Coronavirus and sunshine do not mix

Last Updated on August 22, 2020 by Megan

Recent research completed at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland has correlated a link with the high prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency in the Northern Hemisphere countries and its possible role in COVID19 deaths.

After studying the mortality rates across the globe, Dr. Eamon Laird, from the School of Medicine at Trinity College Dublin, and Professor Rose Anne Kenny, Principal Investigator and the found of the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), along with Professor Jon Rhodes and Dr. Sree Subramanian at the University of Liverpool suggest this in an editorial in the Journal of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

These authors have found that it is becoming noticeably clear that countries in the Southern Hemisphere such as Australia are seeing a relative low mortality due to COVID-19.

Their study shows that all countries that are below the latitude line of 35 degrees North have relatively low mortality from COVID-19, where people in countries that lie above the line of 35 degrees North receive insufficient sunlight for adequate levels of vitamin D in the winter and spring. Some of these countries with insufficient sunlight levels include Italy and Spain which have high populations of people with vitamin D deficiency.

When your skin is exposed to the sun's ultraviolet B (UVB) rays it makes vitamin D from cholesterol. Vitamin D regulates and suppresses the inflammatory cytokine response. This cytokine response is an important role in the severe consequences of COVID-19 and 'acute respiratory distress syndrome' associated with mortality in COVID-19. Cytokines are the proteins that are produced by cells that regulate various inflammatory responses that interact with your cells in your immune system in order to regulate the body's ability to respond to disease and infection.

Cancun is located at 21 degrees latitude. The sun shines on average 9 hours a day and for over 240 days.