Can vitamin D help fight against coronavirus?

2020-05-08 12:02
Woman looking out her window. (Photo: Getty/Gallo images)

Woman looking out her window. (Photo: Getty/Gallo images)

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We might still be subjected to strict stay-at-home orders, but if recent research is to be believed we still need to make time to soak up the sun.

A study carried out by scientists from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation Trust and the University of East Anglia have linked low levels of the hormone vitamin D with the high Covid-19 mortality rates across Europe.

The team of researchers analysed the average levels of vitamin D among the citizens of 20 European countries, and then compared the figures with the relative numbers of Covid-19 deaths in each country.

Statistically, they found that there was a clear correlation between the figures, where populations with lower-than-average concentrations of the vitamin also featured more deaths from the coronavirus.

The team of scientists feel confident there’s a clear link between Covid-19 deaths and exposure to sunshine, reports Science Alert, and have advised that people should include “vitamin D supplementation to protect against SARS-CoV2 infection”.

“The most vulnerable group of the population for Covid-19 is also the one that has the most deficit in vitamin D,” they concluded.

It’s worth pointing out that the results haven’t yet been peer-reviewed, but they do match other studies that also suggest healthy vitamin D levels can reduce the risk of respiratory infections such as influenza and TB, as well as childhood asthma.

Vitamin D is also known to promote healthy bones and supports immune system functions.

The human body produces vitamin D naturally when it’s directly exposed to sunlight, but it can also be obtained from eating foods such as fatty fish, egg yolks, mushrooms and cheese.

A leading Australian health expert has revealed that stepping out in the sun for just 10 minutes per day can greatly reduce the risk of dying from Covid-19.

“Now, more than ever, is not the time to be vitamin D deficient,” Dr Neale told The Australian.

“It would make sense that being vitamin D deficient would increase the risk of having symptomatic COVID-19 and potentially having worse symptoms. And that's because vitamin D seems to have important effects on the immune system.”

Sources: Research Square, Science Alert, NCBI, Science Daily, Medical News, The Australian

*Covid-19 is keeping many of us indoors. Our shopping trips have become brief, normal activities have been halted. Many have been wondering if they’ll still get their copy of their favourite YOU magazine. And how will we find things to do while indoors? Though YOU magazine is available in most grocery stores, you can also subscribe online with no fuss. Click here to purchase a digital copy.

Read more on:    coronavirus  |  lockdown
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