The sunnier areas have a lower COVID-19 mortality rate
So how can sunlight reduce COVID-19?
According to Weller’s group, one possible explanation is that under the influence of the sun, the skin releases a chemical called nitric oxide. Several laboratory studies have found that nitric oxide may reduce the ability of new coronaviruses to replicate and spread. The authors of the study intend to continue further research on this theory.
Previous research by the same group has shown that higher exposure to sunlight is associated with better heart health, lower blood pressure and less heart attacks. Heart disease It is a known risk factor for death from COVID-19, so past research may help explain the new findings.
Two experts from COVID-19 in the United States agreed that the findings were exciting, but deserved more research.
“The research does not establish cause and effect, and represents an association at its best,” stressed Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He was not surprised that vitamin D did not have any health benefits.
“Although vitamin D has been shown to have beneficial effects on immune function, the specific antiviral effect at this time has not been demonstrated,” Glatter said. “In fact, a randomized controlled trial of people with moderate and severe COVID-19 who received high-dose vitamin D has shown no benefit.”
Dr. Amesh Adalja, an expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore, is an expert on viruses. He said the study raises interesting questions, but the nitric oxide hypothesis needs further study.
“Putting this link together to show the mechanism for finding out how this happens, I think you want to go there to show that this line of research is also an advantage that is independent of vitamin D in sunlight,” Adalja said. .
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more COVID-19 prevention.
SOURCES: Amesh Adalja, MD, expert, Center for Health Safety, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore; Robert Glatter, MD, emergency physician, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York; British Journal of Dermatology, April 8, 2021;University of Edinburgh, news, April 8, 2021