Stop waiting for a miracle drug: A Boston University doctor says a sufficient amount of vitamin D can cut the risk of catching coronavirus by 54%.
“People have been looking for the magic drug or waiting for the vaccine and not looking for something this simple,” said Dr Michael Holick, professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine, reports Bostom Herald.
Holick and his colleagues studied blood samples from Quest Diagnostics of more than 190,000 Americans from all 50 states and found that those who had deficient levels of vitamin D had 54% higher COVID positivity compared to those with adequate levels of vitamin D in the blood.
The risk of getting coronavirus continued to decline as vitamin D levels increased, the study, published in the Public Library of Science One peer-reviewed journal shows.
“The higher your vitamin D status, lower was your risk,” Holick said.
Many people are vitamin D-deficient because there are only small amounts in food, Holick said. Most vitamin D comes from sun exposure and many are deprived, especially during winter months.
But the sunshine vitamin is easy to find and relatively cheap in drug stores, and taking vitamin D pills comes at no risk. “It’s perfectly safe,” Holick said.
“It’s considered to be, by many, the nutrient of the decade,” Holick said.
COVID-19 positivity is strongly associated with vitamin D levels in the blood, a relationship that stayed the same across different races, sexes and age ranges, the study states.
Vitamin D suppresses excessive cytokine release that can present as a cytokine storm, a common cause of COVID-related morbidity and mortality.
A deficiency in the nutrient alters the immune system, making one more likely to get upper respiratory infections, Holick said.
Throughout the pandemic, people of color have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus, experiencing a higher risk of acquiring it and having serious complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Holick’s study examined the ZIP codes of people of color and found patients from predominantly Black and Hispanic ZIP codes had lower levels of vitamin D and were also more likely to have coronavirus than in patients from predominantly white, non-Hispanic ZIP codes.
The average adult needs around 2,000 units of vitamin D a day, Holick said. He said he’s been taking 6,000 units a day for decades and is in great health.
Several other studies on vitamin D have shown its benefits to the immune system.
Research published with the National Institutes of Health showed people with lower vitamin D levels were more likely to self-report a recent upper respiratory tract infection than those with sufficient levels.
Another study of more than 11,000 participants published in the British Medical Journal found vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of acute respiratory tract infection among all participants.
“Vitamin D definitely improves your overall immunity to fight infections,” Holick said.
Update: A Brigham and Women’s Hospital study will test to see if vitamin D can lessen the severity of coronavirus symptoms and reduce the chance of becoming infected with the illness in a nationwide, placebo-controlled trial.
Will children be able to get COVID-19 vaccines?
Not until there’s enough data from studies in different age groups, which will stretch well into next year.
The Pfizer vaccine authorized in the U.S. this month is for people 16 and older. Testing began in October in children as young as 12 and is expected to take several more months. The Food and Drug Administration will have to decide when there’s enough data to allow emergency use in this age group.
Depending on the results, younger children may be enrolled for study as well.
Moderna, which is expected to become the second COVID-19 vaccine greenlit in the U.S., began enrolling study participants ages 12 to 17 this month, and will track them for a year. Testing in children younger than 12 is expected to start in early 2021.
It is uncertain if the results on younger children will come in time for vaccinations to begin before the next school year.
Positive outcomes in adult studies are reassuring and suggest it is safe to proceed in testing kids, said Dr. Buddy Creech, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University and director of its vaccine research program.
Even though children usually don’t get very sick from COVID-19, they can spread the virus to others, said Dr. Robert Frenck, who is the lead researcher for Pfizer’s study in kids at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. At least 1.6 million youth have been infected, 8,000 have been hospitalized and 162 have died from the virus, he noted.
“It’s really important, not only for themselves but also for society,” Frenck said.
No. For a couple reasons, masks and social distancing will still be recommended for some time after people are vaccinated.
To start, the first coronavirus vaccines require two shots; Pfizer’s second dose comes three weeks after the first and Moderna’s comes after four weeks. And the effect of vaccinations generally aren't immediate.
People are expected to get some level of protection within a couple of weeks after the first shot. But full protection may not happen until a couple weeks after the second shot.
It's also not yet known whether the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines protect people from infection entirely, or just from symptoms. That means vaccinated people might still be able to get infected and pass the virus on, although it would likely be at a much lower rate, said Deborah Fuller, a vaccine expert at the University of Washington.
And even once vaccine supplies start ramping up, getting hundreds of millions shots into people's arms is expected to take months.
Fuller also noted vaccine testing is just starting in children, who won’t be able to get shots until study data indicates they're safe and effective for them as well.
Moncef Slaoui, head of the U.S. vaccine development effort, has estimated the country could reach herd immunity as early as May, based on the effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. That's assuming there are no problems meeting manufacturers' supply estimates, and enough people step forward to be vaccinated.
High intensity workouts have generally seen a significant rise in popularity over the years and things don’t look to slow down anytime soon. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has found mainstream success; with many fitness studios adopting this style of workout into their equipment list and classes. Crossfit has not been sitting on the sidelines either; having blown up in the fitness scene during the later half of the 2010s. With both sharing tons of similarities, many have frequently confused the two - so it’s time to look deeper into HIIT and Crossfit to know the differences.
Fast paced and intensive; It’s not surprising to see why people would mix the two up. One of the most glaring similarities between Crossfit and HIIT is their circuit-like regimes. Depending on the goal, many exercise plans between the two incorporate bodyweight exercises, cardio and short rest times to condition a higher level of endurance, strength and agility. With the style comes fast results of muscle definition and weight loss. Fitness aficionado or not, people love fast results and the aforementioned can be noticed in mere weeks!
Push ups, sit ups, squats, burpees are standard exercises you can expect in both of these archetypes - and are designed to work on almost all muscle groups. If you’re tight for time, committing to half an hour (or even less) of intense training every week is the way to go. Note that these exercises are commonly done via a time limit model, which means every 30 seconds for example, the person either moves on to the next exercises or takes a very short break. Because of this, many tend to abandon form for pure speed to squeeze in as many repetitions as possible to work up the most sweat possible during the run. The intentions are sound, but can cause serious injury; therefore it is advised that HIIT and CrossFit are done with the supervision of a trained instructor.
Short durations, similar results and even akin exercises can make you wonder whether differentiating Crossfit and HIIT even matters anymore. If you prefer to get a well-packed workout with the primary goal of burning calories, you’d much rather have HIIT classes than Crossfit. The latter does not stop at aerobic workouts and does implement gymnastics, dumbbells, ropes and kettlebells to name a few. The risk of injury comes in when newcomers or even careless experts focus on the speed required in Crossfit, especially when weights are involved. But if done correctly, the results are swift and effective.
HIIT sacrifices variation for sheer power and efficiency. Static aerobic exercises (or running outside of class) are the old faithful that have remained simple, yet relevant for decades. With more emphasis on routine and repetition, the primary method is approached with conditioning over hitting weight-lifiting milestones. Crossfit is relatively newer and has more options at the user’s disposal for creative workouts if things get stagnant, but if relying on smaller and safer programmes suits your fancy, pick HIIT.
Which Is Better?
Unlike HIIT, Crossfit has been under fire by some in the fitness community for its unsafe and unorthodox strategy for fast muscle definition and weight loss; but it certainly does make things more exciting if you and your teammates have developed a genuine passion for it. The crossfit community is always enthusiastic to encourage everyone to push their boundaries and even facilitates competitions to keep the masses energised.
HIIT has a far more lenient learning curve and is done quicker- perfect for those who can’t imagine ever falling in love with fitness ever. Garnering the same results, the factors you should consider are:
How much time do I have?
How long can I commit to this?
What are my fitness goals?
Regardless of your choice, picking either of the two will help you accomplish great feats with just a tiny amount of motivation and consistency.
Speakers at a webinar have said there is a complex relationship between sleep and mental state; and in many cases, insomnia is responsible for various types of mental illness.
They, however, said people also suffer from insomnia due to some mental problems.
The 12th episode of Dialogue for Action was organized on Sunday night by ACTIONISTS on the necessity for sleep and sleep hygiene to protect mental health titled "The role of Sleep Hygiene in promoting positive mental health" The Role of Parents".
Mehnaz Haque, Lecturer, Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, Jagannath University, Naima Nigar, Assistant Professor at Department of Psychology University of Dhaka; Umme Kawser, Assistant Professor and Educational Psychologist at Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, University of Dhaka and Shamsin Ahmed Founder, CEO and Lead Consultant Inclusion attended it, said a media release on Monday.
During the discussion, Naima Nigar said the most common practice of sleeping disorder is insomnia.
She said people often feel this problem even if they are not affected by it.
"However, any type of sleep problem is very important in our daily life, because regular sleep affects our mental health, personal behavior due to which we face various problems such as rude behavior, depression, depression, anxiety and many more mental problems."
She said sleeping disorders affect people's learning processes. Without regular sleep, the human brain can have a devastating effect on daily life, including taking in new information, making quick and complex decisions.
Samsin Ahmed, in the context of solving various problems related to sleep, said it is not possible to solve this problem in one day.
"In this regard children need to be made aware of proper sleep practice including sleep hygiene."
Umme Kawsar said that the reason for insomnia is that it is possible to say a specific reason.
She said there are many reasons for insomnia, such as disturbing the brain through mobile or electronics screen use, increasing body temperature, reducing caffeine, taking various shortcuts.
"Such as alcohol consumption, sleeping pills etc. To solve this problem, she said, follow a nice sleep routine, read books before going to bed, listen to music, meditate, take hot milk, etc. Above all, everyone presented various research reports about this problem and suggested 7-9 hours of sleep daily."
She also advised to seek the help of a psychiatrist or doctor without taking this problem lightly.
The webinar was moderated by A.N.M Fakhrul Amin, Founder and Executive Director, ACTIONISTS.