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Published on April 21, 2022

Video Friday: Roger Seheult, MD of MedCram presents the case for sunlight as a treatment for COVID-19

Key Points

  • Many studies have shown a lower risk of COVID-19 infection, severity, and death with higher vitamin D levels, which are associated with increased exposure to UVB from sunlight
  • Exposure to sunshine has many health benefits beyond vitamin D production, including the production of important anti-inflammatory and antioxidant chemicals, such as the master antioxidant melatonin, which is a major antioxidant that protects the mitochondria from oxidative stress
  • Increased UVA exposure has also been associated with lower COVID deaths, indicating that there are additional benefits from sun exposure for COVID beyond just vitamin D, and that a simple supplement cannot replace all the benefits of sunshine!

 

Infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus induces a pronounced inflammatory response within the body, with key characteristics of COVID-19 disease being high levels of inflammation and oxidative stress. Certain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory responses that are necessary in order to prevent damage caused by inflammation and oxidative stress are down-regulated during COVID-19, and this is hypothesized to be a principle cause of multiple organ failure and death due to the disease.

Exposure to sunshine has many health benefits beyond vitamin D production, including the production of important anti-inflammatory and antioxidant chemicals, such as the master antioxidant melatonin. In the video featured below, Roger Seheult, MD of MedCram presents the case for sunlight as a treatment for COVID-19.

Watch the Video

After watching the video, be sure to take note of the details below.

COVID-19 and Vitamin D

Respiratory viral infections peak during the winter (such as the flu), just as hospitalizations due to COVID-19 correlate to length of day (winter vs summer); trends also indicate that the higher latitude of a country, the earlier the surge date for COVID-19

A study by Kaufman et al. looked at vitamin D levels over a year and COVID-19 test results, with data from over 190,000 patients in 50 US states. The investigators used zip code data to match with US Census data to perform analyses based on race/ethnicity and latitude, and found a 53% lower COVID-19 positivity rate with higher vitamin D levels

Many other studies have shown a lower risk of COVID-19 infection, severity, and death with higher vitamin D levels including a new RCT which found that participants taking vitamin D had a 77% reduced risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to those taking a placebo

Unfortunately, the example Dr. Seheult showed in the video using a single large dose of vitamin D to demonstrate the possible ineffectiveness of vitamin D against COVID-19 is an example of a poorly designed study, as single large bolus doses often do not show positive results and are more likely to have negative results

Additional Benefits from Sunshine

The sun produces many different wavelengths of energy, each with different effects on the body

Near infrared light (NIR) provides warmth and penetrates through epidermis and deep into sub cutaneous tissues and mitochondria of cells

Oxidative stress can cause damage to mitochondria, which can lead to inflammation and disease

Near infrared from sunlight activates the production of melatonin, which is a major antioxidant that protects the mitochondria from oxidative stress

Not enough sunlight and not enough sleep can lead to less melatonin production and increased oxidative stress and disease

Studies have found much higher levels of oxidative stress and damage due to oxidative stress among COVID-19 patients

Increased UVA exposure has been associated with lower COVID deaths, indicating that there are additional benefits from sun exposure for COVID beyond just vitamin D

There is a long history of using the sun and sun beds for health

Natural light exposure from sunshine and fire (with a combination of NIR and UV light) produce vitamin D and melatonin, both health-promoting elements; this is compared to modern society (with a lack of NIR and UV light, and increased oxidative stress and decreased melatonin) which promotes disease

Dr. Seheult’s Call to Action:

  • More well-controlled RCTs, more time outside for everyone!
  • Do not need to be in direct sunlight to get NIR (can still cover up to get NIR but not UV)
  • Consider having patients outside
  • Oral melatonin and vitamin D are not substitutes for sunshine!
  • The full benefits of the sun cannot be replaced by taking a supplement

Vitamin D is Only One of the Many Health Benefits of Sunshine Exposure

The vitamin D level is often used as a measurement for sun exposure, and especially for those who don’t supplement with vitamin D, a vitamin D deficiency can also indicate “sunshine deficiency.” It is important to remember, however, that sunshine has many health benefits beyond vitamin D production. Exposure to the sun helps the body produce other important chemicals and nutrients, such as nitric oxide and melatonin. Sunshine exposure also results in the production of serotonin and beta-endorphins, which promote mood enhancement and relaxation, relieve pain, and boost immunity. Proper sun exposure is a must, with the most important rule being “don’t burn!”

Supplements Do Not Replace Sunlight

Taking a vitamin D supplement cannot replace all the benefits of a lifestyle that incorporates regular sunshine exposure. Learn more this May (next month!) during our 6th annual Sunshine Month event!

Are You Suffering from Sunshine Deficiency and Resulting Low Vitamin D?

Having and maintaining healthy vitamin D levels and other nutrient levels can help improve your health now and for your future. Choose which additional nutrients to measure, such as your omega-3s and essential minerals including magnesium and zinc, by creating your custom home test kit today. Take steps to improve the status of each of these measurements to benefit your overall health. With measurement you can then determine how much is needed and steps to achieve your goals.  You can also track your own intakes, symptoms and results to see what works best for YOU.

Enroll in D*action and Test Your Levels Today!

What Does it Take YOU to Get Your D to 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)?

Did you know your health could be greatly affected by making sure you have a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)? Help us help you.

STEP 1 - Do you know what your vitamin D level is? If not, be sure to test today to find out.

STEP 2 – Determine your target level. Are you at your target level? Experts recommend a level of at least 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L).

STEP 3 – Need to boost your level? Use the D*calculator to see how much vitamin D it may take to reach your target. Opt for the Loading Dose for a quicker boost.

STEP 4 – Optimize how your body absorbs and utilizes vitamin D with co-nutrients and these simple steps.

STEP 5 – Re-Test! This is an important step to make sure you have reached your target level, and to ensure you are not taking too much! Re-testing after 3-4 months is recommended.

STEP 6 – Adjust, Repeat…

Give your immune system the nutrients it needs to support a healthy you and protect yourself from unnecessary diseases, especially COVID-19.

NEWS ALERT

The first Randomized Controlled Trial on vitamin D and COVID-19 has shown a 96% lower risk of ICU admission for those receiving vitamin D (as 25(OH)D to quickly boost vitamin D blood levels) along with the standard treatment, compared to those receiving standard treatment alone.

These results support many previous observational studies showing a relationship between vitamin D levels and intake and COVID-19 severity.

Review the Latest Nutrient Research for COVID-19

GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute has launched the new Immune Boost project with the use of our myData-myAnswers nutrient health system that nearly 15,000 people are already using for their health. Specific markers that influence immune health are suggested for testing as part of this project including:

  • Vitamin D
  • Omega-3 Index
  • Essential elements magnesium, selenium, and zinc
  • hsCRP

Our goal is to demonstrate how one can use the Nutrient Research Model established by Dr. Robert Heaney to show the effect of vitamin D serum levels of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) on risk reduction for all ethnicities in the population. Status and intake of other nutrients will also be analyzed for any type of relationship to immune status and symptom severity. Join the project today!

Please let us know if you're interested in helping sponsor this project.

CLICK HERE for updates and new information about the project.

Through GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, you can also test your essential elements magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium, toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium, as well as your omega-3 levels, inflammation levels and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Find out your levels today! Log on to the test selection page (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.

Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!

Click Here to Access the Test Page

How can I track my nutrient intake and levels over time?

To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created the Personal Health Nutrient Decision System called

For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details.  This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!