Health expert explains why getting just 10 minutes of sunshine every day could make you less vulnerable to COVID-19 – with low vitamin D levels increasing the risk of lung infections
- Doctor Rachel Neale believes getting sunlight can reduce the risk of COVID-19
- Sunlight makes the body to produce vitamin D, which boosts the immune system
- People deficient in vitamin D are twice as likely to develop respiratory infections
- Dr Neale recommends getting 5 to 15 minutes in the sun depending on weather
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
An Australian health expert has revealed that stepping out in the sun for just 10 minutes per day can greatly reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.
Skin cancer researcher Dr Rachel Neale said that having low levels of vitamin D, which the skin produces when exposed to sunlight, increases vulnerability to the virus.
‘Now, more than ever, is not the time to be vitamin D deficient,’ Dr Neale told The Australian.
Beachgoers soak up the sun at Bondi Beach, which could greatly reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. Higher levels of vitamin D can increase ones resilience against the virus
‘It would make sense that being vitamin D deficient would increase the risk of having symptomatic COVID-19 and potentially having worse symptoms. And that’s because vitamin D seems to have important effects on the immune system.’
Last year, Dr Neale found that vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of acute respiratory infections, which people with COVID-19 are now dying from.
Doctor Rachel Neale (pictured) said on Tuesday that having low levels of vitamin D, which the skin produces when exposed to sunlight, increases your vulnerability to the virus
According to the study of 78,000 patients, people with low levels of vitamin D are almost twice as likely as those with high levels of vitamin D of developing acute respiratory infections.
In addition, people with vitamin D deficiencies were more likely to be sicker for longer.
Dr Neale said she sits in the Brisbane sun for for five to 10 minutes everyday to stimulate her body’s production of vitamin D.
She recommended Sydneysiders should get 10-15 minutes of midday sun while Melburnians should aim for a little longer due to the colder climate.
People go for a walk at Mistral point on ANZAC Day. Dr Neale recommended people in Brisbane get 5 to 10 minutes of midday Sun, Sydneysiders get 10 to 15 minutes and Melbourne get slightly more due to colder climate
The doctor does not take vitamin D tablets as she believes time in the sun provides more benefits – but accepts they are useful for people who can’t leave their home.
COVID-19 lockdown laws in Australia allow people to leave the house for exercise, during which time they can get a healthy dose of vitamin D.
As of Tuesday, there have been 6,728 cases of coronavirus in the country, which have resulted in 84 deaths.
Beachgoers get a dose of vitamin D at Burleigh Heads. COVID-19 lockdown laws in Australia allow people to leave the house for exercise