UVB Radiation May Protect Against Severe COVID-19

Recent study results show that vitamin D may offer protection against critical disease and death.

Vitamin D may protect against severe COVID-19 and death, the results of a study published in Scientific Reports show.

“Our study adds further evidence that vitamin D might protect against severe COVID-19 infection. Conducting a properly designed COVID-19 randomized controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation is critical,” Lina Zgaga, associate professor in epidemiology at the school of medicine at Trinity College, said in a statement.

“Until then, given that vitamin D supplements are safe and cheap, it is definitely advisable to take supplements and protect against vitamin D deficiency, particularly with winter on the horizon,” she said.

The study results showed that an individual’s place of residence with ambient ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation offered protection against severe disease and death. Almost a half a million individuals in the United Kingdom took part in the UVB study before investigators individually assessed the COVID-19 infection for each participant.

UVB radiation promotes vitamin D production in the skin, and investigators previously linked vitamin D deficiency with an individual being more susceptible to bacterial and respiratory infections.

Investigators found that are were many factors to consider, but they were able to calculate a “genetically-predicted” vitamin D level by taking in the UVB radiation of sunshine, which investigators felt had been ignored.

“Given the lack of highly effective therapies against COVID-19, we think it is important to remain open-minded to emerging results from rigorously conducted studies of vitamin D,” Evropi Theodoratou, professor of cancer epidemiology and global health at the University of Edinburgh, said in the statement.

A potential causal effect was noted, and a larger future study should be conducted, according to the investigators.

Reference

Further evidence that vitamin D might protect against severe COVID-19 disease and death. EurekAlert. News release. September 15, 2021. Accessed September 16, 2021. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/928478