Covid’s vitamin D link
#GS2 #Health #GS3 #Science
Vitamin D is known to modulate the response of white blood cells, preventing them from releasing too many inflammatory cytokines (part of the body’s immune response to fight infections).
- A new study has found an association between low average levels of vitamin D and high numbers of Covid-19 cases and mortality rates across 20 European countries.
- The research, led by scientists from UK’s Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust, is published in the journal Aging Clinical and Experimental Research.
- Vitamin D is known to modulate the response of white blood cells, preventing them from releasing too many inflammatory cytokines (part of the body’s immune response to fight infections).
- And the SARS-CoV2 virus is known to cause an excess of pro-inflammatory cytokines, called a cytokine storm.
- The new study shows that Italy and Spain, both of which have experienced high Covid-19 mortality rates, have lower average vitamin D levels than most northern European countries.
- This, the researchers said, is partly because people in southern Europe, particularly the elderly, avoid strong sun, while skin pigmentation also reduces natural vitamin D synthesis.
- The highest average levels of vitamin D are found in northern Europe, due to the consumption of cod liver oil and vitamin D supplements, and possibly less sun avoidance.
- Scandinavian nations are among the countries with the lowest number of COVID-19 cases and mortality rates per head of population in Europe, ARU said in a statement on the new research.