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Sun but not vitamin D may reduce COVID risk

Friday April 9th 2021

Exposure to sun may have helped reduce mortality from COVID-19 – but vitamin D is probably not the explanation, according to a new UK study published today.

The analysis comes from a detail study of mortality rates in countries in the USA, England and Italy during January and April last year before effective treatments were found for the disease.

Researchers at Edinburgh University linked mortality to UVA rays. The researchers sought to control for sunlight’s impact on vitamin D by focusing on areas with low levels of UVB, which stimulates vitamin D.

The findings are reported in the British Journal of Dermatology.

The researchers say one possibility is that sunlight triggers to skin to release nitrous oxide, which might restrict the ability of the virus to replicate.

It might also be linked to improved cardiovascular health resulting from sunlight exposure, they say.

Researcher Dr Richard Weller said: “There is still so much we don't understand about COVID-19, which has resulted in so many deaths worldwide. These early results open up sunlight exposure as one way of potentially reducing the risk of death."

Professor Chris Dibben, Chair in Health Geography at the University of Edinburgh and co-author said: "The relationship between COVID-19 mortality, season and latitude has been quite striking, here we offer an alternative explanation for this phenomenon."

British Journal of Dermatology 9 April 2021

[abstract]

Tags: Alternative Therapy | Cancer | Flu & Viruses | Europe | North America | UK News

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