunlight. A couple new studies have brought up this point. This study mentions that outcomes for UV radiation and Vitamin D supplements may be different.
I also read through this study that looks into other benefits of sunlight. It also discussed how sunlight and Vitamin D supplements are not equivalent. This study points out that even if Vitamin d supplements and sunlight do both affect serum Vitamin D levels, there may be other benefits to sunlight apart from Vitamin D synthesis. They state:
"It is important to recognize that all of the beneficial effects of UVR exposure may not occur only through UVR-induced vitamin D synthesis. Thus maintaining current sun avoidance policies while supplementing food with vitamin D may not be sufficient to avoid the risks of insufficient exposure to UVR."
You can also look at two new studies on Vitamin D supplements that showed they had no real effect. In this study , subjects took Vitamin D for a year and had no decrease in inflammation. In this study , supplementing with Vitamin D had no impact on quality of life or physical function.
Honestly, I just don't think you can get the true benefits of sunlight in a Vitamin D pill. At this point, I am about ready to ditch the Vitamin D supplements and buy one of those goofy full spectrum lights. At least this way, I will actually be getting light and not just a pill!
Phototherapy has actually been shown to have solid benefits. For example, a couple of studies have looked at phototherapy in the treatment of psoriasis. This study says home phototherapy should be the first-line treatment option for psoriasis.
I will be digging more into phototherapy over the coming weeks.