There have been plenty of observational studies noting that vitamin D levels in COVID patients admitted to ICU are lower than those who do not require a visit to ICU but so far these studies have only shown correlation, not causation. It could be COVID causes vitamin D deficiencies or that a third unknown factor causes both low vitamin D levels and increased susceptibility to the Coronavirus. But the recently released results from this randomized controlled Spanish study give very compelling evidence that vitamin D supplementation can protect you from a COVID-related trip to ICU!
Upon admission to hospital the study group received vitamin D supplements while the control group did not. Both groups received all other standard care procedures for the virus available at that time. While 50% of the control group required admission to ICU, only 2% of the vitamin D recipients visited ICU. This is s statistically significant difference the way a Babe Ruth, bases-loaded, home run is a “pretty good” at-bat.
The real bonus is that vitamin D supplements are cheap, safe, easily available and are generally recommended by doctors and coaches to patients and athletes because vitamin D is essential for so many functions in your body. So while everyone else is worrying about whether to mask or not to mask and leaping into oncoming traffic to avoid passing near you on the sidewalk, you should be out at the pharmacy picking up your vitamin D and supplementing daily.
But don’t stop there. Your best vitamin D source is still sunshine, so get out and get lots of sun. Many have proposed that one of the reasons places like Vancouver were so mildly affected by the first wave of Coronavirus is because we had such a sunny, mild spring. Though folks born in this fair city love to deride it as the “Wet Coast” during the March-May shut down I trained outside every day except one. I have the video evidence from every one of those workouts and if you review them you will observe that not once was I rained upon in two months of outdoor training. And I was not alone. The parks were full of people like me pursuing fitness in the splendid early spring sunshine. You Vancouverites are a healthy lot, you’re outdoors walking your dogs on the trails, playing at the beach, cycling to work, paddling, sailing, skiing and hiking. It’s normal to you but not to the rest of the world especially places where the weather is not so gentle. And your healthy habits have proved a boon in these frightening times!
But with autumn upon us the days are getting shorter so while I still implore you to get outside, I also suggest you begin supplementing with some good vitamin D as well. My family has been supplementing daily throughout the pandemic AND getting outside in the sun as frequently as the weather and work allow. There is so much fear surrounding this virus but rather than worrying about the things you cannot control, put your energy and your focus into the things you can control: take care of your health. Support your immune system with lots of sleep, good nutrition, sunshine, exercise, keep your distance, keeping washing your hands and make sure you are getting your vitamin D!
You’ve done a great job so far Vancouver, I believe that together we can beat this bug! Keep up the great work!
Monday WOD Warm Up:
100 Single Unders
100 Single Unders
20 Cal Row
100 Single Unders
1 min Burpees
20 min AMRAP
30 Cal Row/Bike/Ski or 400m Run
Downward Dog Rock