As a reaction to the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 pandemic many research teams around the world published data from their clinical and observational studies that have shown positive effects of vitamin D.
More specifically, two recently published studies have added to the growing evidence as researchers from a hospital in Cordoba, Spain found that vitamin D given as part of a treatment can reduce severity of COVID-19 infection1. The other publication was from the Chicago University team which concluded that patients with insufficient vitamin D levels had double the risk to contract the disease.2
In fact, vitamin D, which is naturally produced in the skin during exposure to the sun, is only one of the many health benefits of natural and artificial UV radiation. Further positive effects are for example the release of nitric oxide which lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases by lowering the blood pressure or the production of hormones such as serotonin and beta-endorphins which promote mood enhancement and relaxation, relieve pain and boost immunity. Daytime sunlight exposure also helps guide our internal clock, or circadian rhythm, by increasing melatonin levels at night which promotes sleep and allows your body enough time to rejuvenate.
Please find the ESA Scientific Factsheet on “Health benefits of moderate exposure to UV radiation” here.
1Castillo et al. (2020). Effect of Calcifediol Treatment and best Available Therapy versus best Available Therapy on Intensive Care Unit Admission and Mortality Among Patients Hospitalized for COVID-19: A Pilot Randomized Clinical study. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
2Meltzer et al. (2020). Association of Vitamin D Status and Other Clinical Characteristics With COVID-19 Test Results. JAMA Network Open.