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Bats and lack of Vit-D - coronoviruses

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For months now there's been levels of research interest around vitamin D levels and developing covid-19, but this pre-print, association research paper, has an interesting note about bats and vitamin D - at least I thought it was!

"There is also an enigma: how comes, given the proven capacity of this coronavirus to mutate and spread at a very high rate among humans, that humans and other mammals were apparently relatively spared from coronaviruses until the current pandemics. How is it that among all mammals, bats are the principal reservoir of hundreds of coronaviruses strains? Interestingly, bats live mostly in the dark, and their vitamin D levels are so low that they are often undetectable. Bats have developed alternative pathways to regulate bone mineralization, but the lack of vitamin D associated with living in the darkness, might impair bats from eliminating these viruses, and this may explain why so many coronaviruses are present in bats."

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.04.20188268v1

 wintertree 12 Oct 2020
In reply to druss:

The abstract has me hooked.  I won’t have time to read this until much later on sadly.  The claim of gender bias in Vit D corresponding to gender bias in Covid is quite the lure.

Post edited at 18:29
 elsewhere 12 Oct 2020
In reply to druss:

So we just need to scatter  tasty vitamin d laced bat snacks in bat caves to eliminate the dangerous bat viruses.

 Stuart William 12 Oct 2020
In reply to druss:

Fascinating, thanks for sharing 

 Ridge 12 Oct 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

> So we just need to scatter  tasty vitamin d laced bat snacks in bat caves to eliminate the dangerous bat viruses.

Holy Calcitriol!

In reply to druss:

It's because they're all out til 4am doing this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9A8PFlqM4U& 

If they manage to get up in the day, they're all writing poetry, buying eyeliner by the gallon or helping 'New Rocks' stave off bankruptcy.

 Dave the Rave 12 Oct 2020
In reply to druss:

I like the use of the word ‘may’. I prefer ‘does’.

1
In reply to bouldery bits:

oh god that's freaky!

 birdie num num 12 Oct 2020
In reply to druss:

We should stop eating bat and lettuce sandwiches 

1
 Stuart William 12 Oct 2020
In reply to druss:

It seems promising that it could also offer explanation as to why we are seeing worse covid outcomes among BAME populations, since darker skin tends to lead to lower vitamin D levels.

Also I find their observation that they were seeing higher prevalence in female Arabs and male Orthodox Jews, and that those groups culturally cover more skin, leading to the vitamin D hypothesis incredibly satisfying. Feels like a really neat insight to launch a study from. 

 mondite 12 Oct 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

> So we just need to scatter  tasty vitamin d laced bat snacks in bat caves to eliminate the dangerous bat viruses.


Are you volunteering for the vampire bats?

In reply to Stuart William:

> It seems promising that it could also offer explanation as to why we are seeing worse covid outcomes among BAME populations, since darker skin tends to lead to lower vitamin D levels.

> Also I find their observation that they were seeing higher prevalence in female Arabs and male Orthodox Jews, and that those groups culturally cover more skin, leading to the vitamin D hypothesis incredibly satisfying. Feels like a really neat insight to launch a study from. 

I remember back in March/April early clinical observations showed link between BAME and vitamin D. John Campbell was proponent as early as February that there was no harm in upping D intake which is immune boosting.  There have been some press and scientific journal articles on the subject but never got the momentum behind it.  Seems like something worth doing as there are no known side effects in normal dose.

 Stuart William 13 Oct 2020
In reply to druss:

Absolutely agreed, feels like a “what have I got to lose?” scenario in terms of upping my vitamin D intake a tad. As you say, won’t do any harm. 

 StefanB 13 Oct 2020
In reply to druss:

I recently bought Vit D supplements. It's a glass with 365 capsules. So it will last for a full year for the price of a couple of coffees. No-brainer really. 

Now I just have to remember to take the daily dose, which surprisingly difficult ;-)

In reply to druss:

Would love it if vitamin D turned out to be the answer (and it's probably worth a panic-buy just in case), but... then... Brazil and Mexico aren't short of it and they're not doing great.
The problem with preprints is that there's almost always a contradictory side to the unclear and still-unfolding non peer-reviewed story:
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.01.20118943v1.full.pdf

 Stuart William 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Aye, taking a look at a few other articles too it’s far from clear. Generally the evidence (in both directions) currently available looks pretty poor quality too.

Sounds like there are some more robust trials being set up around vit D and covid, so it’ll be interesting to see what they report back in a few months. 

In the meantime I’m going to dig out the multi vitamins because a) nothing to lose, b) general UK advice to supplement vitamin D in winter anyway as we tend to not get enough, and c) point b is likely to be exacerbated by me working from home.

In reply to druss:

Hmmm.  Seems like a lot of speculation based on some shaky assumptions.  Needs more work.

And the clickbait speculation about why bats are a reservoir has holes you could drive a bus through.

 profitofdoom 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> ....bats are a reservoir....

Bats are a reservoir?!?! There goes my favourite sandwich filling

In reply to birdie num num:

> We should stop eating bat and lettuce sandwiches 

Awwww I love a BLT sandwich for my lunch!

In reply to Dave Garnett:

> Hmmm.  Seems like a lot of speculation based on some shaky assumptions.  Needs more work.

> And the clickbait speculation about why bats are a reservoir has holes you could drive a bus through.

Speculation is just that - speculation.  There was no intent for anything more than a point of discussion, possibly leading to a hypothesis if someone is inclined to find out. 

In reply to druss:

> Speculation is just that - speculation.  There was no intent for anything more than a point of discussion, possibly leading to a hypothesis if someone is inclined to find out. 

Yes, I suppose.  I guess I'm not completely comfortable with unreviewed preprints like this getting this amount of publicity.  This would certainly be bounced back by any credible reviewer with a list of suggestions for further work.  And, in my obviously rather antiquated view, proper papers contain conclusions, not speculation. 

 cb294 13 Oct 2020
In reply to druss:

Interesting. However, even if low Vit D in bats explains why they are more susceptible to coronaviruses (and remember we are talking about dozens or hundreds of different, sometimes quite distantly related bat species, so we would in fairness also have to count chimp and maybe monkey coronaviruses), it still does not follow that increasing Vit D levels in a host species that usually has sufficient Vit D helps clearing a virus that apparently has learnt to deal with that.

CB

In reply to birdie num num:

> We should stop eating bat and lettuce sandwiches 


What's wrong with lettuce in your bat sandwiches?

 DancingOnRock 13 Oct 2020
In reply to druss:

They’re mammals that stay away from humans huddled together in damp dark caves. That’s why they spread CVs so quickly and easily amongst themselves. The reason they have spread it to humans is nothing to do with vitamin D and everything to do with humans going into the caves and bringing the bats out. 

In reply to DancingOnRock:

And I think the direct link between vitamin D and sunlight is pretty much a human thing.  Most other animals are covered in fur, nocturnal or not.

 TomD89 13 Oct 2020
In reply to druss:

Wait, bats? Vitamin D from sunlight needed to ward of infection? You know what this is leading to, right?

We spent too much time worrying about a global virus causing a zombie outbreak, clearly we should have been focusing on the vampire threat. 

If thirsting for human blood appears on the list of common covid symptoms that'll be a sure sign. 

Has the government put any funding into research on effectiveness of garlic and crosses on reducing infection rates? I expect not. Pure incompetence for missing the obvious links here.

 Philip 13 Oct 2020
In reply to TomD89:

> Has the government put any funding into research on effectiveness of garlic and crosses on reducing infection rates? I expect not. Pure incompetence for missing the obvious links here.

Calling Chris Grayling....


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