Study: Sunlight is Associated with a Reduction in COVID-19 mortality But not Because of Vitamin D
Recently, researchers from the University of Edinburgh compared all recorded COVID-19 deaths in the continental United States from January to April 2020 with the UV levels of 2,474 counties in the United States during the same period.
Studies have found that people living in areas with the highest UV levels have a lower risk of dying from COVID-19 than people with lower UV levels. It is reported that the UV level accounts for 95% of the sun’s UV rays. The same analysis was carried out in the UK and Italy.
The researchers took into account factors known to be associated with increased risk of virus exposure and death, such as age, race, socioeconomic status, population density, air pollution, temperature, and local infection levels.
Experts say that the observed reduction in the risk of death from COVID-19 cannot be explained by the increase in vitamin D levels. Because only those areas in the body where the UVB content is not high enough to produce a large amount of vitamin D were included in this study.
Researchers continue to study and found that one explanation for the lower death toll is that sun exposure causes the skin to release nitric oxide. As some laboratory studies have found, this may reduce the replication capacity of SARS Coronavirus2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
The team’s previous research also found that more sun exposure is related to improving cardiovascular health, lowering blood pressure, and reducing heart attacks. Since heart disease is a known risk factor for dying from COVID-19, this may also explain the latest findings.
The research team also stated that due to the observational nature of this study, causality cannot be determined. However, it may lead to interventions that can be tested as potential therapies.