Reason | Nov 26, 2020 | 0
How To Fix the COVID-19 Crisis in 30 Days
In a June 22, 2020, Orthomolecular Medicine News Service press release,1 Damien Downing, president of the British Society for Ecological Medicine, outlines how we could resolve the COVID-19 pandemic in 30 days for about $2 per person, simply by taking affirmative action to raise vitamin D levels. The downside or risk of doing this is basically nil, while the potential gain could be avoiding another COVID-19 spike altogether.
“If we could arrange to give everyone vitamin D, and it failed to protect them, so what? The risk from not acting is much greater than the risk from acting,” Downing says, adding: “If you caught the COVID19 virus right now, having a good vitamin D status (from already having taken a supplement) would
- Reduce your risk of the disease becoming severe by 90%
- Reduce your risk of dying by 96%
This is not ‘proven’ or ‘evidence-based’ until we have done controlled trials comparing it to placebo … But the data, already strong, has been pouring in since the start of the pandemic.”
Although the required prospective randomized controlled trials using vitamin D have not yet been completed, they are indeed underway and results from many will be in before year’s end. You can visit the clinical trials registry to review the current state of these trials.2,3 As of June 2020, there were over 20 studies in progress on the use of vitamin D in COVID-19.
Vitamin D and COVID-19
Downing goes on to cite research and supporting data. Among them is a study4 from the Philippines, which found that for each standard deviation increase in serum vitamin D, the odds of experiencing only mild disease rather than severe illness was 7.94 times greater, and the odds of having a mild clinical outcome rather than a critical outcome was 19.61 times greater. According to the author:
“The results suggest that an increase in serum 25(OH)D level in the body could either improve clinical outcomes or mitigate worst (severe to critical) outcomes, while a decrease in serum 25(OH)D level in the body could worsen clinical outcomes of COVID-2019 patients.”
Another study5 from Indonesia, which looked at data from 780 COVID-19 patients, found those with a vitamin D level between 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L) and 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L) had a sevenfold higher risk of death than those with a level above 30 ng/mL. Having a level below 20 ng/mL was associated with a 12 times higher risk of death. As noted by Downing:6
“With a deficient vitamin D status (75nmol/L). The Hazard Ratio is 24.1 … A Hazard Ratio of 4 means that in one condition, for instance vitamin D deficiency, you are 4 times more likely to suffer the ‘hazard’ than in another condition, say vitamin D adequacy.“
A third paper,7 which provides data from 20 European countries, also found that “the probability of developing COVID-19, and of dying from it, is negatively correlated with mean population vitamin D status, with both probabilities reaching zero above about 75 nmol/L,” (30 ng/mL) Downing notes.8
In their preprint submission of this paper,9 the authors concluded, “We believe that we can advise vitamin D supplementation to protect against SARS-CoV2 infection.” Downing created the following graph10 to illustrate the data in that paper.
Vitamin D Level Above 30 ng/mL Protects You Against COVID-19
Downing also addresses the issue of dosage and safety, highlighting how warnings about “excessive vitamin D intakes” being dangerous are very misleading and unwarranted, as toxicity has not been demonstrated until you hit blood levels above 200 ng/mL (500 nmol/L).
The recommended blood level for optimal health is currently between 60 ng/mL (150 nmol/L) and 80 ng/mL (200 nmol/L). In other words, there’s a significant margin of safety, even if you manage to exceed the optimal range.
“The three papers11,12,13 mentioned above show that a vitamin D3 blood level of at least 75 nmol/L (30 ng/ml) is needed for protection against COVID-19,” Downing writes.14
“Government recommendations for vitamin D intake — 400 IU/day for the UK and 600 IU/day for the USA (800 IU for >70 years) and the EU — are based primarily on bone health. This is woefully inadequate in the pandemic context.
An adult will need to take 4,000 IU/day of vitamin D3 for three months to reliably achieve a 75 nmol/L level.15 Persons of color may need twice as much.16 These doses can reduce the risk of infection, but are not for treatment of an acute viral infection.
And since vitamin D is fat-soluble and its level in the body rises slowly, for those with a deficiency, taking an initial dose of 5-fold the normal dose (20,000 IU/day) for two weeks can help to raise the level up to an adequate level to lower infection risk.”
Become Metabolically Flexible and Insulin Sensitive
If you are hospitalized with COVID-19, early treatment becomes paramount. While there’s a great deal of controversy over which treatment is best, clinical evidence clearly suggests mechanical ventilation should be avoided at all costs. I discussed the reasons for this in “Ventilators May Increase Risk of Death From COVID-19.”
Furthermore, while hydroxychloroquine combined with zinc appears effective, I believe one of the best treatments suggested so far is the MATH+ Protocol. The protocol was developed by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Working Group,30 which includes Dr. Paul Marik, chief of the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School Norfolk, and boasts a near-100% effectiveness rate.
The MATH+ Protocol is designed to treat the second phase of COVID-19 infection — the stage when the hyperinflammatory immune response sets in. For best results, it must be administered early enough, though. The MATH+ protocol31 calls for the use of the following three medicines, all of which need to be started within six hours of hospital admission:
- Intravenous methylprednisolone, to suppress the immune system and prevent organ damage from cytokine storms — For mild hypoxia, 40 milligrams (mg) daily until off oxygen; moderate to severe illness, 80 mg bolus followed by 20 mg per day for seven days. On Day 8, switch to oral prednisone and taper down over the next six days.
- Intravenous ascorbic acid (vitamin C), to control inflammation and prevent the development of leaky blood vessels in the lungs — 3 grams/100 ml every six hours for up to seven days.
- Subcutaneous heparin (enoxaparin), to thin the blood and prevent blood clots — For mild to moderate illness, 40 mg to 60 mg daily until discharged.
Optional additions include thiamine, zinc and vitamin D. In addition to these medications, the protocol calls for high-flow nasal oxygen to avoid mechanical ventilation that can damage the lungs.
Together, this approach addresses the three core pathological processes seen in COVID-19, namely hyperinflammation, hypercoagulability of the blood, and hypoxia (shortness of breath due to low oxygenation).
COVID-19 Doesn’t Have to Remain a Crisis
Health experts are warning we’re likely to see a second wave of COVID-19 this fall. I believe the strategies reviewed in this article can go a long way toward minimizing fatalities.
The first thing I recommend everyone do is to optimize your vitamin D this summer. Again, the optimal blood level for health and disease prevention is between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL. (In Europe, the measurements you’re looking for are 150 to 200 nmol/L and 100 nmol/L respectively.)
However, simply getting above 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L) may dramatically reduce your risk of serious infection and death, and doing so is both easy and inexpensive. As stated by Downing, we could fix the COVID-19 pandemic in as little as 30 days simply by making sure everyone is taking vitamin D in sufficiently large doses.
More detailed information about how vitamin D works and why it’s so important against COVID-19 can be found in my Vitamin D Report. Download and share! You can also find a summary of the key steps you need to take to optimize your level in this previous vitamin D article. Here is the link to my comprehensive science report.
I want to thank those of you who read the above report and provided constructive feedback. I want you to know that I did read those suggestions. I had already planned on writing a short summary, but the responses were nearly universal in support of that.
So, when you click the button below, you will get the condensed report that you can send to your friends and family and get them on board with the Vitamin D Campaign, which not only can save many lives, but can help prevent the country from shutting down again and worsening our already damaged economy.
Taking quercetin and zinc is another preventive strategy worth remembering, as is the advice to implement cyclical nutritional ketosis to make sure you’re metabolically flexible and not insulin resistant. Again, you can do this by following three powerful strategies:
- Time-restricted eating window of six to eight hours
- Eliminating all industrially processed vegetable oils
- Limiting carbs to 50 grams a day until metabolically flexible and then increasing to 150 grams of healthy carbs twice a week
More acutely, ketone esters may offer rapid relief of COVID-19-related symptoms such as shortness of breath, and the MATH+ Protocol, administered within six hours of hospitalization, could be a life saver.
While the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Working Group has been struggling to get the word out to doctors and hospitals, you could (at bare minimum) request your doctor contact them and urge them to implement the protocol should you or someone you love get ill and need hospitalization.
Sources and References
- 1, 6, 8, 10, 14 Orthomolecular Medicine News Service June 22, 2020
- 2 ClinicalTrials.gov, Vitamin D for COVID-19
- 3 Chinese Clinical Trials Registry. The relationship between vitamin D and novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19), 2020
- 4, 11 SSRN April 9, 2020
- 5, 12 Emerginnova.com June 4, 2020
- 7, 9, 13 Infectious Diseases April 8, 2020 DOI: 10.21203/rs.3.rs-21211/v1
- 15 Am J Clin Nutr, 73:288-294.
- 16 Eur J Nutr. 58:2281-2291.
- 17 Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders February 8, 2019 DOI: 10.1089/met.2018.0105
- 18 Molecules 2019 Jun; 24(11): 2076
- 19 Chrismasterjohnphd.com Best Dose of Zinc for COVID-19 Prevention
- 20 Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry August 13, 2014; 62(32): 8085-8093
- 21 NIH Zinc Fact Sheet
- 22 PLOS Pathogens November 4, 2010 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1001176
- 23 NIH Zinc Fact Sheet, Zinc Deficiency
- 24 Advances in Nutrition 2013 Mar; 4(2): 176–190
- 25, 27 Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry 2020; 35(1): 145–151
- 26 Science March 20, 2020; eabb3405
- 28 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition December 1991; 54(6): 1059-1064
- 29 Curr. Pharm. Des. 2008; 14(26): 2719-2732
- 30 covid19criticalcare.com
- 31 MATH+ Protocol (PDF)
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