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COVID-19 Severity, Complicating Factors Related to Vitamin D Deficiency: German Study

Thursday, July 16th, 2020

The association between low vitamin D levels and more severe COVID-19 outcomes could be partially explained by the sunshine vitamin’s effect on underlying conditions that increase an individual’s risk of severe illness from the novel coronavirus, according to a study out of Germany.

The research examined 30 studies and 53,000 patients and showed the risk of severe outcomes is significantly higher in patients with low vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is known to “play an essential role in the immune system,” and deficiency has been specifically related to many conditions that are complicating factors for COVID-19 patients. These include cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and respiratory diseases.

“These diseases in particular are often associated with a vitamin D deficiency. This has consequences for the course of Covid 19 disease,” the study says (translated).

Because vitamin D levels tend to be lower in older individuals, deficiency could also play a role in worse outcomes for patients older than 60. “The most important source of vitamin D is the formation in the skin by sunlight, and it only works to a limited extent in old age,” explains study author Dr. Hans-Konrad Biesalski.

With these findings, the researchers also question the implications of measures put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 that lead to people spending less time in the sun. “Much more attention should be paid to the importance of vitamin D status for the development and course of the disease. Particularly in the methods used to control the pandemic (lockdown), the skin’s natural vitamin D synthesis is reduced when people have few opportunities to be exposed to the sun,” the study says. “The short half-lives of the vitamin therefore make an increasing vitamin D deficiency more likely.”

Click here to view the full text of the study. news articles regularly report medical and scientific information to keep you abreast of current events related to UV light. This information is not intended to be used by any party to make unwarranted health claims to promote sunbed usage. Indoor tanning businesses are obligated to communicate a fair and balanced message to all clients about your products and services including the potential risks associated with indoor tanning. Contact your Smart Tan representative to find out more about what you can and can’t say in your tanning salon business.

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