Gulf Today Report
In a growing list of studies on vitamin D and its link with COVID-19 disease, British researchers have found an association between low average levels of vitamin D and high numbers of COVID-19 cases and mortality rates across 20 European countries.
Previous observational studies have reported an association between low levels of vitamin D and susceptibility to acute respiratory tract infections.
"We found a significant crude relationship between average vitamin D levels and the number COVID-19 cases, and particularly COVID-19 mortality rates, per head of population across the 20 European countries," said study researcher Dr Lee Smith from Anglia Ruskin University in the UK.
According to the researchers, Vitamin D modulates the response of white blood cells, preventing them from releasing too many inflammatory cytokines. The COVID-19 virus is known to cause an excess of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Italy and Spain have both experienced high COVID-19 mortality rates, and the new study, published in the journal Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, shows that both countries have lower average vitamin D levels than most northern European countries.
This is partly because people in southern Europe, particularly the elderly, avoid the 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.
"Vitamin D has been shown to protect against acute respiratory infections, and older adults, the group most deficient in vitamin D, are also the ones most seriously affected by COVID-19," Smith said.
"We suggest it would be advisable to perform dedicated studies looking at vitamin D levels in COVID-19 patients with different degrees of disease severity," Smith added.
Another study, published last month in the journal Nutrients, suggested that supplements containing vitamins C and D and other micronutrients are a safe, effective and low-cost means of helping your immune system fight off COVID-19 and other acute respiratory tract diseases.
From shirtless soldiers to teens sun tanning on their parents' driveways, Indonesians are soaking up rays like never before in the hope that plentiful sunshine will ward off coronavirus.
Commonly used blood pressure medicines do not heighten susceptibility to COVID-19 infection, or increase the risk of becoming seriously ill with the disease.
The UK's Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton have said that the coronavirus lockdown was "stressful" for many people and it was important to look after mental health.
Relying on donations for the roughly $300 a month needed to feed the snakes, Wilatha only keeps them until he feels they are ready to go back to the wild.
"It's wearable and comfortable," said 25-year-old Harish Bansal, who described his audacious creation as a dream project. Bansal said he got the idea two years ago while studying jewellery design in western city of Surat.
A hacker has defaced the Spotify pages of some of the world’s most popular music stars, posting messages supporting Donald Trump and Taylor Swift.