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Vitamin D in the Prevention of COVID-19


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/07/04/coronavirus-prevention-vitamin-d.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola    Fact Checked
July 04, 2020


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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • The French National Academy of Medicine stresses the importance of vitamin D against COVID-19 and recommends everyone take supplemental vitamin D. For COVID-19 patients over 60, they recommend vitamin D testing, and if deficiency is found, a bolus dose of 50,000 to 100,000 IU
  • While vitamin D testing is not stressed for those under the age of 60, the French Agency recommends anyone under the age of 60 who receives a positive COVID-19 test start taking 800 IUs to 1,000 IUs of vitamin D per day anyway
  • Vitamin D modulates (can upregulate and downregulate as needed) the function of your immune system by stimulating dentritic cells (which detect the presence of antigens such as viruses or bacteria) and macrophages (responsible for triggering immune responses and destroying pathogens)
  • Vitamin D also regulates and suppresses the cytokine inflammatory response. This is particularly important for COVID-19, as out of control inflammation (cytokine storm) is a primary cause of death
  • Scotland and the U.K. are also starting to take vitamin D more seriously. The British Frontline Immune Support Team is providing U.K. National Health Service workers with free liposomal vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc to bolster and regulate their immune function

As noted by retired nursing teacher John Campbell1 in the video above, vitamin D is “an important immunological molecule” that likely plays role in the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his video commentary, Campbell reviews a number of recent papers stressing the importance of vitamin D, starting with a press release2 from the French National Academy of Medicine, dated May 22, 2020.

The press release correctly points out that vitamin D is a prohormone, meaning it acts as an endocrine hormone. As such, it has wide-ranging influence on health. There are vitamin D receptors throughout your body, in every tissue and organ. Campbell reviews some of the basics of where and how vitamin D is synthesized in the body.

In summary, vitamin D is synthesized in the dermis of your skin in response to ultraviolet light from the sun. From there, it is transported to your liver and kidneys, where it is converted into an active hormone that is then circulated throughout your body. People with liver or kidney problems may have a reduced ability to synthesize vitamin D. As noted by the French National Academy of Medicine, vitamin D:3

  • Modulates (meaning it can upregulate and downregulate as needed) the function of your immune system by stimulating dendritic cells (which detect the presence of antigens such as viruses or bacteria) and macrophages (responsible for triggering immune responses and destroying pathogens)
  • Regulates and suppresses the cytokine inflammatory response.4 The ability to downregulate the inflammatory response is particularly important for COVID-19, as out of control inflammation (cytokine storm) is a primary cause of death

Vitamin D — An Excellent Adjunct to Any Therapy

The French medical authority points out there’s “a significant correlation between low serum vitamin D levels and mortality from COVID-19” — which one would expect considering its modulating and regulatory influence on immune function — and that “by mitigating the inflammatory storm and its consequences,” vitamin D “could be considered as an adjunct to any form of therapy.”

They cite research showing the inverse correlation between vitamin D and COVID-19 infection and mortality (the lower your vitamin D the greater your risk of infection and death) in European countries has a confidence value of 95.4%, meaning there’s only a 4.6% chance that this correlation is due to chance alone.

The press release ends by recommending the French population take supplemental vitamin D, as it is a “simple and inexpensive measure.” The French authority also recommends “rapid serum vitamin D testing in people over 60 years of age with COVID-19.”

As noted by Campbell, this is “a remarkably good idea.” In those who are found to be deficient in vitamin D, the French National Academy of Medicine recommends an initial bolus dose of 50,000 IUs to 100,000 IUs.

And, while vitamin D testing is not stressed for those under the age of 60, they do recommend that anyone under the age of 60 who receives a positive COVID-19 test start taking 800 IUs to 1,000 IUs of vitamin D per day anyway.

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Prospective Vitamin D for COVID-19 Studies Are Underway

The French recommendations are in stark contrast to the U.S., where Big Pharma-controlled health authorities and media are still trying to frighten people away from vitamin D supplementation. One reason for this could be because a healthier population is less likely to line up for inoculation with a fast-tracked vaccine.

It’s worth noting that while the French National Academy of Medicine and Campbell state there are no randomized controlled trials looking at vitamin D supplementation and COVID-19, this is not true. There are many such trials currently underway. They just haven’t been completed and published yet, but you can find them (and may be able to enroll in them) by searching ClinicalTrials.gov.5

In the UK, there’s the Covidence UK Study,6 an effort to collect data about how vitamin D deficiency impacts your COVID-19 risk. If you live in the U.K., you can sign up for the Covidence UK study here. According to Adrian Martineau, a professor of respiratory infection and immunity at Queen Mary University of London, who is leading the Covidence study:7

“Vitamin D could almost be thought of as a designer drug for helping the body to handle viral respiratory infections. It boosts the ability of cells to kill and resist viruses and simultaneously dampens down harmful inflammation, which is one of the big problems with Covid.”

British Health Care Workers Get Free Vitamin D

Aside from the French, Scotland and the U.K. are also starting to take vitamin D optimization more seriously. For example, the British Frontline Immune Support Team is providing U.K. National Health Service workers with free liposomal vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc packs to bolster and regulate their immune function.8 As noted by The Frontline Immune Support Team, vitamin D:9

“… plays a critical role in your immune defense system, both in reducing flu-like days of illness if your blood level is sufficient, and in helping your immune system respond when under viral attack. It speeds up recovery from pneumonia.

Two in five adults have a level of vitamin D below 25nmol/l, especially in late winter months such as February and March, that is likely to almost double their risk of flu. A vitamin D level above 100 nmol/l correlates with the lowest numbers of flu-like days. The moral of the story is to get your level up as quickly as possible.”

The British NHS is also assessing the evidence to determine whether vitamin D should be prescribed to hospitalized COVID-19 patients and as a prevention to high-risk groups.10

Scottish Government Recommends Daily Vitamin D Supplement

As of June 3, 2020, Scottish government COVID-19 guidance includes taking a daily vitamin D supplement. As reported by the Scotland Herald:11

“Official Scottish Government guidance issued on June 3 states that everyone, including children, ‘should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.’

However, it is ‘specifically recommended’ to all pregnant and breastfeeding women; infants and children under five years old; people from minority ethnic groups with dark skin such as those of African, African-Caribbean and South Asian origin, who require more sun exposure to make as much vitamin D; and people who are confined indoors.”

Data Support Role of Vitamin D in COVID-19

Several studies have noted the inverse relationship between low vitamin D and a higher risk for COVID-19-positive test results,12 severity of infection13,14 and mortality.15 These studies are correlation studies and do not confirm causation, but studies that will be able to prove causation are currently underway.

Examples of these correlation studies include The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA),16,17 which suggests vitamin D deficiency could have serious implications for COVID-19. The researchers recommend adults over 50 take a vitamin D supplement year-round if they don’t get enough sun exposure to optimize their levels.

Another Irish paper,18 “Vitamin D and Inflammation: Potential Implications for Severity of COVID-19,” concluded there is “a strong plausible biological hypothesis and evolving epidemiological data supporting a role for vitamin D in COVID-19.”

Some of those biological mechanisms have already been summarized above. Other mechanisms of action that can impact your risk of COVID-19 include the following:

SARS-CoV-2 is an enveloped virus, which means it’s more difficult for your immune system to identify and destroy it. However, higher vitamin D levels are inversely associated with infection by many other enveloped viruses, including dengue, hepatitis, herpes, HIV, rotavirus, respiratory syncytial virus and influenza.19,20 We’ll have to wait and see if the same holds true for SARS-CoV-2, but chances are it will.
Vitamin D strengthens cellular junctions, thereby making it more difficult for viruses to gain entry through your eyes, ears, lungs and mucus membranes. This in turn makes the infection less likely to migrate down into your lungs.21
Vitamin D can reduce the risk of infection by lowering the rate at which the virus replicates and can reduce the pro-inflammatory cytokines that damage the lungs, leading to pneumonia. It also helps increase concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines that may help protect the lungs. For these reasons, researchers suggest people who are at risk for COVID-19 should take:22

“… 10,000 IU/d of vitamin D3 for a few weeks to rapidly raise 25(OH)D concentrations, followed by 5000 IU/d. The goal should be to raise 25(OH)D concentrations above 40-60 ng/mL (100-150 nmol/L).”

Vitamin D is an important component in the prevention and treatment of influenza23 and upper respiratory tract infections.24 While vitamin D does not appear to have a direct effect on the virus itself, it strengthens immune function, thus allowing the host body to combat the virus more effectively.25

As detailed in “Vitamin D Prevents Infections,” research shows high-dose vitamin D supplementation lowers the risk of respiratory illnesses and lung infections in the elderly by 40%. As noted by an author of that study, “Vitamin D can improve the immune system’s ability to fight infections because it bolsters the first line of defense of the immune system.”

As mentioned earlier, vitamin D also suppresses inflammatory processes and inhibits excessive production of proinflammatory cytokines that give rise to a cytokine storm.26 Taken together, this might make vitamin D quite useful against COVID-19, because while robust immune function is required for your body to combat the virus, an overactivated immune system is also responsible for the cytokine storm we see in COVID-19 infection that can lead to death.

Vitamin D upregulates production of human cathelicidin, LL-37, which has antimicrobial and antiendotoxin activities.27
Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to protect against acute respiratory infections.28 Daily or weekly supplementation (opposed to infrequent bolus doses) of vitamin D had the greatest protective effect in those with the lowest vitamin D levels.29

In one study,30 those with severe vitamin D deficiency who took a daily or weekly supplement cut their respiratory infection risk in half, whereas the acute administration of high bolus doses of vitamin D had no significant impact on infection risk.

Data analysis31 by GrassrootsHealth shows people with a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/mL reduced their risk of colds by 15% and flu by 41%, compared to those with a level below 20 ng/mL.

COVID-19-Specific Papers

In addition to the Irish papers cited above, several others have come to the same or similar conclusions. Additional examples include:

The vitamin D review paper32 “Evidence That Vitamin D Supplementation Could Reduce Risk of Influenza and COVID-19 Infections and Death,” published in the journal Nutrients, April 2, 2020, which states that:

“To reduce the risk of infection, it is recommended that people at risk of influenza and/or COVID-19 consider taking 10,000 IU/d of vitamin D3 for a few weeks to rapidly raise 25(OH)D concentrations, followed by 5000 IU/d.

The goal should be to raise 25(OH)D concentrations above 40–60 ng/mL (100–150 nmol/L). For treatment of people who become infected with COVID-19, higher vitamin D3 doses might be useful.”

A GrassrootsHealth review33 of an observational study involving 212 COVID-19 patients in Southeast Asia identified a correlation between vitamin D levels and disease severity. Those with the mildest disease had the highest vitamin D levels, and vice versa.

In the initial study group of 212 patients (see Table 1 below), 55 had normal vitamin D levels, which was defined as greater than 30 ng/ml; 80 had insufficient levels of 21 to 29 ng/ml and 77 had deficient levels of less than 20 ng/ml.

According to the research done by GrassrootsHealth, 40 ng/mL is the lower edge of optimal, with 60 ng/mL to 80 ng/mL being ideal for health and disease prevention. Despite that, the benefit of having a vitamin D level above 30 ng/mL was clear.

vitamin d covid-19 severity
In a study34 that looked at data from 780 COVID-19 patients in Indonesia, those with a vitamin D level between 20 ng/mL and 30 ng/mL 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.
Research35,36 posted on the preprint server MedRxiv June 10, 2020, reports a combination of vitamin D3, B12 and magnesium inhibited the progression of COVID-19 in patients over the age of 50, resulting in “a significant reduction in proportion of patients with clinical deterioration requiring oxygen support and/or intensive care support.”
“The Role of Vitamin D in the Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Infection and Mortality”37 — which looked at the average vitamin D levels and the number of COVID-19 cases and death rates in 20 European countries — found lower vitamin D levels correlated with higher caseloads and mortality. The authors concluded, “We believe that we can advise vitamin D supplementation to protect against SARS-CoV2 infection.”
Northwestern University researchers report finding an inverse relationship between vitamin D and CRP, a marker for inflammation. Those with higher CRP had lower vitamin D and vice versa. According to the authors:38

“COVID-19 patient-level data shows a notable OR of 3.4 … for high CRP in severe COVID-19 patients.

Given that CRP is a surrogate marker for cytokine storm and is associated with Vit D deficiency, based on retrospective data and indirect evidence we see a possible role of Vit D in reducing complications attributed to unregulated inflammation and cytokine storm.

Further research is needed to account for other factors through direct measurement of Vit D levels in COVID-19 patients.”

“The Possible Role of Vitamin D in Suppressing Cytokine Storm and Associated Mortality in COVID-19 Patients,”39,40 posted on the preprint portal medRxiv May 18, 2020, reports finding a strong correlation between severe vitamin D deficiency and higher mortality rates in countries across the globe.

The researchers attribute this to a connection between low vitamin D and high risk for cytokine storms. The analysis suggests higher vitamin D levels among the general population could cut mortality in half by reducing complications.41

Now Is the Time to Optimize Your Vitamin D

Health experts are warning we’re likely to see a second wave of COVID-19 this fall, as temperatures drop. This means the time to start optimizing your vitamin D is now.

Data from GrassrootsHealth’s D*Action studies suggest the optimal level for health and disease prevention is between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL, while the cutoff for sufficiency appears to be around 40 ng/mL. In Europe, the measurements you’re looking for are 150 to 200 nmol/L and 100 nmol/L respectively.

I recently published a comprehensive vitamin D report in which I detail vitamin D’s mechanisms of action and how to ensure optimal levels. I recommend downloading and sharing that report with everyone you know.

dr. mercola's report

A quick summary of the key steps is as follows:

1.First, measure your vitamin D level — One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of measuring your vitamin D level is to participate in the GrassrootsHealth’s personalized nutrition project, which includes a vitamin D testing kit.

Once you know what your blood level is, you can assess the dose needed to maintain or improve your level. If you cannot get enough vitamin D from the sun (you can use the DMinder app42 to see how much vitamin D your body can make depending on your location and other individual factors), then you’ll need an oral supplement.

As previously detailed in “Magnesium and K2 Optimize Your Vitamin D Supplementation,” it’s strongly recommended to take magnesium and K2 concomitant with oral vitamin D. Data from nearly 3,000 individuals reveal you need 244% more oral vitamin D if you’re not also taking magnesium and vitamin K2!43

What this means in practical terms is that if you take all three supplements in combination, you need far less oral vitamin D in order to achieve a healthy vitamin D level.

2.Assess your individualized vitamin D dosage — To do that, you can either use the chart below, or use GrassrootsHealth’s Vitamin D*calculator. To convert ng/mL into the European measurement (nmol/L), simply multiply the ng/mL measurement by 2.5. To calculate how much vitamin D you may be getting from regular sun exposure in addition to your supplemental intake, use the DMinder app.44

Vitamin D - Serum Level

3.Retest in three to six months — Lastly, you’ll need to remeasure your vitamin D level in three to six months, to evaluate how your sun exposure and/or supplement dose is working for you.

The Importance of Testing Your Vitamin D Levels

A growing body of evidence shows that vitamin D plays a crucial role in disease prevention and maintaining optimal health. There are about 30,000 genes in your body, and vitamin D affects nearly 3,000 of them, as well as vitamin D receptors located throughout your body.

For a more detailed and comprehensive analysis of the connection of vitamin D and COVID-19, please review the report I created that could be used to address any health care professionals who would disagree with this recommendation. Also included is a shortened version of the document which will be better to educate those that you would like to convince of the importance of getting your vitamin D levels optimized.

dr. mercola's report

Vitamin D Helps Protect Against Cancer and Other Diseases

According to one large-scale study, having optimal vitamin D levels can slash your risk of cancer and can help prevent at least 16 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, prostate and skin cancers.

Vitamin D from sun exposure also radically decreases your risk of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and Type 1 diabetes. Sun exposure also helps prevent osteoporosis, which is a significant concern for women in particular.

Magnesium Is Necessary to Activate Vitamin D

Since over half the population does not get enough magnesium and far more are likely deficient, magnesium supplementation is recommended when taking vitamin D supplements. This is because magnesium helps to activate vitamin D, as the enzymes that metabolize vitamin D in your liver and kidneys require magnesium.

What GrassrootsHealth observed in testing and analyzing nutrient intakes from over 15,000 patients is that about half of those taking vitamin D supplements were unable to normalize their vitamin D levels until they started to take supplemental magnesium.

They also found that those who do not take supplemental magnesium need, on average, 146% more vitamin D per day to achieve a healthy blood level of 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L), compared to those who take at least 400 mg of magnesium along with their vitamin D supplement.

Omega-3 Fats Are Crucial to Your Well-Being

Meanwhile, recent research suggests high doses (4 grams) of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA may help improve healing after a heart attack. Other benefits of omega-3 fats include prevention of lupus and Parkinson’s disease, decreased anxiety, healthier and stronger bones, as well as fighting fats in the body.

However, you can’t tell by looking in a mirror if you are deficient in vitamin D, magnesium or omega-3s. The only real way to know if you are deficient in these nutrients is to get tested.

How Much Vitamin D Should You Take

If you know your vitamin D level you can use the calculator below to find the best dose to take.

If you are unable or unwilling to get a vitamin D test, they have found that the average dose to achieve a healthy vitamin D level of 40 ng/ml is about 8,000 units per day. If you are underweight you will want to reduce this dose to 6-7,000 units per day as heavier people tend to need more vitamin D.

How to Test Your Levels

I’m really pleased GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute has expanded its research projects to include a range of different tests, seeing how deficiency may be needlessly affecting the health of so many. Like its Vitamin D*action Project, the Magnesium*PLUS Focus Project will allow us all to take action on known science with a consensus of experts without waiting for institutional lethargy.

The Vitamin D*action Project has truly demonstrated the value measurement can have on public health, and there’s no doubt in my mind that the Magnesium*PLUS Focus Project will have the same impact. As in earlier projects, once the study of a community is completed, all that information can be used to push for public health recommendations that will benefit everyone.

Vitamin D Kit
Order Now Button

You have the ability to participate in a variety of different tests, including:

  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin D and Omega 3
  • Vitamin D, Omega 3 and Magnesium
  • Vitamin D, Magnesium & Omega 3 PLUS Elements. Remember, by participating in this public research project, you not only are identifying your own levels, but allowing yourself to make decisions about your diet and supplements to improve your health.Your data (which is anonymous) will also help GrassrootsHealth researchers to determine the ideal levels for the prevention of various diseases, and what kind of dose-response relationship exists among the general population.

With the data from this project, individuals will be able to see what works for them, and, researchers will be able to demonstrate just to what extent health care costs may be reduced simply by getting people into an optimal range.

Bold Action Required to Defeat Second Wave of COVID-19


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/06/29/dark-skin-and-vitamin-d-deficiency.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola    Fact Checked
June 29, 2020

dark skin and vitamin d deficiency

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Vitamin D helps regulate immune function and prevent respiratory illnesses in general, and data analyses show clear parallels between vitamin D levels and the risk of infection, severity and mortality from COVID-19 as well
  • While U.S. authorities are still trying to debunk (and even instill fear) of vitamin D supplementation, British and Scottish authorities appear to be embracing recommendations to improve public vitamin D levels
  • The British Frontline Immune Support Team is providing health care workers with free nutritional supplements known to bolster and regulate immune function
  • Public Health Scotland and the British NHS are also assessing the evidence to determine whether vitamin D should be prescribed to in-hospital patients and as a prevention to high-risk groups
  • Darker skin requires far more sun exposure to produce adequate vitamin D, so much so that dark-skinned individuals living north of the equator are virtually guaranteed to be chronically deficient

As health officials continue to expect a second wave of COVID-19 this fall, spreading information about how to prevent it is becoming crucial. One of the most important strategies in this regard is to optimize your vitamin D level.

Vitamin D not only helps regulate immune function and prevent respiratory illnesses in general, but mounting data analyses show clear parallels between vitamin D levels and the risk of infection, severity and mortality from COVID-19 as well.

While U.S. authorities are still trying to debunk (and even instill fear) of vitamin D supplementation, British and Scottish authorities appear to be embracing a more sensible approach.

The British Frontline Immune Support Team, founded “to make available some of the best quality immune supportive products … to help keep those on the NHS (UK National Health Service) frontline resilient and strong,” is already providing health care workers with free nutritional supplements known to bolster and regulate immune function.

This includes liposomal vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc. As noted on frontlineimmunesupport.com, the group’s fundraiser page:1

“Immune supportive packs are sent directly to each individual NHS healthcare worker who signs up for this initiative — and they receive all products for FREE. We currently have hundreds of NHS staff already signed up ready to go; and with your contributions we can supply and reach thousands more.”

The Frontline Immune Support Team point out that vitamin D:2

“… plays a critical role in your immune defense system, both in reducing flu-like days of illness if your blood level is sufficient, and in helping your immune system respond when under viral attack. It speeds up recovery from pneumonia.

Two in five adults have a level of vitamin D below 25nmol/l, especially in late winter months such as February and March, that is likely to almost double their risk of flu. A vitamin D level above 100 nmol/l correlates with the lowest numbers of flu-like days. The moral of the story is to get your level up as quickly as possible.”

Public Health Scotland and the British NHS are also assessing the evidence to determine whether vitamin D should be prescribed to in-hospital patients and as a prevention to high-risk groups.3

Vitamin D Level Correlates With Risk of Respiratory Infection

Clinical trials using vitamin D against COVID-19 are currently underway,4 but we don’t need to wait for results to know that vitamin D optimization is a good idea. SARS-CoV-2 is an enveloped virus, which means it’s more difficult for your immune system to identify and destroy it.

However, as noted by The Frontline Support Team, we already know higher vitamin D levels are inversely associated with infection by many other enveloped viruses, including dengue, hepatitis, herpes, HIV, rotavirus, respiratory syncytial virus and influenza.5,6

Vitamin D also strengthens cellular junctions, thereby making it more difficult for viruses to gain entry through your eyes, ears, lungs and mucus membranes. This in turn makes the infection less likely to migrate down into your lungs.7 Importantly, vitamin D also strengthens the adaptive arm of your immune system, and its ability to produce antibodies.8 According to a June 17, 2020, report by The Guardian:9

“Public health officials are urgently reviewing the potential ability of vitamin D to reduce the risk of coronavirus. It comes amid growing concern over the disproportionate number of black, Asian and minority ethnic people contracting and dying from the disease, including a reported10 94% of all doctors killed by the virus …

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) began this work last month and is considering recent evidence on vitamin D and acute respiratory tract infection in the general population. Evidence will be considered on specific population groups, including those of different ages and BAME [black, Asian, minority ethnic] groups.

In a parallel development, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) is conducting a ‘rapid’ evidence review on vitamin D ‘in the context of Covid-19’ with support from Public Health England (PHE).”

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Vitamin D — ‘Designer Drug’ Against Viral Infections

Adrian Martineau, a professor of respiratory infection and immunity at Queen Mary University of London, is currently leading the “Covidence UK Study,”11 an effort to collect data about how vitamin D deficiency impacts your COVID-19 risk. If you live in the UK, you can sign up for the Covidence UK study here.

Martineau tells The Guardian that COVID-19 deaths among black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff within the NHS raises important questions about vitamin D status.12

“Vitamin D could almost be thought of as a designer drug for helping the body to handle viral respiratory infections. It boosts the ability of cells to kill and resist viruses and simultaneously dampens down harmful inflammation, which is one of the big problems with Covid,” he told the paper.

Why People of Color Are at Increased Risk

There’s a simple reason why BAME groups are more susceptible to COVID-19. Darker skin requires far more sun exposure to produce adequate vitamin D, so much so that dark-skinned individuals living north of the equator are virtually guaranteed to be chronically deficient.

According to data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 2005 and 2006, and published in 2018, 82.1% of black American adults and 62.9% of Hispanic adults are deficient in vitamin D.13 As noted in that paper, lower melanin levels are protective of vitamin D deficiency, and the darker your skin, the more likely you are of having a low vitamin D level.

The good news is that this predisposition is easily and inexpensively remedied. The Frontline Support Team has made good strides toward protecting health care workers, so far supplying about 750 NHS frontline staff with free supplement packs. But the general public also needs it, too. At bare minimum, the public needs the information.

Scotland Issues Guidance on Vitamin D

In Scotland, government COVID-19 guidance now includes taking a daily vitamin D supplement. As reported by the Scotland Herald:14

Official Scottish Government guidance issued on June 3 states that everyone, including children, ‘should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.’

However, it is ‘specifically recommended’ to all pregnant and breastfeeding women; infants and children under five years old; people from minority ethnic groups with dark skin such as those of African, African-Caribbean and South Asian origin, who require more sun exposure to make as much vitamin D; and people who are confined indoors.”

US Ignores Vitamin D Impact

In stark contrast, U.S. health agencies appear to have little interest in helping the public support their immune system through appropriate nutrition, but would rather have you rely on drugs and vaccines.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends15 getting your vitamin D from food and beverages only, despite the fact that dietary intake of vitamin D is insufficient to reach and maintain the level required to prevent viral illnesses and other chronic diseases.

That said, some health experts are speaking out. Among them is former CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden, who wrote an opinion piece for Fox News in which he suggests vitamin D may reduce COVID-19 mortality rates, especially in those who are deficient.16

He goes on to say supplementation has reduced the “risk of respiratory infections, regulates cytokine production and can limit the risk of other viruses such as influenza.” Much of the damage from COVID-19 occurs with a “cytokine storm,” during which the body’s inflammatory system goes into high gear, damaging organs and increasing mortality rates. He writes:17

“We can do lots of things to improve our resistance to infection. These include getting regular physical activity, getting enough sleep, stopping smoking and other tobacco use, and, for people living with diabetes, getting it under control.

Taking a multivitamin that includes Vitamin D, or a Vitamin D supplement, probably can’t hurt, and it might help. As we continue to work to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, anything we can do to strengthen our resistance is a step in the right direction.”

Similarly, Dr. John C. Umhau, a public health specialist at the NIH, has argued that vitamin D is one of the “most studied and most important host factor impacting survival from COVID-19.”18 He also points out that “A government-sponsored research strategy to address this issue has not been developed, as officials explained that there was no mandate to explore an alternative to the existing vaccination program.”

Considering the hazards inherent in fast-tracking a COVID-19 vaccine, and seeing how previous attempts at creating a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine have all failed, putting all of the public health eggs in the vaccine basket is questionable in the extreme.

What Science Says About Vitamin D

By now, there’s a very long list of scientific evidences pointing toward vitamin D optimization as being a crucial component for preventing another spike in COVID-19 deaths.

In the video above, Ivor Cummins, chief program officer for Irish Heart Disease Awareness, explains how higher levels of vitamin D may reduce your risk of negative outcomes from COVID-19. Studies supporting this view include but are not limited to the following:

A scientific review19 in the journal Nutrients concluded vitamin D can reduce the risk of infection by lowering the rate at which the virus replicates and reduce the pro-inflammatory cytokines that damage the lungs, leading to pneumonia. Vitamin D also helps increase concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines that may help protect the lungs. The researchers recommended those at risk take:

“… 10,000 IU/d of vitamin D3 for a few weeks to rapidly raise 25(OH)D concentrations, followed by 5000 IU/d. The goal should be to raise 25(OH)D concentrations above 40–60 ng/mL (100–150 nmol/L).”

Vitamin D is an important component in the prevention and treatment of influenza20 and upper respiratory tract infections21 — While vitamin D does not appear to have a direct effect on the virus itself, it strengthens immune function, thus allowing the host body to combat the virus more effectively.22

As detailed in “Vitamin D Prevents Infections,” research shows high-dose vitamin D supplementation lowers the risk of respiratory illnesses and lung infections in the elderly by 40%. As noted by an author of that study, “Vitamin D can improve the immune system’s ability to fight infections because it bolsters the first line of defense of the immune system.”

Importantly, vitamin D also suppresses inflammatory processes. Taken together, this might make vitamin D quite useful against COVID-19, because while robust immune function is required for your body to combat the virus, an overactivated immune system is also responsible for the cytokine storm we see in COVID-19 infection that can lead to death. As noted by pulmonologist Dr. Roger Seheult in the video below:

“What we want is a smart immune system — an immune system that takes care of the virus but doesn’t put us into an inflammatory condition that could put us on a ventilator.”

Research23 published in 2009 suggests fatality rates during the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic were influenced by season, with greater numbers of people dying during the winter (when vitamin D levels are at their lowest) than the summer. According to the authors:24

“Substantial correlations were found for associations of July UVB dose with case fatality rates and rates of pneumonia as a complication of influenza. Similar results were found for wintertime UVB.

Vitamin D upregulates production of human cathelicidin, LL-37, which has both antimicrobial and antiendotoxin activities. Vitamin D also reduces the production of proinflammatory cytokines, which could also explain some of the benefit of vitamin D since H1N1 infection gives rise to a cytokine storm.”

Research25 published in 2017 — a meta-analysis of 25 randomized controlled trials — confirmed that vitamin D supplementation helps protect against acute respiratory infections.

Importantly, this analysis also discovered daily or weekly supplementation of vitamin D had the greatest protective effect in those with the lowest vitamin D levels.26 In other words, large, infrequent bolus doses do not work well.

Those with severe vitamin D deficiency who took a daily or weekly supplement cut their respiratory infection risk in half, whereas the acute administration of high bolus doses of vitamin D had no significant impact on infection risk.

Data analysis27 by GrassrootsHealth shows people with a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/mL reduced their risk of colds by 15% and flu by 41%, compared to those with a level below 20 ng/mL.
Findings from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA)28,29 suggest vitamin D deficiency could have serious implications for COVID-19. The researchers recommend adults over 50 take a vitamin D supplement year-round (not just in winter) if they don’t get enough sun exposure to optimize their levels.
According to the vitamin D review paper30 “Evidence That Vitamin D Supplementation Could Reduce Risk of Influenza and COVID-19 Infections and Death,” published in the journal Nutrients, April 2, 2020:

“Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines …

To reduce the risk of infection, it is recommended that people at risk of influenza and/or COVID-19 consider taking 10,000 IU/d of vitamin D3 for a few weeks to rapidly raise 25(OH)D concentrations, followed by 5000 IU/d.

The goal should be to raise 25(OH)D concentrations above 40–60 ng/mL (100–150 nmol/L). For treatment of people who become infected with COVID-19, higher vitamin D3 doses might be useful.”

A GrassrootsHealth review of an observational study involving 212 COVID-19 patients in Southeast Asia identified a correlation between vitamin D levels and disease severity. Those with the mildest disease had the highest vitamin D levels, and vice versa.

In the initial study group of 212 patients (see Table 1 below), 55 had normal vitamin D levels, which was defined as greater than 30 ng/ml; 80 had insufficient levels of 21 to 29 ng/ml and 77 had deficient levels of less than 20 ng/ml.

According to the research done by GrassrootsHealth, 40 ng/mL is the lower edge of optimal, with 60 ng/mL to 80 ng/mL being ideal for health and disease prevention. Despite that, the benefit of having a vitamin D level above 30 ng/mL was clear.

vitamin d covid-19 severity
In a study31,32 that looked at data from 780 COVID-19 patients in Indonesia, those with a vitamin D level between 20 ng/mL and 30 ng/mL 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.
Research33,34 posted on the preprint server MedRxiv June 10, 2020, reports a combination of vitamin D3, B12 and magnesium inhibited the progression of COVID-19 in patients over the age of 50, resulting in “a significant reduction in proportion of patients with clinical deterioration requiring oxygen support and/or intensive care support.”

Check Your Level Before You Start Downing Supplements

On the upside, news about vitamin D appears to be reaching the masses. According to Foodnavigator-Asia, sales of the Japanese FANCL brand of vitamin D were 2018% higher in April 2020 compared to April 2019.35 While that’s a good sign, it’s important to remember to get your vitamin D level tested before you start supplementing.

The reason for this is because you cannot rely on blanket dosing recommendations. The crucial factor here is your blood level, not the dose, as the dose you need is dependent on several individual factors, including your baseline blood level.

Data from GrassrootsHealth’s D*Action studies suggest the optimal level for health and disease prevention is between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL, while the cutoff for sufficiency appears to be around 40 ng/mL. In Europe, the measurements you’re looking for are 150 to 200 nmol/L and 100 nmol/L respectively.

I recently published a comprehensive vitamin D report in which I detail vitamin D’s mechanisms of action and how to ensure optimal levels. I recommend downloading and sharing that report with everyone you know. A quick summary of the key steps is as follows:

1.First, measure your vitamin D level — One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of measuring your vitamin D level is to participate in the GrassrootsHealth’s personalized nutrition project, which includes a vitamin D testing kit.

Once you know what your blood level is, you can assess the dose needed to maintain or improve your level. If you cannot get enough vitamin D from the sun (you can use the DMinder app36 to see how much vitamin D your body can make depending on your location and other individual factors), then you’ll need an oral supplement.

2.Assess your individualized vitamin D dosage — To do that, you can either use the chart below, or use GrassrootsHealth’s Vitamin D*calculator. To convert ng/mL into the European measurement (nmol/L), simply multiply the ng/mL measurement by 2.5. To calculate how much vitamin D you may be getting from regular sun exposure in addition to your supplemental intake, use the DMinder app.37

Vitamin D Serum Level

3.Retest in three to six months — Lastly, you’ll need to remeasure your vitamin D level in three to six months, to evaluate how your sun exposure and/or supplement dose is working for you.

dr. mercola's report

Take Your Vitamin D With Magnesium and K2

As previously detailed in “Magnesium and K2 Optimize Your Vitamin D Supplementation,” it’s strongly recommended to take magnesium and K2 concomitant with oral vitamin D. Data from nearly 3,000 individuals reveal you need 244% more oral vitamin D if you’re not also taking magnesium and vitamin K2!38

What this means in practical terms is that if you take all three supplements in combination, you need far less oral vitamin D in order to achieve a healthy vitamin D level.

Vitamin D Dose-Response

Help Us Spread the Word!

Remember, while vitamin D is important for everyone, key target populations are the elderly and people of color. It’s now beyond evident that COVID-19 affects the elderly far more severely, on average, than younger individuals, and those living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities seem to be at an extraordinarily increased risk of dying from COVID-19.

Add to that the increased hospitalization rate and mortality among people of color, and it should be easy to see that targeting these two groups with commonsense strategies such as vitamin D optimization can, and most likely will, have a tremendous impact on COVID-19 mortality rates in the future. As Robert Brown with the McCarrison Society, a nutrition think tank, told the Scotland Herald:39

“The biological pathways by which vitamin D can help reduce severity of Covid-19 are well established and the real-life evidence from within this pandemic is growing. What’s needed now is for government to be bold and act now to mitigate the risk of a second wave returning in the winter.”

That said, don’t let government’s failure to address vitamin D to stop you from taking control of your own health. Vitamin D supplements are inexpensive and readily available, as are vitamin K2 and magnesium. If we can get the word out, we are likely to significantly quell any reemergence of COVID-19, and eliminate most of the racial disparities we see among patients with severe illness.

A growing body of evidence shows that vitamin D plays a crucial role in disease prevention and maintaining optimal health. There are about 30,000 genes in your body, and vitamin D affects nearly 3,000 of them, as well as vitamin D receptors located throughout your body.

Vitamin D May Help Protect Against Cancer and Other Diseases

According to one large-scale study, having optimal vitamin D levels can slash your risk of cancer and can help prevent at least 16 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, prostate and skin cancers.

Vitamin D from sun exposure also radically decreases your risk of autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS) and Type 1 diabetes. Sun exposure also helps prevent osteoporosis, which is a significant concern for women in particular.

Magnesium Is Important for Heart Health

Magnesium is involved in the regulation of blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, which is important for the prevention of many chronic diseases, including Type 2 diabetes and heart disease and dementia. It also supports your brain and heart health via other mechanisms.

It supports healthy heart function by relaxing your blood vessels and normalizing blood pressure, for example. Magnesium also has anti-inflammatory activity, support your endothelial function, and the function of your muscles and nerves, including the action of your heart muscle.

Low magnesium has been linked to a higher risk for hypertension, cardiovascular disease, arrhythmias, stroke and sudden cardiac death. According to one scientific review, which included studies dating as far back as 1937, low magnesium actually appears to be the greatest predictor of heart disease, and other recent research shows even subclinical magnesium deficiency can compromise your cardiovascular health.

Omega-3 Fats Are Crucial to Your Well-Being

Meanwhile, recent research suggests high doses (4 grams) of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA may help improve healing after a heart attack. Other benefits of omega-3 fats include prevention of lupus and Parkinson’s disease, decreased anxiety, healthier and stronger bones, as well as fighting fats in the body.

However, you can’t tell by looking in a mirror if you are deficient in vitamin D, magnesium or omega-3s. The only real way to know if you are deficient in these nutrients is to get tested.

How to Test Your Levels

I’m really pleased GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute has expanded its research projects to include a range of different tests, seeing how deficiency may be needlessly affecting the health of so many. Like its Vitamin D*action Project, the Magnesium*PLUS Focus Project will allow us all to take action on known science with a consensus of experts without waiting for institutional lethargy.

The Vitamin D*action Project has truly demonstrated the value measurement can have on public health, and there’s no doubt in my mind that the Magnesium*PLUS Focus Project will have the same impact. As in earlier projects, once the study of a community is completed, all that information can be used to push for public health recommendations that will benefit everyone.

Vitamin D KitOrder button

You have the ability to participate in a variety of different tests, including:

  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin D and Omega 3
  • Vitamin D, Omega 3 and Magnesium
  • Vitamin D, Magnesium & Omega 3 PLUS Elements. Remember, by participating in this public research project, you not only are identifying your own levels, but allowing yourself to make decisions about your diet and supplements to improve your health.Your data (which is anonymous) will also help GrassrootsHealth researchers to determine the ideal levels for the prevention of various diseases, and what kind of dose-response relationship exists among the general population.

With the data from this project, individuals will be able to see what works for them, and, researchers will be able to demonstrate just to what extent health care costs may be reduced simply by getting people into an optimal range.

– Sources and References

Can Your Blood Type Predict Your Risk of Virus Infection?


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/06/27/can-blood-type-predict-virus-infection-risk.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola    Fact Checked
June 27th 2020

blood type and covid-19 infection

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • The results from three studies show that blood type O has some protective effect against COVID-19; one scientist believes the factor is small compared to comorbidities
  • The authors of one study tested genetic variants and found the gene responsible for overreaction of the immune system was near the gene for blood type
  • Some have used at-home DNA testing to track genealogy or learn about medical risks; while helpful for this, using consumer labs is not risk-free
  • Your blood type is likely not the most important factor; instead, optimize your vitamin D level, improve your metabolic sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance with intermittent fasting

Not soon after China revealed the discovery of SARS-CoV-2 in their country, scientists around the world began acting. This was a different type of coronavirus than had been studied since at least 1980.1

One difference is the gain of function potential capabilities the virus is believed to have2 that have been used in lab settings to alter the function of cells “as powerful tools to understand basic bacterial and viral biology and pathogen-host interactions.”3 The U.S. had banned this research in 2014, but in 2017 it was quietly lifted and4

“… the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that they would resume funding gain-of-function experiments involving influenza, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus [SARS].”

The novel coronavirus appeared to trigger a wide range of symptoms in people. Some had only a mild affliction; others were sick for weeks and still others suffered such serious respiratory debilitation that they required the assistance of a ventilator.5

Your Blood Type May Reveal Risk Profile

After the SARS outbreak of 2003, researchers found that one specific blood type, Type O, had a potential protective effect against that strain of the coronavirus.6 Scientists have also been looking at what genetic factors may impact infection and its severity for people exposed to SARS-CoV-2.

The home-based genetic testing company 23andMe released preliminary results from a study they conducted using the information of more than 750,000 people.7 Their early results suggest that a person’s blood type has an influence on their susceptibility to the virus.

In addition to the information they used from among the millions who have sent their DNA to the company,8 they want to add data from 10,000 hospitalized patients who are not already part of their database.9

The company reported that the percentage who tested positive for COVID-19 by blood type was 4.1% for blood group AB.10 The differences reported in the study showed that those with type O had a 9% or 18% lower potential for testing positive for the virus when compared to those with blood types A, B or AB.11

In a separate study, researchers found that individuals with blood type O Rh positive had the best protection.12 23andMe did not find any differences between the two RH factors, positive or negative.13 It’s important to note that data were collected from self-reported information, which may reduce the validity of this study.14

In an investigation from China, researchers compared the blood types of 2,173 patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.15 The results demonstrated that those with blood type O had a lower risk of infection and those with blood type A had a higher risk. The results of this study are early, and the researchers warn they should be used only as a guide.

A different group of researchers evaluated the health information of people who had respiratory failure; in addition to reviewing the data from a control group, they studied individuals who were patients at seven hospitals in Italy and Spain.16 In the final analysis, 835 people from Italy and 775 people from Spain who tested positive for the virus were included.

The researchers analyzed 8.5 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms, which are genetic variations.17 They found statistically significant genetic differences in blood groups. They also found a higher risk for individuals who have A-positive blood and a lower risk for those with blood type O.

It’s important to remember that the results do not demonstrate there is absolute protection or risk with blood type, only that those with blood type O may have a lower risk and those with blood type A may have a slightly higher risk. The results from Italy and Spain add to a growing body of evidence indicating that blood type has some impact on a person’s susceptibility to the SARS-CoV-2 infection.18

Laura Cooling from the University of Michigan said that the current data don’t match the epidemiology of the disease pattern in the U.S.19 She pointed out that blood type O is more prevalent in the population of African-Americans, who are experiencing a disproportionately higher number of infections.

This suggests that blood type may be less of a risk factor compared to others, such as comorbidities known to increase the risk of severe conditions and disease such as vitamin D deficiency, obesitydiabetes and cardiovascular diseases.20

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What’s Important About Blood Type?

Blood type has an impact on emergency care and transfusion; a successful transfusion requires that the person receiving the blood gets the same type from a donor.

Your blood type is determined by the presence or absence of antigens on the surface of every red blood cell. These give your blood specific characteristics, including blood type. The four major types that are determined by two specific antigens, A and B, include A, B, AB and O. Another factor, Rh, may also be present.

The most common blood types are O-positive and A-positive. The approximate distribution of blood types ranges from type O-positive at 38% of the population to type AB-negative at 1% of the population.21

At this time, it’s not understood how blood type may play a role in susceptibility to COVID-19. Professor Andre Franke from the University of Kiel is an author of the study from Italy and Spain.22 He found the gene to type blood is near a gene that controls a protein for a strong immune response.

The overreaction of the immune system, called a cytokine storm, is primarily what causes a massive inflammatory response and lung damage with COVID-19. Theoretically, this genetic variation may have an influence over the immune system and explain the link to blood type.

Consider These Risks Before Taking a Home DNA Test

The number of people using at-home DNA tests to track their ancestry, confirm their heritage or get information on blood type grew through 2019, as demonstrated by the large population that 23andMe used in their study.23,24

Although 23andMe.com saw recent growth, that company, along with Ancestry.com, which also collects your DNA, began losing sales in 2019. However, these tests are not risk-free. They still hold the data on everyone who’s sent them information, however.25 The potential use for DNA ranges from mapping your family tree and helping find genetic indicators to identifying health conditions and solving crimes.

The last two are usually done in highly regulated labs, while DNA to identify your family tree is not. The at-home test kit allows you to check your results online.26 In so doing, you have to give the company permission to store your information in their database. This is the same database 23andMe used to perform the recent comparison of blood type and COVID-19 infection.

Information may also be used in other ways, depending on the rules of the company. With some, your use of their services allows them to sell your genetic data to third parties without your consent and without profit sharing. Pharmaceutical companies, as an example, need large DNA data sets to develop new drugs.

These data are typically sold for millions of dollars, but those who provide the data realize none of the profits.27 That irony is compounded by the fact that consumers have to pay about $99 to get their DNA tested, which then becomes freely available for corporate use and profiteering, among other things, over which the donors have no control.

Your DNA is your most personal set of information, which can be used and manipulated in several ways. In an era when companies have difficulty keeping your usernames and passwords safe, it isn’t unrealistic to think your DNA data may also be at risk.

In 2013 researchers published a paper demonstrating that it was possible to identify people participating in genetic research studies by cross-referencing their data with information freely available on the internet.28,29 Scientists are excited about the potential information that may be gleaned from large DNA databases, but it poses a problem for your privacy.

Direct-to-consumer DNA testing companies are not bound by HIPAA regulations, which means your personal health information is not protected.30 Even if there is no leak, your genetic information may be used by employers, life insurance organizations and health insurance companies. In fact, in 2013, 23andMe admitted that the goal of their company was to collect massive amounts of DNA data to use without donors’ consent.31

Steps to Optimize Your Health and Support Your Immune System

It is helpful to know your blood type, but that is likely not a strong factor in your ability to withstand a viral infection. The number of people who are dying from COVID-19 lies somewhere between the World Health Organization’s estimate of 3.4%32 and a study in Nature Medicine indicating 1.4%.33

With many cases going unreported or untested, many of the mild and asymptomatic cases are likely not included in the figures. This means the death rate would be lower. In a study from Italy’s national health authority, 99% of the deaths in Italy were in people who had underlying medical conditions.34

Of those reported, 48.5% had 3 or more comorbidities.35 This points to the importance of addressing any underlying conditions you may have. It’s important that you work to optimize your health in ways that don’t also result in unwanted side effects or conditions related to taking a drug.

Comorbid conditions with higher rates of death and severity are cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic respiratory diseases and cancer.36 Of the five conditions in this list, four are significantly affected by metabolic dysfunction. The common denominator is insulin resistance, which is triggered by a diet of high amounts of carbohydrates and processed foods.

When your body is insulin resistant it is also not metabolically flexible. As Dr. Sandra Weber, president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, noted:37

“We know that if you do not have good glucose control, you’re at high risk for infection, including viruses and presumably this one [COVID-19] as well … [improving glucose control] would put you in a situation where you would have better immune function.”

What and when you eat has a strong influence on your ability to beat insulin resistance. Intermittent fasting promotes insulin sensitivity and improves blood sugar management. This strategy helps to resolve Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and other conditions affected by metabolic dysfunction. To read more about how intermittent fasting affects insulin sensitivity, see “Intermittent Fasting Instead of Insulin for Type 2 Diabetes.”

Researchers have also found compelling evidence that maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D helps to lower your risk of severe disease. Since scientists anticipate a second wave of illness in the fall, you have a known “deadline” to raise your vitamin D level to at least 60 ng/mL and up to 80 ng/mL by that time.

Importantly, research published April 28, 2020 showed vitamin D insufficiency is prevalent in severe cases of COVID-19.38 They also found 100% of people under age 75 admitted to the intensive care unit had vitamin D insufficiency. For a more in depth discussion of how your vitamin D level will impact your risk and how to optimize your levels see “Your Vitamin D Level Must Reach 60ng/mL Before the Second Wave.”

So, how do you go about optimizing your vitamin D level? First, you need to find out what your base level is, which is done using a simple blood test. An easy and cost-effective way of doing this is to order GrassrootsHealth’s vitamin D testing kit.

Once you know what your blood level is, you can assess the dose needed to maintain or improve your level. Again, the ideal level you’re looking for is above 40 ng/mL, and ideally between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL (European measurement: 100 nmol/L or, ideally, 150 nmol/L to 200 nmol/L).

Next, you can fine-tune your dosage further by taking into account your baseline vitamin D level. To do that, you can either use the chart below, or use GrassrootsHealth’s Vitamin D*calculator. To convert ng/mL into the European measurement (nmol/L), simply multiply the ng/mL measurement by 2.5.

Along with intermittent fasting and optimizing your vitamin D levels, you’ll find a list of more strategies you can simply incorporate into your daily routine at “Want to Defeat Coronavirus? Address Diabetes and Hypertension.”

How Drug Industry Is Countering Diminishing Vaccine Uptake


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/06/26/what-is-vaccine-uptake.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola    Fact Checked

June 26, 2020

what is vaccine uptake

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • As lockdowns have kept people at home and out of medical facilities, infant vaccination rates have dropped. This may be why they’ve started promoting baseless claims suggesting common childhood vaccinations might prevent COVID-19 deaths
  • Despite lack of proof, media claims the TB vaccine, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and oral polio vaccines might protect against COVID-19
  • A Singaporean study finds common colds caused by frequently encountered betacoronaviruses might make you more resistant to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and that the resulting immunity might last as long as 17 years
  • If you’ve beat a common cold caused by a OC43 or HKU1 betacoronavirus in the past, you may have a 50/50 chance of having defensive T-cells that can recognize and help defend against SARS-CoV-2
  • Other studies have also discovered that many appear to have prior resistance to SARS-CoV-2. One study found 70% of patients who had recovered from mild cases of COVID-19, as well as 40% to 60% of people who had not been exposed to the virus, had resistance to SARS-CoV-2 on the T-cell level

As lockdowns have kept people at home and out of medical facilities, infant vaccination rates have dropped. As you might expect, this is bad news for the drug industry, which is likely why they’ve started promoting baseless claims that childhood vaccinations might prevent COVID-19 deaths.

Baseless Claims Seek to Bolster Vaccine Uptake

There’s absolutely no evidence for this, yet, in March 2020, they started pushing the TB vaccine, claiming it might “steel the immune system” against SARS-CoV-2. As reported by Science:1

“Researchers in four countries will soon start a clinical trial of an unorthodox approach to the new coronavirus. They will test whether a century-old vaccine against tuberculosis (TB), a bacterial disease, can rev up the human immune system in a broad way, allowing it to better fight the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 and, perhaps, prevent infection with it altogether.”

In April 2020, the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine was touted as a “major breakthrough” against COVID-19. The British Express reported:2

“Researchers at the University of Cambridge said the injection could prevent severe symptoms in people who have had it because the rubella virus has a similar structure to the coronavirus …

When they compared the rubella virus and the coronavirus the researchers found that they were 29 percent identical … The researchers have no evidence that the MMR vaccine works on COVID-19 patients but they assured ‘a study is warranted.’”

In June 2020, it was the polio vaccine’s turn in the spotlight. According to The Hill,3 tuberculosis and polio vaccines are being examined “for possible protection against COVID-19.”

Jeffrey D. Cirillo, a professor of microbial pathogenesis and immunology at Texas A&M Health Science Center, went so far as to state, “This is the only vaccine in the world that can be given to combat COVID-19 right now.”

Based on what? Based on vaccination rates in countries such as Pakistan, “where most of the population is vaccinated for tuberculosis and death rates for COVID-19 have been extremely low.” That’s it.

Meanwhile, discussions and evidence showing the benefits of vitamin C and vitamin D — as well as many other therapies — are banned and censored. This, despite significant scientific evidence actually backing their use and showing the biology by which these nutrients and therapies can prevent and/or treat this particular infection. Talk about travesty.

The oral polio vaccine, by the way, is now the primary cause of polio paralysis in the world, not wild polio.4,5 This is an inconvenient fact that is completely ignored by most mainstream media.

Common Cold May Provide Long-Term Immunity Against COVID-19

In related news, June 12, 2020, the Daily Mail,6 Science Times7 and others8 reported findings from a Singaporean study9 led by professor Antonio Bertoletti, an immunologist with the Duke-NUS Medical School, showing common colds caused by the betacoronaviruses OC43 and HKU1 might make you more resistant to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and that the resulting immunity might last as long as 17 years.

In addition to the common cold, OC43 and HKU1 — two of the most commonly encountered betacoronaviruses10 — are also known to cause bronchitis, acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia in all age groups.11 As reported by the Daily Mail:12

“They share many genetic features with the coronaviruses Covid-19, MERS and SARS, all of which passed from animals to humans. Coronaviruses are thought to account for up to 30 percent of all colds but it is not known specifically how many are caused by the betacoronavirus types. 

Now scientists have found evidence that some immunity may be present for many years due to the body’s ‘memory’ T-cells from attacks by previous viruses with a similar genetic make-up — even among people who have had no known exposure to Covid-19 or SARS …

Blood was taken from 24 patients who had recovered from Covid-19, 23 who had become ill from SARS and 18 who had never been exposed to either SARS or Covid-19 …

Half of patients in the group with no exposure to either Covid-19 or SARS possessed T-cells which showed immune response to the animal betacoronaviruses, Covid-19 and SARS. This suggested patients’ immunity developed after exposure to common colds caused by betacoronavirus or possibly from other as yet unknown pathogens.”

In other words, if you’ve beat a common cold caused by a OC43 or HKU1 betacoronavirus in the past, you may have a 50/50 chance of having defensive T-cells that can recognize and help defend against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. According to the researchers:13

“These findings demonstrate that virus-specific memory T-cells induced by betacoronavirus infection are long-lasting, which supports the notion that Covid-19 patients would develop long-term T-cell immunity. Our findings also raise the intriguing possibility that infection with related viruses can also protect from or modify the pathology caused by SARS-Cov-2.”

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Other Studies Show Similar Results

Other studies have also discovered that many appear to have prior resistance to SARS-CoV-2. For example, a study14 published May 14, 2020, in the journal Cell, found 70% of samples obtained by the La Jolla Institute for Immunology from patients who had recovered from mild cases of COVID-19, as well as 40% to 60% of people who had not been exposed to the virus, had resistance to SARS-CoV-2 on the T-cell level.

According to the authors, this suggests there’s “cross-reactive T cell recognition between circulating ‘common cold’ coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2.” Like Bertoletti’s study above, the Cell study found that exposure to coronaviruses responsible for the common cold appear to allow your immune system to recognize and fight off SARS-CoV-2 as well.

May 14, 2020, Science magazine reported15 these Cell findings, drawing parallels to another earlier paper16 by German investigators that had come to a similar conclusion.

That German paper,17 the preprint of which was posted April 22, 2020, on Medrxiv, found helper T cells that targeted the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in 15 of 18 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. As reported by Science:18

“The teams also asked whether people who haven’t been infected with SARS-CoV-2 also produce cells that combat it. Thiel and colleagues19 analyzed blood from 68 uninfected people and found that 34% hosted helper T cells that recognized SARS-CoV-2.

The La Jolla team20 detected this crossreactivity in about half of stored blood samples collected between 2015 and 2018, well before the current pandemic began …

The results suggest ‘one reason that a large chunk of the population may be able to deal with the virus is that we may have some small residual immunity from our exposure to common cold viruses,’ says viral immunologist Steven Varga of the University of Iowa. However, neither of the studies attempted to establish that people with crossreactivity don’t become as ill from COVID-19.

Before these studies, researchers didn’t know whether T cells played a role in eliminating SARS-CoV-2, or even whether they could provoke a dangerous immune system overreaction. ‘These papers are really helpful because they start to define the T cell component of the immune response,’ [Columbia University virologist Angela] Rasmussen says.” 

Statistician Believes Majority Are Resistant to COVID-19

These studies add support to the latest COVID-19 mortality models suggesting widespread resistance and prior immunity. Freddie Sayers, executive editor of UnHerd, recently interviewed professor Karl Friston, a statistician whose expertise is mathematical modeling, who believes prior immunity across the global population might be as high as 80%. Sayers reports:21

“[Friston] invented the now standard ‘statistical parametric mapping’ technique for understanding brain imaging — and for the past months he has been applying his particular method of Bayesian analysis, which he calls ‘dynamic causal modelling,’ to the available Covid-19 data …

His models suggest that the stark difference between outcomes in the UK and Germany, for example, is not primarily an effect of different government actions (such as … earlier lockdowns), but is better explained by intrinsic differences between the populations that make the ‘susceptible population’ in Germany … much smaller than in the UK …

Even within the UK, the numbers point to the same thing: that the ‘effective susceptible population’ was never 100%, and was at most 50% and probably more like only 20% of the population.”

These statistics really throw the idea of social distancing being an unavoidable part of the post-COVID-19 “new normal” into question. What’s more, once sensible behaviors such as staying home when sick are entered into Friston’s model, the effect of lockdown efforts vanish altogether, so global lockdowns were likely completely unnecessary in the first place.

Nobel-Prize Winning Scientist Debunks Growth Projections

Michael Levitt,22 a professor of structural biology at the Stanford School of Medicine who received the Nobel Prize in 2013 for his development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems, has also presented strong evidence that supports Friston’s model.

According to Levitt, statistical data reveals a mathematical pattern that has stayed consistent regardless of the government interventions implemented. While early models predicted an exponential explosion of COVID-19 deaths, those predictions never materialized. As reported by Sayers in the video above:

“After around a two-week exponential growth of cases (and, subsequently, deaths) some kind of break kicks in, and growth starts slowing down. The curve quickly becomes ‘sub-exponential.’ This may seem like a technical distinction, but its implications are profound.

The ‘unmitigated’ scenarios modelled by (among others) Imperial College, and which tilted governments across the world into drastic action, relied on a presumption of continued exponential growth …

But Professor Levitt’s point is that that hasn’t actually happened anywhere, even in countries that have been relatively lax in their responses.”

Levitt believes prior immunity plays a significant role in why we simply don’t see an exponential growth pattern of COVID-19 deaths, and that certainly seems to make sense. A majority of people simply aren’t (and weren’t) susceptible to the disease in the first place.

He tells Sayers the indiscriminate lockdowns implemented around the world were “a huge mistake.” A more rational approach would have been to protect and isolate the elderly, who are by far the most vulnerable and make up the bulk of COVID-19 deaths around the world.

Hopefully, these data will not be swept under the rug if or when a second wave of COVID-19 emerges this fall. Making that mistake once is bad enough. Let us not repeat it.

Last but not least, to bolster your immune system and lower your risk of COVID-19 infection in the future, be sure to follow the instructions given in “Your Vitamin D Level Must Reach 60 ng/mL Before the Second Wave.”

One of the Most Powerful Videos I’ve Ever Seen

The following video from Barbara Loe Fisher is one of the most powerful videos that I have ever seen. I am hopeful that watching this video will inspire you to take up the cause and join the fight for vaccine freedom and independence.

There is a cultural war and collusion between many industries and federal regulatory agencies that results in a suppression of the truth about vital important health issues. If this suppression continues we will gradually and progressively erode our private individual rights that our ancestors fought so hard to achieve. Please take a few minutes to watch this video.

Protect Your Right to Informed Consent and Defend Vaccine Exemptions

With all the uncertainty surrounding the safety and efficacy of vaccines, it’s critical to protect your right to make independent health choices and exercise voluntary informed consent to vaccination. It is urgent that everyone in America stand up and fight to protect and expand vaccine informed consent protections in state public health and employment laws. The best way to do this is to get personally involved with your state legislators and educate the leaders in your community.

Think Globally, Act Locally

National vaccine policy recommendations are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level. It is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact.

It is critical for EVERYONE to get involved now in standing up for the legal right to make voluntary vaccine choices in America because those choices are being threatened by lobbyists representing drug companies, medical trade associations and public health officials, who are trying to persuade legislators to strip all vaccine exemptions from public health laws.

Signing up for NVIC’s free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you immediate, easy access to your own state legislators on your smartphone or computer so you can make your voice heard. You will be kept up to date on the latest state bills threatening your vaccine choice rights and will get practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community.

Also, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call-to-action items you need at your fingertips. So, please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.

JOIN THE NVIC ADVOCACY PORTAL

Share Your Story With the Media and People You Know

If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury or death, please talk about it. If we don’t share information and experiences with one another, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is presenting only one side of the vaccine story.

I must be frank with you: You have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the “other side” of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.

We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies or public health officials promoting forced use of a growing list of vaccines to dominate the conversation about vaccination.

The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than “statistically acceptable collateral damage” of national one-size-fits-all mandatory vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn’t be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

I encourage you to visit the website of the nonprofit charity, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), at www.NVIC.org:

  • Vaccine Requirements and Exemptions by State — Vaccine laws vary from one U.S. state to another. By knowing the specific policies where you live, you’ll learn how you can get exemptions and better protect your right to make informed vaccine choices.
  • NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims — View descriptions and photos of children and adults who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
  • If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions — Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
  • Vaccine Freedom Wall — View or post descriptions of harassment and sanctions by doctors, employers and school and health officials for making independent vaccine choices.
  • Vaccine Failure Wall — View or post descriptions about vaccines that have failed to work and protect the vaccinated from disease.

Connect With Your Doctor or Find a New One Who Will Listen and Care

If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don’t want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor.

Harassment, intimidation and refusal of medical care are becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination. However, there is hope.

At least 15% of young doctors recently polled admit that they’re starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents.

It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day, or continuing to provide medical care for those families who decline use of one or more vaccines.

So, take the time to locate a doctor who treats you with compassion and respect, and who is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.

Subscribe to the Mercola Newsletter to Get Timely Vaccine News and Updates

Google has been censoring vaccine information providers, which means finding reliable information about this topic can be a real challenge.

To help you keep updated on vaccine issues and exemptions, I invite you to subscribe to my FREE health newsletter. You will receive the latest health news from Mercola.com straight to your inbox, with no threats to your security and privacy.

You will also get free access to more than 100,000 Mercola.com health articles and a totally FREE subscription to my Natural Health newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time and I guarantee the privacy of your email.

– Sources and References

The Most Important Paper Dr. Mercola Has Ever Written


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/06/22/vitamin-d-deficiency-research-paper.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola    Fact Checked     June 22, 2020

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Vitamin D optimization is likely the easiest, least expensive and most beneficial strategy that anyone can do to minimize their risk of COVID-19 and other infections in coming months
  • More than 1 billion individuals worldwide, across all age groups, are deficient in vitamin D, which has now been identified as a significant risk factor for positive COVID-19 status, severe COVID-19 infection and death thereof
  • In Indonesia, people with a vitamin D level between 20 ng/mL and 30 ng/mL 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
  • To improve your immune function and lower your risk of viral infections, you’ll want to raise your vitamin D to a level between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL (150 nmol/L and 200 nmol/L) by fall
  • Vitamin D optimization is particularly important for dark-skinned individuals, as the darker your skin, the more sun exposure you need to raise your vitamin D level, as well as the elderly

All things considered, vitamin D optimization is likely the easiest, least expensive and most beneficial strategy that anyone can do to minimize their risk of COVID-19 and other infections in the coming months. Health authorities are already warning of a second wave of COVID-19 in the fall, which means the time to start addressing your vitamin D level is NOW.

We also have a pandemic of vitamin D deficiency, as more than 1 billion individuals worldwide, across all age groups, are deficient in vitamin D.1,2,3,4 Vitamin D deficiency has now been identified as a significant risk factor for positive COVID-19 status,5,6 severe COVID-19 infection7,8,9,10 and death thereof.11,12 I discuss this in “Vitamin D Is Directly Correlated to COVID-19 Outcome.”

In one study,13,14 which looked at data from 780 hospital patients in Indonesia, those with a vitamin D level between 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) and 30 ng/mL 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.

To improve your immune function and lower your risk of viral infections, you’ll want to raise your vitamin D to a level between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL by fall. In Europe, the measurements you’re looking for are 150 nmol/L and 200 nmol/L. If vitamin D levels were increased in the global population, tens of thousands of people may be saved if or when COVID-19 reemerges.

While prospective controlled studies demonstrating vitamin D’s effectiveness in COVID-19 are still lacking, there are many such studies underway. You can review the status of these trials on clinicaltrials.gov.15 As of early June 2020, more than 20 studies had been launched to investigate the benefits of vitamin D against COVID-19.

The Most Important Paper I’ve Ever Written

For the last three weeks, I have been writing a comprehensive report on vitamin D in the prevention of COVID-19. The report has been reviewed by many vitamin D scientists for accuracy. This was done to develop a resource that everyone can share to help educate others. We will soon be launching a campaign to educate and inspire everyone, everywhere, to start optimizing their vitamin D level NOW. Please download my paper here, and share it with everyone you know.

The purpose of this report is to help you understand why it is so important to optimize vitamin levels for healthy immune functions and then provide you with a detailed strategy of how to do that. This report can be used as a tool to teach your friends, family and community about why and how to be prepared for the next pandemic.

Mounting evidence demonstrates that vitamin D has important roles in regulating the immune system that should reduce COVID-19 risks; primarily by reducing survival and replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and by reducing the risks of ‘cytokine storms’ by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokine production and increasing anti-inflammatory cytokine production.
In it, I review the science of how your immune system works, and the regulatory role of vitamin D. I also explain how vitamin D reduces your risk of COVID-19 specifically, and how it helps suppress and control both acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and cytokine storms, which is a primary cause of death in COVID-19.

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Darker-Skinned Individuals Need More Vitamin D

Vitamin D optimization is particularly important for dark-skinned individuals, as the darker your skin, the more sun exposure you need to raise your vitamin D level. Increased skin pigmentation reduces the efficacy of UVB because melanin functions as a natural sunblock.

If you’re very dark-skinned, you may need to spend about 1.5 hours a day in the sun to have any noticeable effect. For many working adults and school-age children, this simply isn’t feasible.

Light-skinned individuals may only need 15 minutes of full sun exposure a day, which is far easier to achieve. Still, they too will typically struggle to maintain ideal levels during the winter. During the winter months at latitudes of greater than 40°, little or no UVB radiation reaches the surface of the earth. That said, residence at low latitude does not guarantee adequate vitamin D levels, since social and cultural norms may limit sun exposure.16

As noted in the MedCram video above, black, Asian and minority ethnic groups are at an increased risk of death from COVID-19. While some have blamed this racial disparity on health care access, a far more likely reason for this is because dark-skinned individuals are far more likely to be deficient in vitamin D.

In fact, the paper cited by MedCram specifically looked at ethnic disparities in COVID-19 mortality among patients in England, where health care is freely available to all, so the health care access rationale doesn’t seem to hold water.

Vitamin D Supplementation Recommended to Quell Mortality

The role of vitamin D is addressed in a reply17 by vitamin D researchers William Grant and Barbara Boucher to The BMJ editorial “Is Ethnicity Linked to Incidence or Outcomes of COVID-19?” They write, in part:

“The recent BMJ editorial by Khunti et al. asks ‘Is ethnicity linked to incidence or outcomes of covid-19?’ Here we outline how ethnicity relates to incidence and outcomes of COVID-19 due, in part, to lack of vitamin D because of increased skin pigmentation and diet …

A potentially important factor not considered in the PHE report was vitamin D deficiency, though mounting evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency is an important risk factor for acute respiratory tract infections and for COVID-19 …

Mounting evidence demonstrates that vitamin D has important roles in regulating the immune system that should reduce COVID-19 risks; primarily by reducing survival and replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and by reducing the risks of ‘cytokine storms’ by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokine production and increasing anti-inflammatory cytokine production.

Vitamin D also promotes local ACE2 formation in the lungs, an effect known to reduce the severity of acute respiratory distress syndrome. Furthermore, higher baseline serum 25(OH)D concentrations are currently being reported to be associated with reduced rates of severe COVID-19 and of mortality.”

Grant and Boucher go on to cite data from studies reviewed in “Vitamin D Combats Viral Infections and Boosts Immune System,” which features my interview with vitamin D experts Bruce Hollis, Ph.D., Carole Baggerly and Dr. Carol Wagner. All of these researchers reviewed the vitamin D report I wrote for accuracy.

Grant and Boucher recommend advising the public to supplement vitamin D daily, especially black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, indoor workers, shift workers, the elderly, those in residential care or those confined to their homes, as well as those who are obese. Doing so might reduce COVID-19 severity and prevent unnecessary deaths.

“Vitamin D is readily available … ‘over the counter’ at supermarkets, chemists and online, but could be provided free to those in financial hardship or unable to access supplies,” Grant and Boucher write, adding:

“Doses of 1,000 IU/day in general and of 4,000 IU/day for those at high risk of deficiency, as above, including the BAME groups, should be advised for the duration of the Covid-19 outbreak …”

Sunscreen Advice Counters Lifesaving Vitamin D Message

Remarkably, while the importance of vitamin D against COVID-19 is becoming more widely recognized by doctors, some are still advising against either sun exposure or vitamin D supplementation, or both.

Some, such as Dr. Pieter Cohen, an internal medicine physician at Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts and an associate professor medicine at Harvard Medical School, is even discouraging people from getting their vitamin D level tested to see if they’re deficient!18 A June 1, 2020, report on Today.com states:19

The body can manufacture vitamin D when the skin is exposed to the sun or get it from food. ‘I’m not making a general recommendation for supplements. I’m saying: To avoid vitamin D deficiency.

It will usually take only being outdoors, getting incidental sun exposure, plus paying attention to the dietary sources of vitamin D,’ [Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and professor of medicine at Harvard] noted.

Incidental sun exposure means getting some sunshine during a 30-minute walk or other outdoor exercise while wearing shorts or short sleeves (though you should still use sunscreen). It doesn’t mean going out specifically to sun bathe.”

The advice to wear sunscreen while getting “incidental” sun exposure is medically irrational and incorrect, since sunscreen filters out the very ultraviolet rays that trigger vitamin D production in your skin.

In order for sensible sun exposure to work, you need unprotected exposure. Just make sure you don’t get sunburned. All you need is to stay out until your skin turns the lightest shade of pink. After that, cover up with long sleeves and pants.

Manson is, however, starting a clinical trial to see whether taking a vitamin D supplement every day for a month after testing positive for COVID-19 might reduce the severity of any subsequent illness. The study will also assess whether vitamin D supplementation among other people in the same household might prevent them from developing COVID-19 when one family member has tested positive.20

This is one of many prospective randomized controlled studies currently in progress seeking to find scientifically determine if vitamin D does indeed reduce the risk of COVID-19. If you are curious about the status of any of these studies or potentially even enrolling in any of them you can visit this link.

Help Us Spread the Word!

It is my sincere hope and desire that all of you will help us in this effort to spread the word about vitamin D and get your friends and family on board to get their vitamin levels optimized. We need a citizen army of activists to spread the word. My vitamin D report can help you in this effort. I urge you to share it with everyone you know. I hope to collaborate with all the major natural medical sites to participate in this process.

Part of the strategy will be to share this information with influencers in the black community, such as pastors of black churches. They have the most to lose should a second wave of COVID-19 emerge because of their historically low levels of vitamin D.

It will also be important to reach out to mangers of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, as the elderly also have notoriously low vitamin D levels that put them at greater risk of COVID-19.

Remember, you now have a known “deadline” for optimizing your vitamin D level. Historically, December typically has highest flu activity in the U.S.,21 but it would probably be good to aim for October, or maybe even earlier depending on your location.

Again, the level you’re aiming for is between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL by fall. In Europe, the measurements you’re looking for are 150 nmol/L and 200 nmol/L. In my vitamin D report, I detail how to go about doing this, but here’s a quick summary of the key steps:

1.First, measure your vitamin D level — One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of measuring your vitamin D level is to participate in the GrassrootsHealth’s personalized nutrition project, which includes a vitamin D testing kit.

Once you know what your blood level is, you can assess the dose needed to maintain or improve your level. The easiest way to raise your level is by getting regular, sensible sun exposure, as discussed above.

If you cannot get enough vitamin D from the sun (you can use the DMinder app22 to see how much vitamin D your body can make depending on your location and other individual factors), then you’ll need an oral supplement. As detailed in “Magnesium and K2 Optimize Your Vitamin D Supplementation,” it’s strongly recommended to take magnesium and K2 concomitant with oral vitamin D.

2.Assess your individualized vitamin D dosage — To do that, you can either use the chart below, or use GrassrootsHealth’s Vitamin D*calculator. To convert ng/mL into the European measurement (nmol/L), simply multiply the ng/mL measurement by 2.5. To calculate how much vitamin D you may be getting from regular sun exposure in addition to your supplemental intake, use the DMinder app.23

Vitamin D - Serum Level

3.Retest in three to six months — Lastly, you’ll need to remeasure your vitamin D level in three to six months, to evaluate how your sun exposure and/or supplement dose is working for you.

I believe we have a good chance of preventing a second wave of COVID-19, but to do that, we need people to take action to protect their health and strengthen their immune function. Please help us in this lifesaving effort by sharing my vitamin D report.

Again, the target populations are the elderly and people of color. It’s now beyond evident that COVID-19 affects the elderly far more severely, on average, than younger individuals, and those living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities seem to be an extraordinarily increased risk of dying from COVID-19.

As you can see in the graphic below from June 2020, 42% of deaths occurred in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Add to that the increased hospitalization rate and mortality among people of color, and it should be easy to see that targeting these two groups with common-sense strategies such as vitamin D optimization can, and most likely will, have a tremendous impact.

42% of deaths occurred in nursing homes

Vitamin D

A growing body of evidence shows that vitamin D plays a crucial role in disease prevention and maintaining optimal health. There are about 30,000 genes in your body, and vitamin D affects nearly 3,000 of them, as well as vitamin D receptors located throughout your body.

Vitamin D May Help Protect Against Cancer and Other Diseases

According to one large-scale study, having optimal vitamin D levels can slash your risk of cancer and can help prevent at least 16 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, prostate and skin cancers.

Vitamin D from sun exposure also radically decreases your risk of autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS) and Type 1 diabetes. Sun exposure also helps prevent osteoporosis, which is a significant concern for women in particular.

Magnesium Is Important for Heart Health

Magnesium is involved in the regulation of blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, which is important for the prevention of many chronic diseases, including Type 2 diabetes and heart disease and dementia. It also supports your brain and heart health via other mechanisms.

It supports healthy heart function by relaxing your blood vessels and normalizing blood pressure, for example. Magnesium also has anti-inflammatory activity, support your endothelial function, and the function of your muscles and nerves, including the action of your heart muscle.

Low magnesium has been linked to a higher risk for hypertension, cardiovascular disease, arrhythmias, stroke and sudden cardiac death. According to one scientific review, which included studies dating as far back as 1937, low magnesium actually appears to be the greatest predictor of heart disease, and other recent research shows even subclinical magnesium deficiency can compromise your cardiovascular health.

Omega-3 Fats Are Crucial to Your Well-Being

Meanwhile, recent research suggests high doses (4 grams) of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA may help improve healing after a heart attack. Other benefits of omega-3 fats include prevention of lupus and Parkinson’s disease, decreased anxiety, healthier and stronger bones, as well as fighting fats in the body.

However, you can’t tell by looking in a mirror if you are deficient in vitamin D, magnesium or omega-3s. The only real way to know if you are deficient in these nutrients is to get tested.

How to Test Your Levels

I’m really pleased GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute has expanded its research projects to include a range of different tests, seeing how deficiency may be needlessly affecting the health of so many. Like its Vitamin D*action Project, the Magnesium*PLUS Focus Project will allow us all to take action on known science with a consensus of experts without waiting for institutional lethargy.

The Vitamin D*action Project has truly demonstrated the value measurement can have on public health, and there’s no doubt in my mind that the Magnesium*PLUS Focus Project will have the same impact. As in earlier projects, once the study of a community is completed, all that information can be used to push for public health recommendations that will benefit everyone.

Vitamin D KitOrder button

You have the ability to participate in a variety of different tests, including:

  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin D and Omega 3
  • Vitamin D, Omega 3 and Magnesium
  • Vitamin D, Magnesium & Omega 3 PLUS Elements. Remember, by participating in this public research project, you not only are identifying your own levels, but allowing yourself to make decisions about your diet and supplements to improve your health.Your data (which is anonymous) will also help GrassrootsHealth researchers to determine the ideal levels for the prevention of various diseases, and what kind of dose-response relationship exists among the general population.

With the data from this project, individuals will be able to see what works for them, and, researchers will be able to demonstrate just to what extent health care costs may be reduced simply by getting people into an optimal range.

Magnesium and K2 Optimize Your Vitamin D Supplementation

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

  • June 15, 2020
vitamin d3 k2 and magnesium

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • If you take supplemental vitamin D3, you also need to be mindful of taking extra vitamin K2 and magnesium
  • It’s important to increase your vitamin K2 intake when taking high-dose supplemental vitamin D to avoid complications associated with excessive arterial calcification
  • You need 146% more vitamin D to achieve a blood level of 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) if you do not take supplemental magnesium, compared to taking your vitamin D with at least 400 mg of magnesium per day
  • Vitamin D improves magnesium absorption, but taking large doses of vitamin D can deplete magnesium, as magnesium is required in the conversion of vitamin D into its active form
  • Combined intake of both supplemental magnesium and vitamin K2 has a greater effect on vitamin D levels than either individually. You need 244% more oral vitamin D if you’re not concomitantly taking magnesium and vitamin K2

Optimizing your vitamin D level is ideally done through sensible sun exposure. However, many simply are unable to obtain sufficient levels from the sun alone and need supplemental vitamin D. In this case, nutritional synergies become an important factor.

According to research by GrassrootsHealth,1 “combined intake of both supplemental magnesium and vitamin K2 has a greater effect on vitamin D levels than either individually,” and “those taking both supplemental magnesium and vitamin K2 have a higher vitamin D level for any given vitamin D intake amount than those taking either supplemental magnesium or vitamin K2 or neither.”

You Need 2.5 Times More D if Not Taking Magnesium and K2

GrassrootsHealth is a nonprofit, independent public health research institute that has been conducting large-scale population-based nutrient research since 2007.2 While a significant focus is on vitamin D, the organization has also branched into other nutrients.

Its D*action project includes a global cohort of over 10,000 self-subscribed individuals who, anonymously, provide information about their supplement use and overall health status.

GrassrootsHealth research shows blood levels in the range of 40 nanograms per milliliter to 60 ng/ml (100 nanomoles per liter to 150 nmol/L) are safe, effective and will lower overall disease incidence and health care costs.3

That said, other nutrients have been shown to work synergistically with vitamin D, and being deficient in them can significantly influence your vitamin D status as well. Importantly, data from nearly 3,000 individuals reveal you need 244% more oral vitamin D if you’re not also taking magnesium and vitamin K2. As reported by GrassrootsHealth:4

“… 244% more supplemental vitamin D was needed for 50% of the population to achieve 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) for those not taking supplemental magnesium or vitamin K2 compared to those who usually took both supplemental magnesium and vitamin K2.”

What this means in practical terms is that if you take all three supplements in combination, you need far less oral vitamin D in order to achieve a healthy vitamin D level.

Vitamin D Dose-Response

How Magnesium Affects Vitamin D

I’ve previously written about the importance of taking vitamin K2 when you’re taking high-dose supplemental vitamin D to avoid complications associated with excessive calcification in your arteries. In fact, relative vitamin K2 deficiency is typically what produces symptoms of “vitamin D toxicity.”

That said, magnesium is also a crucial part of the equation, as it is a component necessary for the activation of vitamin D. Without sufficient amounts of it, your body cannot properly utilize the vitamin D you’re taking.5,6,7,8

This actually helps explain why many need rather high doses of vitamin D to optimize their levels — it could be that they simply have insufficient amounts of magnesium in their system to activate the vitamin D. As noted by Mohammed Razzaque, professor of pathology at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Pennsylvania:9

“People are taking vitamin D supplements but don’t realize how it gets metabolized. Without magnesium, vitamin D is not really useful. By consuming an optimal amount of magnesium, one may be able to lower the risks of vitamin D deficiency, and reduce the dependency on vitamin D supplements.”

According to a scientific review10,11 published in 2018, as many as 50% of Americans taking vitamin D supplements may not get significant benefit as the vitamin D simply gets stored in its inactive form, and the reason for this is because they have insufficient magnesium levels.

Research published in 2013 also highlighted this issue, concluding that higher magnesium intake helps reduce your risk of vitamin D deficiency by activating more of it. As noted by the authors:12

“High intake of total, dietary or supplemental magnesium was independently associated with significantly reduced risks of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency respectively.

Intake of magnesium significantly interacted with intake of vitamin D in relation to risk of both vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency … Our preliminary findings indicate it is possible that magnesium intake alone or its interaction with vitamin D intake may contribute to vitamin D status.” 

Similarly, GrassrootsHealth has found13 you need 146% more vitamin D to achieve a blood level of 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) if you do not take supplemental magnesium, compared to taking your vitamin D with at least 400 mg of magnesium per day.

Vitamin D Dose-Response by Supplemental Magnesium Intake

The interplay between magnesium and vitamin D isn’t a one-way street, though. It goes both ways. Interestingly, while vitamin D improves magnesium absorption,14 taking large doses of vitamin D can also deplete magnesium.15 Again, the reason for that is because magnesium is required in the conversion of vitamin D into its active form.

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Vitamins D, B12 and Magnesium May Affect COVID-19 Outcomes

While vitamin D and magnesium are important for overall health year-round, they may be of particular importance right now, as we’re still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in many areas of the world, and a second wave is expected in the fall.

According to preliminary research,16,17 that is still undergoing peer review, older COVID-19 patients given a combination of vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin B12 fared significantly better than those who did not receive the supplements:

“Between 15 January and 15 April 2020, 43 consecutive COVID-19 patients aged ≥50 were identified. 17 patients received DMB [vitamin D, magnesium and B12] and 26 patients did not. Baseline demographic characteristics between the two groups were similar.

Significantly fewer DMB patients than controls required initiation of oxygen therapy subsequently throughout their hospitalization (17.6% vs 61.5%). DMB exposure was associated with odds ratios of 0.13 … and 0.15 … for oxygen therapy need and/or intensive care support on univariate and multivariate analyses respectively.

Conclusions: DMB combination in older COVID-19 patients was associated with a significant reduction in proportion of patients with clinical deterioration requiring oxygen support and/or intensive care support. This study supports further larger randomized control trials to ascertain the full benefit of DMB in ameliorating COVID-19 severity.”

Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency

The idea that vitamin D might play a role in COVID-19 severity makes sense considering its importance in infections, including viral infections, in general. Vitamin D helps regulate your immune function, and deficiency is associated with more frequent infections and inflammation-related illnesses of all types. Other common signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include:18

  • Muscle weakness and fatigue
  • Bone and joint pain, as well as fractures
  • Depression
  • Impaired cognition and headaches
  • Slow wound healing

Long-term deficiency can also contribute to more chronic health problems, including rickets, cardiovascular disease and autoimmune disease.19 Risk factors for vitamin D deficiency include:

  • Rarely spending time outdoors and/or always wearing sunscreen
  • Having darker skin
  • Being over the age of 50
  • Obesity
  • Having gastrointestinal problems

Optimize Your Vitamin D Before Fall

Aside from age and comorbidities such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease, vitamin D deficiency has also been identified as an underlying factor that significantly impacts COVID-19 severity and mortality. I discuss this in “Vitamin D Is Directly Correlated to COVID-19 Outcome.”

The following graph is from a May 18, 2020, letter20 to the Federal Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, from retired biochemist Bernd Glauner and Lorenz Borsche, in which they highlight studies21 showing a clear correlation between COVID-19 mortality and vitamin D levels.

correlation covid 19 death rate

It’s important to note that experts are already warning SARS-CoV-2 may reemerge in the fall when temperatures and humidity levels drop, thereby increasing the virus’ transmissibility.

To improve your immune function and lower your risk of viral infections, you’ll want to raise your vitamin D to a level between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL by fall. In Europe, the measurements you’re looking for are 150 nmol/L and 200 nmol/L. Optimizing your vitamin D is particularly important if you are older or have darker skin.

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of measuring your vitamin D level is to participate in the GrassrootsHealth’s personalized nutrition project, which includes a vitamin D testing kit, either alone or in combination with the omega-3 test. This is done in the convenience of your home.

To make sure your vitamin D level and immune system function are optimized, follow these three steps:

1.First, measure your vitamin D level — Once you know what your blood level is, you can assess the dose needed to maintain or improve your level. The easiest way to raise your level is by getting regular, safe sun exposure, but if you’re very dark-skinned, you may need to spend about 1.5 hours a day in the sun to have any noticeable effect.

Those with very light skin may need only 15 minutes a day, which is far easier to achieve. Still, they too will typically struggle to maintain ideal levels during the winter. So, depending on your situation, you may need to use an oral vitamin D3 supplement. The next question then becomes, how much do you need?

2.Assess your individualized vitamin D dosage — To do that, you can either use the chart below, or use GrassrootsHealth’s Vitamin D*calculator. To convert ng/mL into the European measurement (nmol/L), simply multiply the ng/mL measurement by 2.5. To calculate how much vitamin D you may be getting from regular sun exposure in addition to your supplemental intake, consider using the DMinder app.22

Vitamin D - Serum Level

3.Retest in three to six months — Lastly, you’ll need to remeasure your vitamin D level in three to six months, to evaluate how your sun exposure and/or supplement dose is working for you.

Not only will optimizing your vitamin D be an important strategy for you and your family, but it would be really helpful to start thinking about your community as well.

If you can, speak to pastors in churches with large congregations of people of color and help them start a program getting their congregation on vitamin D, and if you have a family member or know anyone who is in an assisted living facility, meet with the director of the program and encourage them to get everyone tested or at least start them on vitamin D.

I am currently in the process of writing a comprehensive resource book to help you in this effort. We really need an army of people to make a difference and build up the immune resiliency of the population before the next wave hits in the fall. This will work FAR better than any unsafe and untested vaccine that will most likely never be ready by the fall anyway.

Why take glutathione and vitamin C together?

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/glutathione-vitamin-c-3438.html

by:  | June 13, 2020

glutathione-and-vitamin-c(NaturalHealth365) According to the National Health Council, a troubling 50 percent of American adults suffer greatly with their health.  Thankfully, recent research has shown that a pair of natural substances – glutathione and vitamin C – can help to increase the body’s natural antioxidant defense system.  This, in turn, helps to reduce the risk of excess oxidative stress – which leads to a diminished quality of life.

Researchers have found that these natural compounds work in concert, with each helping to replenish and recycle the other. Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits that are obtained by taking these two natural substances together.

Glutathione and vitamin C: Two “superstar” antioxidants join forces

Glutathione – one of the most powerful antioxidants in the body – is also its premier detoxifying molecule, working to neutralize pathogens, environmental toxins and carcinogens.  In addition, it boosts the immune system, increases strength and endurance and encourages the body to form lean muscle rather than fat.

In fact, so strongly tied is glutathione to health and well-being that scientists can use glutathione levels to predict longevity – quite a testament to its influence in the body!

Unfortunately, glutathione levels can be threatened by toxic drugs, environmental toxins and chronic stress – as well as by normal aging.  Unsurprisingly, healthy young people have the highest levels of glutathione, while elderly, hospitalized patients have the very lowest.

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Get the BEST indoor air purification system – at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers.  I, personally use this system in my home AND office.  Click HERE to order now – before the sale ends.

Like glutathione, vitamin C can help to boost immune system function.  In fact, studies have shown that vitamin C increases production of life protective antibodies and promotes the function of phagocytes, the body’s scavenger cells.

In addition, vitamin C – which has potent antioxidant, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties – can protect fragile cell membranes and prevent damage to cell DNA, as well as to important proteins and enzymes (including glutathione).  It is also a cofactor in the production of collagen – which is essential to arterial and heart health.

So, it’s clear to see: insufficient stores of glutathione and vitamin C can cause serious health issues.

Stronger together: Glutathione and vitamin C empower each other

Together, these two antioxidants neutralize harmful free radicals.  This is important, because free radicals cause the unhealthy peroxidation of cell membrane lipids, leading to eventual cell death and increased likelihood of sickness.

Noted functional physician and author Dr. Mark Hyman uses the “hot potato” analogy to explain the antioxidant actions of glutathione and vitamin C.  Free radicals get bounced like a “hot potato” from one antioxidant to another, shuttling from vitamin C to vitamin E – then on to lipoic acid, and finally, glutathione.

Glutathione “cools off” the free radicals while recycling the other antioxidants, sacrificing itself in the process. However, the process ends with the regeneration of more glutathione.  In other words, glutathione and vitamin C function as a “buddy act,” in which each has the other’s back.

Vitamin C also helps to protect glutathione in the tissues, while glutathione coverts worn-out vitamin C (dehydroascorbic acid) back into its active form.  In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that glutathione can actually alleviate vitamin C deficiency.

Research sheds light on the effects of glutathione and vitamin C on oxidative stress

In one study involving 200 healthy young adults and published in Preventive Nutrition and Food Science, the team found that low dietary intake of vitamin C caused increased oxidative stress, while reducing levels of glutathione.

Even though the subjects were young and relatively healthy, only 38 percent of them had sufficient intake of vitamin C.  Significantly, the low intake group had higher levels of markers of oxidative stress, such as malondialdehyde, nitrites and nitrates. The higher-intake group had fewer markers of oxidative stress, and more life protective antioxidant capacity.

A separate study yielded evidence of the benefits of combining quercetin and vitamin C.

In a placebo-controlled study conducted in 2012, a group of healthy young men were given either 250 mg a day of vitamin C, 500 mg of quercetin, vitamin C and quercetin together, or a placebo for eight weeks.

And the results were eye-opening.

The researchers found that the most pronounced improvements to inflammation levels and cell health occurred in the group that took both supplements. Participants experienced a dramatic 50 percent decrease in levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein – compared to 35 percent in the vitamin C-only group and the quercetin-only group.

Other research has demonstrated vitamin C’s ability to promote the creation of glutathione in the body.

Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that two weeks of supplementation with vitamin C, in amounts ranging from 500 mg to 2,000 mg, increased glutathione production by 50 percent – significantly more than increases conferred by high-dose N-acetyl-cysteine.

This is impressive, because NAC has such potent glutathione-restoring abilities that it is used in hospitals to replenish depleted glutathione in the liver resulting from acetaminophen overdose.

Boost glutathione and vitamin C with diet and proper supplementation

You can help your body increase its glutathione production by eating sulfur-rich foods, such as garlic, onions and cruciferous vegetables including Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and arugula.

And, bioactive non-denatured whey protein is rich in cysteine, one of the “building blocks” of glutathione.  Supplements such as N-acetyl-cysteine, milk thistle and alpha-lipoic acid help the body produce, recycle and replenish glutathione.

When it comes to ramping up vitamin C intake, red bell peppers, kiwi fruit, strawberries and citrus fruits are among the best sources.

If you would like to take glutathione in supplementary form, many natural health experts advise liposomal glutathione as the most bioactive.  Integrative healthcare providers typically recommend between 250 mg and 500 mg of glutathione a day – but check first with your own doctor before making any changes to your supplement routine.

While the National Institutes of Health lists 65 to 90 mg per day of vitamin C as the recommended daily amount, most experienced healthcare providers will suggest much greater amounts to obtain true health protective results.  Your integrative doctor can help advise an amount that is right for you.

Bottom line: when it comes to protecting your health, glutathione and vitamin C are “on the job.” Maybe it’s time to put this dynamic duo to work for you?

Sources for this article include:

Academic.oup.com
NIH.gov
NIH.gov
NationalHealthCouncil.org

CNN Spreads Deadly Lies About Vitamin D for COVID-19


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/06/08/cnn-coronavirus-vitamin-d.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola      Fact Checked
cnn coronavirus vitamin d

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • May 27, CNN published an article that could have deadly consequences if believed. It claims taking vitamin D supplements “can hurt a lot,” as “too much vitamin D can lead to a toxic buildup of calcium in your blood, causing confusion, disorientation and problems with heart rhythm, as well as bone pain, kidney damage and painful kidney stones.” CNN does not specify what “too much” vitamin D actually is
  • Hypercalcemia (calcium buildup) is caused by insufficient vitamin K2 in relation to vitamin D, not vitamin D per se. Vitamin K2 deficiency is what causes “vitamin D toxicity” symptoms, but CNN does not explain this known fact
  • Reviews of published trials have demonstrated there are no toxicity symptoms — including hypercalcemia — at dosages up to 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day, even when used long-term
  • Case histories of patients with hypercalcemia and vitamin D toxicity reveal they were taking between 3.6 million IUs and 210 million IUs over the course of one to four months. That means taking 30,000 IUs of vitamin D per day for 120 days on the lowest end, or 7 million IUs a day for 30 days on the extreme upper end
  • CNN also cites a British expert saying “there’s no evidence that very high vitamin D levels are protective against COVID-19.” This, despite several recent reports showing vitamin D levels appear to play an important role in your risk of testing positive for COVID-19, as well as your risk of severe infection and death

May 31, 2020, I posted an interview with three vitamin D experts in which we discuss the importance of vitamin D for preventing COVID-19 infection. A few days earlier, May 27, CNN published a report1 that could have deadly consequences if believed, claiming taking vitamin D supplements “can hurt a lot.”

The article was written by Sandee LaMotte — a medical producer and writer for CNN and executive producer of video at pharma-biased WebMD. Three other CNN reporters, Emma Reynolds, Shelby Lin Erdman and Rob Picheta, also contributed to the story.

The article quotes Robin May, director of the British Institute of Microbiology and Infection as saying:2 “To date, there is no evidence that very high vitamin D levels are protective against COVID-19 and consequently medical guidance is that people should not be supplementing their vitamin D levels beyond those which are currently recommended by published medical advice.”

CNN Cites Vitamin D Recommendations Known To Be Incorrect

LaMotte cites dosing recommendations from the Institute of Medicine’s National Academies’ Food and Nutrition Board — a nongovernmental organization — which advises a daily dose of just 600 IUs for anyone over the age of 4, and 800 IUs for those over 70. In the U.K., the daily dose is a meager 400 IUs a day.

Nowhere does the article mention that the IOM’s dosage recommendations are based on the levels thought to be adequate only for bone health.3 They do not take into account the amount of vitamin D you need to prevent influenza, heart- or liver- disease, respiratory infections, cancer, or any of the many other diseases that have a clearly documented link to vitamin D deficiency.

LaMotte also fails to mention that the IOMs recommendations are off by a factor of 10 due to a mathematical error, as reported by Science Daily4 in 2015. Two papers5,6 confronting this issue have been published in the journal Nutrients, both of which call for the IOM to correct its mistake, lest public health suffer.

So, if IOM were to simply go back and correct this egregious mistake, the “conventional medical advice” would be to take 6,000 IUs a day, or 8,000 IUs if you’re over 70. These dosages are quite close to the so-called “high-dose” recommendations suggested by many vitamin D researchers.

The statement that there is “no evidence that very high vitamin D levels are protective against COVID-19” is equally misleading, considering a number of reports from COVID-19 researchers now show that vitamin D appears to play a significant role in this infectious disease.

Similarly, researchers demonstrated that the age-specific case fatality rate of COVID-19 was highest in Italy, Spain and France — European countries with the highest incidence of severe vitamin D deficiency.7

In the video below, published May 11, 2020, on Medscape.com, Dr. JoAnn E. Manson, professor of medicine and chief of division of preventive medicine at Harvard Medical School, discusses the protective role of vitamin D against COVID-19.

Sorry, this video is not available on this site. To view video, please go to original article above.
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Vitamin D Deficiency Increases Risk of Positive COVID-19 Test

A May 2020 paper8 published on the preprint server MedRxiv (which means it’s still awaiting peer-review) presents evidence that vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of testing positive for COVID-19 infection. As reported by News Medical Life Sciences:9

“The study by researchers at the University of Chicago looked at over 4,300 patients with COVID-19 of whom 499 had been tested for vitamin D levels in the previous year. Based on this, they were divided into likely deficient (25%), likely adequate (58%), and uncertain (16%).

Vitamin D deficiency was diagnosed by ‘the most recent 25-hydroxycholecalciferol <20ng/ml or 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol <18pg/ml within one year before COVID-19 testing.’

Multiple variables were analyzed in this study. The researchers found that people with vitamin D deficiency at the last testing, and who did not receive higher doses of vitamin D (keeping them deficient in all probability), are much more likely to be infected with the virus than those with probably sufficient levels. The corresponding rates of infection were 22% vs. 12%.”

Similarly, a May 6, 2020, report10 in the journal Nutrients pointed out that vitamin D concentrations are lower in patients with positive PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests for SARS-CoV-2. As noted in this report, which retrospectively investigated the vitamin D levels obtained from a cohort of patients in Switzerland:11

“In this cohort, significantly lower 25(OH)D levels were found in PCR-positive for SARS-CoV-2 (median value 11.1 ng/mL) patients compared with negative patients (24.6 ng/mL); this was also confirmed by stratifying patients according to age >70 years. On the basis of this preliminary observation, vitamin D supplementation might be a useful measure to reduce the risk of infection.”

Low Vitamin D Boosts Risk of Serious COVID-19 Infection

According to an editorial review12,13 by Irish researchers, people with vitamin D deficiency appear to be far more prone to severe COVID-19 infections. According to the authors:14

“When mortality per million is plotted against latitude, it can be seen that all countries that lie below 35 degrees North have relatively low mortality. Thirty‐five degrees North also happens to be the latitude above which people do not receive sufficient sunlight to retain adequate vitamin D levels during winter. This suggests a possible role for vitamin D in determining outcomes from COVID‐19 …

There are considerable experimental data showing that vitamin D is important in regulating and suppressing the inflammatory cytokine response of respiratory epithelial cells and macrophages to various pathogens including respiratory viruses …

It is important to note that the hypothesis is not that vitamin D would protect against SARS‐CoV‐2 infection but that it could be very important in preventing the cytokine storm and subsequent acute respiratory distress syndrome that is commonly the cause of mortality …

The evidence supporting a protective effect of vitamin D against severe COVID‐19 disease is very suggestive, a substantial proportion of the population in the Northern Hemisphere will currently be vitamin D deficient, and supplements, for example, 1,000 international units (25 micrograms) per day are very safe.

It is time for governments to strengthen recommendations for vitamin D intake and supplementation, particularly when under lock‐down.”

Similarly, Mark Alipio with GrassrootsHealth conducted a retrospective multicenter study15,16 involving 212 patients in Southeast Asia who had COVID-19. He too found a strong correlation between vitamin D levels and disease severity. Those with the mildest disease had the highest vitamin D levels, and vice versa.

Normal vitamin D levels were defined as greater than 30 ng/ml; insufficient levels were defined as 21 to 29 ng/ml; anything below 20 ng/mL was considered deficient. While Grassroots Health research has determined that 40 ng/mL is the lower edge of optimal, with 60 ng/mL to 80 ng/mL being ideal for health and disease prevention, the benefit of having a vitamin D level above 30 ng/mL was clear.

vitamin d covid-19 severity

Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Increased COVID-19 Mortality

The epidemiology of COVID-19 provides evidence that vitamin D might be helpful in reducing risk associated with COVID-19 deaths.17 A May 6, 2020, report18 published in Aging Clinical and Experimental Research (its prepublication featured in the Daily Mail May 119) found that countries with lower vitamin D levels also have higher mortality rates from COVID-19. According to the authors:20

“The Seneca study showed a mean serum vitamin D level of 26 nmol/L in Spain, 28 nmol/L in Italy and 45 nmol/L in the Nordic countries, in older people. In Switzerland, mean vitamin D level is 23 nmol/L in nursing homes and in Italy 76% of women over 70 years of age have been found to have circulating levels below 30 nmol/L.

These are the countries with high number of cases of COVID-19 and the aging people is the group with the highest risk for morbidity and mortality with SARS-CoV2.”

In the preprint version21 of this paper, the authors concluded: “We believe that we can advise vitamin D supplementation to protect against SARS-CoV2 infection.” In the final version,22 they toned down the recommendation to: “We hypothesize that vitamin D may play a protective role for COVID-19.”

Another study,23,24 which looked at data from 780 hospital patients in Indonesia, found those with a vitamin D level between 20 ng/mL and 30 ng/mL had a sevenfold higher risk of death than those with a level above 30 ng/mL, and having a level below 20 ng/mL was associated with a 12 times higher risk of death.

Vitamin D Is a Simple Strategy That Can Save Lives

In a May 18, 2020, letter25 to the Federal Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, retired biochemist Bernd Glauner and Lorenz Borsche highlight these and other studies26 and ask whether a nationwide supply of vitamin D has been considered in Germany.

“Until a vaccine is available, vitamin D supplementation could be a preventive measure that should be discussed to reduce the lethality of covid-19. The available studies also suggest that vitamin D shock treatment may protect patients already infected and hospitalized with Covid-19 from lethal sepsis,” they write.

The following graph is included in the letter.

correlation covid 19 death rate

Glauner and Borsche continue:27

“… Scientific and clinical studies suggesting an alternative treatment option are apparently ignored. One of these promising approaches is the treatment with vitamin D. The available studies on Covid-19 patients suggest that a large proportion of deaths could possibly be prevented and severe courses could be reduced to milder ones …

This way would be easy and does not cause high costs. It would be sufficient to measure the vitamin D level in Covid-19 infected persons, hospital staff and risk patients and, if necessary, to raise it to healthy levels well above 35 ng/ml. In any case, no comparison to the enormous costs of the lockdown. This could possibly save us another lockdown and many more Covid-19 fatalities.”

No, Vitamin D Supplementation Is Not Dangerous

The CNN article is just another propaganda COVID-19 narrative of mainstream media. This egregious behavior is similar to the hydroxychloroquine paper published in The Lancet that the WHO has used to discredit and stop using hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19. Over 100 scientists question the ethics and standards of this incredibly shoddy study.28

Probably the most serious mistake in LaMotte’s CNN article are her claims that vitamin D supplementation “can hurt a lot.” She claims “too much vitamin D can lead to a toxic buildup of calcium in your blood, causing confusion, disorientation and problems with heart rhythm, as well as bone pain, kidney damage and painful kidney stones.”

She makes those claims without a) citing or referencing any supporting evidence, b) clarifying that the “toxic buildup of calcium” (hypercalcemia) is caused by insufficient vitamin K2 in relation to vitamin D, not vitamin D per se (a fact that is now well-established) and c) without specifying what “too much” actually might be.

A review29 of published trials have demonstrated there are no toxicity symptoms — including hypercalcemia — at dosages up to 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day, even when used long-term. A more recent paper found that Intakes of vitamin D up to 15,000 IU/day are safe.30

In my search for horror stories, I discovered a case paper31 published in 2011, which presented the cases of 10 adult patients diagnosed with hypercalcemia in relation to vitamin D supplementation.

Symptoms listed in this paper include vomiting, polyuria (excessive urination), polydipsia (excessive thirst), hypercalcemia (excessive calcium levels), encephalopathy (brain damage or disease causing memory loss, personality changes or seizures, for example) and kidney dysfunction.

It sounds scary, but when you consider that these patients were taking MILLIONS of units of vitamin D — specifically, 3,600,000 (3.6 million) IUs and 210,000,000 (210 million) IUs over the course of one to four months (median two months) — you start to see just how wrong it is to warn people off vitamin D supplements.

For example, the dosages these people were getting would be like taking 30,000 IUs of vitamin D per day for 120 days on the lowest end, or 7 million IUs a day for 30 days on the extreme upper end. No one is recommending you take these kinds of dosages, especially not for extended periods of time.

Many may need 10,000 IUs a day — which is safe — to get their level above 60 ng/mL. The maintenance dose, however, is typically lower. To determine your ideal dose, you need to get your blood tested, ideally twice a year. The level you’re looking for is between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL. As of right now, there does not appear to be any significant benefit to levels higher than 80 ng/mL.

REALLY IMPORTANT: Optimize Your Vitamin D Level Before Fall!

Experts are already warning that SARS-CoV-2 may reemerge in the fall when temperatures and humidity levels drop, thereby increasing the virus’ transmissibility.

I am in the process of writing an even more comprehensive and detailed report on vitamin D in the prevention of COVID-19 and I hope to enlist ALL of you to participate as an army to go out and tell all your friends and family and get them on board to get their vitamin levels optimized.

Once you have done that, the next step is to encourage pastors of black churches to get their congregations on board. It will also be important to reach out to mangers of nursing homes and assisted living facilities as both of these populations have notoriously low vitamin D levels that put them at greater risk of COVID-19.

You now have a known “deadline” for optimizing your vitamin D level. Historically, December typically has highest flu activity in the U.S.,32 but it would probably be good to aim for October, or maybe even earlier depending on your location.

To improve your immune function and lower your risk of viral infections, you’ll want to raise your vitamin D to a level between 60 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) and 80 ng/mL by fall. In Europe, the measurements you’re looking for are 150 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) and 200 nmol/L.

Again, optimizing your vitamin D is particularly important if you have darker skin, as darker skin places you at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency — and serious COVID-19 infection. What’s more, the elderly tend to lose the ability to synthesize vitamin D from sun exposure, and therefore tend to have suboptimal levels even if they spend plenty of time outdoors.

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of measuring your vitamin D level is to participate in the GrassrootsHealth’s personalized nutrition project, which includes a vitamin D testing kit, either alone or in combination with the omega-3 test. This is done in the convenience of your home.

You’ll learn your nutrient levels, how effective your health actions are, and you’ll be able to see thousands of other data sets that allow you to compare health outcomes important to you. Knowledge is empowerment, and that is particularly true during this pandemic. To make sure your immune system has a chance to work optimally, follow these three steps.

Step 1: Measure Your Vitamin D

First, find out what your base level is. This is done with a simple blood test. An easy and cost-effective way of doing this is to order GrassrootsHealth’s vitamin D testing kit.

Once you know what your blood level is, you can assess the dose needed to maintain or improve your level. Again, the ideal level you’re looking for is above 40 ng/mL, and ideally between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL (European measurement: 100 nmol/L or, ideally, 150 nmol/L to 200 nmol/L).

The easiest way to raise your level is by getting regular, safe sun exposure, but if you’re very dark-skinned, you may need to spend about 1.5 hours a day in the sun to have any noticeable effect.

Those with very light skin may only need 15 minutes a day, which is far easier to achieve. Still, they too will typically struggle to maintain ideal levels during the winter. So, depending on your situation, you may need to use an oral vitamin D3 supplement. The next question then becomes, how much do you need?

Step 2: Assess Your Individualized Vitamin D3 Dosage

The following chart can provide you with a basic starting point:

vitamin D intake vs. Serum

You can fine-tune your dosage further by taking into account your baseline vitamin D level. To do that, you can either use the chart below, or use GrassrootsHealth’s Vitamin D*calculator. To convert ng/mL into the European measurement (nmol/L), simply multiply the ng/mL measurement by 2.5.

Vitamin D - Serum Level

How to Calculate Your Vitamin D From Sun Exposure

Sorry, this video is not available on this site. To view video, please go to original article above.

To calculate how much vitamin D you may be getting from regular sun exposure in addition to your supplemental intake, consider using the DMinder app,33 created by Dr. Michael Holick, author of “The Vitamin D Solution: A Three-Step Strategy to Cure Our Most Common Health Problems.” The free app is available for iPhone and android in the Apple store and Google play respectively. As explained by imedicalapps.com:34

“The app attempts to calculate a patients’ vitamin D level based on demographics imputed when first opening the app and then updates the level based on either actual lab draws or data from the app. The app even uses the phone’s GPS and clock to determine the ‘best’ time of day for a patient to get the required sun exposure for vitamin D skin conversion.”

Step 3: Retest

Lastly, you’ll need to remeasure your vitamin D level in three to six months, to evaluate how your sun exposure and/or supplement dose is working for you. Not only will optimizing your vitamin D be an important strategy for you and your family, but it would be really helpful to start thinking about your community as well.

If you can, speak to pastors in churches with large congregations of people of color and help them start a program getting people on vitamin D. Doing so could save far more lives than any vaccine program.

If you have a family member or know anyone who is in an assisted living facility you could meet with the director of the program and encourage them to get everyone tested or at least start them on vitamin D.

 

– Sources and References

Rhonda Patrick on Vitamin C


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/06/06/rhonda-patrick-vitamin-c.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola      Fact Checked

June 06, 2020

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D., discusses vitamin C in-depth, covering everything from its effects on immune function and viral infections to the bioavailability of different vitamin C forms and administrations, such as oral or intravenous — plus much more
  • Vitamin C, even in small quantities, protects proteins, lipids and even DNA and RNA in your body from reactive oxygen species that are generated during normal metabolism as well as due to toxin exposure
  • Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant within your cells, helping to protect immune cells from incurring damage, and may promote the production of interferon, which helps defend against viruses
  • Vitamin C’s anti-cold effects are among its most-studied uses, and research suggests that using vitamin C prophylactically as well as therapeutically at the onset of cold symptoms may reduce symptoms and cold duration
  • Due to vitamin C’s antioxidant properties, it may help decrease the risk of neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and multiple sclerosis because it reduces oxidative damage
  • Bioavailability of vitamin C varies by form; intravenous is most bioavailable, but liposomal vitamin C, in which vitamin C is encapsulated in a lipid particle, may increase bioavailability of oral vitamin C considerably

Vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin found in abundance in fruits and vegetables, is an essential nutrient that humans must get from their diet or supplements. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is perhaps most well-known for its antioxidant properties — properties it maintains because of an ability to donate electrons to oxidized molecules.

In the video above, Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D., discusses vitamin C in-depth, covering everything from its effects on immune function and viral infections to the bioavailability of different vitamin C forms and administrations, such as oral or intravenous — plus much more. If you have any interest in learning how vitamin C can benefit your health, this video is a must-see.

Vitamin C’s Many Roles in Your Health

Vitamin C, even in small quantities, protects proteins, lipids and even DNA and RNA in your body from reactive oxygen species that are generated during normal metabolism as well as due to toxin exposure (such as to cigarette smoke and air pollution).

Vitamin C is also involved in the biosynthesis of collagen, carnitine and catecholamines, according to Patrick, and as such, “vitamin C participates in immune function, wound healing, fatty acid metabolism, neurotransmitter production, and blood vessel formation, as well as other key processes and pathways.”1

Intravenous (IV) vitamin C has also shown promise in helping to treat viral infections and cancer, while vitamin C is also involved in the way your body processes other vitamins, such as vitamin E, which it regenerates from its oxidized form. Vitamin C also makes iron from dietary sources more bioavailable because it enhances gut absorption of nonheme iron.2

Vitamin C and Immune Function

Vitamin C’s role in immune function is worthy of attention. “It stimulates the production of white blood cells, especially neutrophils, lymphocytes and phagocytes, and promotes the cells’ normal functions, such as their ability to detect, move toward and engulf pathogens,” according to Patrick.3

Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant within your cells, helping to protect immune cells from incurring damage, and may promote the production of interferon, which helps defend against viruses.

There’s also evidence that vitamin C may help in some cases of exercise-induced immune dysfunction. While exercise is generally beneficial for immune function, over-exercise or repeated high-intensity training can take a toll on the immune system. In the case of marathon runners, skiers and soldiers, for instance, those who used supplemental vitamin C had 50% fewer colds.4

Vitamin C’s anti-cold effects are among its most-studied uses, and research suggests that using vitamin C prophylactically as well as therapeutically at the onset of cold symptoms may reduce symptoms and cold duration.5 It may also be useful against COVID-19.

In my March 17, 2020 interview with Dr. Andrew Saul, editor-in-chief of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, he mentions being in contact with a South Korean medical doctor who is giving patients and medical staff an injection of 100,000 IUs of vitamin D along with as much as 24,000 mg (24 grams) of IV vitamin C. “He’s reporting that these people are getting well in a matter of days,” Saul says.

As explained by Saul, vitamin C at extremely high doses acts as an antiviral drug, actually killing viruses. While it does have anti-inflammatory activity, which helps prevent the massive cytokine cascade associated with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, its antiviral capacity likely has more to do with it being a non-rate-limited free radical scavenger.

Patrick also noted that vitamin C may be protective against respiratory diseases. In one study, people with the highest vitamin C levels were 15% less likely to develop respiratory conditions and 46% less likely to die of lung cancer compared to those with the lowest levels.6

Further, vitamin C is well known for helping with lung defense, which takes on renewed meaning in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Patrick:7

“The innate immune system of the lungs is an integral component of the body’s defense system, protecting the body against exposure to inhaled oxidants and pathogens … Vitamin C’s lung defense capacity is evidenced by robust data suggesting that vitamin C intake protects against chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary fibrosis, and other respiratory illnesses, including lung cancer.

But this characteristic takes on special relevance in light of recent concerns about complications associated with COVID-19, such as pneumonia and acute lung injury, which often necessitate mechanical ventilation support.

Epidemiological and observational data indicate that higher vitamin C intake is associated with a lower risk of developing pneumonia, and the vitamin has also proven to be effective at decreasing the duration for which patients are kept on mechanical ventilation, especially among patients who require more than 24 hours of breathing support.”

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Vitamin C and Cancer

Another exciting area of vitamin C research involves cancer. Research suggests that IV vitamin C may extend survival compared to chemotherapy alone, even for pancreatic and ovarian cancers, which are among the deadliest. Patrick mentions two studies in patients with pancreatic cancer, which found intravenous vitamin C helped reduce tumor size and promote longer progression-free survival.8

Vitamin C also leads to improved quality of life for cancer patients. In one study of 39 patients diagnosed with terminal cancer, IV vitamin C led to improvements in physical, emotional and cognitive status as well as reductions in fatigue, nausea, vomiting, pain and appetite loss.9

Since conventional cancer therapies often lead to significant side effects, including physical, emotional, cognitive and sexual impairments, using vitamin C as an adjunct to improve quality of life can be a significant improvement.

Vitamin C for Heart and Brain Health

Patrick’s video also goes into the role vitamin C plays as a cardioprotective agent, as well as a mediator of brain health. For starters, vitamin C is known to protect against high blood pressure, as well as reduce blood pressure in people with high blood pressure or prehypertension.10

Vitamin C also shows promise as a treatment for ischemia and perfusion injury, which can occur following a heart attack or stroke, leading to increased inflammation and oxidative damage. “Vitamin C might be effective at reducing myocardial injury in part by mitigating oxidative stress,” Patrick explained.11 In your brain, vitamin C is also essential. According to Patrick:12

“Vitamin C is found in high concentrations in the brain, especially in the hippocampus and frontal cortex regions – areas involved in memory consolidation, learning, and aspects of executive function.

In fact, in a classic example of the body triaging resources based on needs, the brain retains vitamin C during times of deficiency at the expense of other tissues. This is critical to our survival: Evidence suggests that vitamin C plays roles in the brain throughout the lifespan from development through older age.”

Due to vitamin C’s antioxidant properties, it may help decrease the risk of neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and multiple sclerosis because it reduces oxidative damage. “Vitamin C is also important for the regulation of neurotransmitters, the formation of neural circuits, and many other key brain functions,” Patrick says.13

Vitamin C as a ‘Cure-All’

Patrick describes double Nobel Prize laureate Dr. Linus Pauling’s 1970 publication on vitamin C and the common cold as the impetus that brought vitamin C into the realm of a cure-all in the minds of the general public. While this is an exaggeration — vitamin C can’t cure everything — it’s truly remarkable how many different conditions appear to be benefited by vitamin C. Aside from being an antioxidant and anti-infective agent, Patrick describes vitamin C’s benefits for:

Pneumonia Asthma Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction
Fatty acid oxidation Sepsis Myocarditis in children
Herpes Epstein-Barr virus infection Fertility and reproduction
Inflammation Lung cancer Common cold and other respiratory diseases

Vitamin C Bioavailability Varies by Form

There are differences in the bioavailability of vitamin C depending on its form. Both frequency and dose of vitamin C will affect your levels, but so too will taking it in oral or IV form.

“For example, oral vitamin C is absorbed in the small intestine via specialized transporters that are subject to saturation, but intravenous vitamin C bypasses the gut, achieving blood and tissue concentrations that are markedly higher than those achieved with the oral form,” Patrick explains.14

IV vitamin C may lead to blood concentrations up to 70 times higher than an equivalent oral dose.15 That being said, liposomal vitamin C, in which vitamin C is encapsulated in a lipid particle, may increase bioavailability of oral vitamin C considerably.

“A few studies suggest that oral bioavailability of vitamin C can be increased when consumed in liposomal form, which exerts a unique profile of oral bioavailability,” Patrick says, citing a study of 20 people who were given a 10-gram dose of free oral vitamin C or liposomal vitamin C.16

“The average peak plasma concentration of vitamin C in the participants who took the free form was approximately 180 micromoles per liter of blood. However, among those who took the liposomal form, the average peak plasma concentration was 300 micromoles per liter of blood, a 70 percent difference,” she said.17

I strongly believe that liposomal vitamin C is a must for your medicine kit to be pulled out for acute viral illnesses. If I were to become acutely ill, I would take 4 grams of liposomal vitamin C every hour until feeling better, then start decreasing the dosage slowly over a few days once symptoms improve.

Best Food Sources of Vitamin C


I personally only take 100 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C supplement and only when I don’t have regular access to fresh acerola cherries. I have several trees on my property that usually have a harvest every few weeks for nine months of the year. Each cherry has 80 mg of vitamin C, so I can easily get up to 10 grams on days that I eat the cherries.

A wide variety of foods are high in vitamin C, including red pepper, parsley, broccoli, kiwi, strawberries, guava, tomato and all citrus fruits. You can get significant amounts of vitamin C from your diet if you eat these foods on a daily basis.

Keep in mind, however, that cooking destroys about 25% of the vitamin C present in foods.18 Fortunately, many vitamin C-rich foods are commonly eaten raw. If you’re healthy, or have only mild illness, you can certainly use these types of whole foods, and they may even be preferable, but if you want to treat illness, your best bet is to use vitamin C in supplement form, either liposomal or IV. Further, according to Patrick:19

“It is noteworthy that some scientists believe that compelling evidence supports increasing the RDA for vitamin C to 200 milligrams per day for adults. Whereas the goal of the current recommendations is to reduce the risk of scurvy, higher intake could saturate tissue levels, potentially reducing the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and metabolic dysfunction.”

Certain populations, including people who smoke, consume alcohol or have inflammatory bowel disease, may need increased intake of vitamin C, but some research suggests vitamin C deficiency may be more common than realized.

“Interestingly, a population-based cross-sectional study of nearly 150 patients admitted to a large teaching hospital in Canada found that 60 percent of the patients had suboptimal plasma vitamin C levels and 19 percent were deficient, with levels approaching those associated with scurvy,” Patrick noted.20 It’s clear that vitamin C is one nutrient everyone should be sure to get enough of, but if you’re acutely ill, vitamin C becomes even more important.

“Vitamin C might be especially beneficial for critically ill people, particularly those with viral infections, who commonly have lower blood levels of vitamin C compared to healthy people,” Patrick says. So in addition to eating plenty of vitamin C-rich foods daily, keep vitamin C in mind during times of illness. Fortunately, Patrick adds, “With some exceptions, oral and intravenous vitamin C supplementation have been shown to be safe, well-tolerated, and have low toxicity.”21

Vitamin D Combats Viral Infections and Boosts Immune System


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/05/31/vitamin-d-combats-viral-infections-boosts-immune-system.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola      Fact Checked
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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • GrassrootsHealth recently conducted a review of an observational study involving 212 patients who had COVID-19, identifying a correlation between vitamin D levels and disease severity. Those with the mildest disease had the highest vitamin D levels, and vice versa
  • A second study found those with a vitamin D level between 20 ng/mL and 30 ng/mL 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, compared to having a level above 30 ng/mL
  • The color of your skin has correlations to your vitamin D level, and we’re also seeing racial disparities in COVID-19. In Detroit, Michigan, where blacks account for 14% of the population, they account for 40% of COVID-19 deaths
  • It’s important for people with darker skin to realize that the more melanin you have, the more sun exposure you require to make sufficient amounts of vitamin D, and many may need to take a supplement
  • According to the research done by GrassrootsHealth’s panel of 48 vitamin D researchers, 40 ng/mL is the lower edge of optimal, with 60 ng/mL to 80 ng/mL being ideal for health and disease prevention

In this interview, I interview three vitamin D experts about the importance of vitamin D for improving your immune function and resistance to viral infections of all kinds, including COVID-19.

Bruce Hollis, Ph.D., with the Medical University of South Carolina, has researched vitamin D since the late 1970s. His research associate at the Medical University of South Carolina is Dr. Carol Wagner, who is a neonatologist and has been researching vitamin D since 2000.

Carole Baggerly is the director and founder of GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, a nonprofit public health research organization dedicated to moving public health messages regarding vitamin D from research into practice. Baggerly received our Game Changer Award in 2018. She started her work in vitamin D after treatment for breast cancer in 2005.

Vitamin D Levels Correlate With Disease Severity

GrassrootsHealth recently conducted a review of an observational study involving 212 patients in Southeast Asia who had COVID-19, identifying a correlation between vitamin D levels and disease severity. Those with the mildest disease had the highest vitamin D levels, and vice versa.

Of the 212 people, 49 had mild disease; 59 had ordinary disease; 56 were severe and 48 were critical. In the initial study group of 212 patients (see Table 1 below), 55 had normal vitamin D levels, which was defined as greater than 30 ng/ml; 80 had insufficient levels of 21 to 29 ng/ml and 77 had deficient levels of less than 20 ng/ml.

Now, it’s worth noting that the “optimal” vitamin D level in that study was set at 30 nanograms per milliliter (30 ng/mL), which may actually be suboptimal. According to the research done by GrassrootsHealth, 40 ng/mL is the lower edge of optimal, with 60 ng/mL to 80 ng/mL being ideal for health and disease prevention. Despite that, the benefit of having a vitamin D level above 30 ng/mL was clear.

vitamin d covid-19 severity
descriptive statistics

Vitamin D Levels Correlate With Mortality Risk

A second study looked at the data from 780 hospital patients in Indonesia. The same vitamin D level cutoffs were used in this study: below 20 ng/mL; between 20 ng/mL and 30 ng/mL; and above 30 ng/mL.

After adjusting for confounding factors, those with a vitamin D level between 20 ng/mL and 30 ng/mL 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 Hollis, “That’s really strong data.”

It’s Your Vitamin D Blood Level That Matters, Not the Dose

Now, many vitamin D studies conclude that vitamin D supplementation has little or no effect on any given health problem or condition. But there’s a very simple reason for this: Virtually every one of these studies use the same dosage or dosages for everyone, and do not measure participants’ blood levels.

This is a crucial mistake, as it’s really the blood level that needs to get over a particular threshold, and the dosage required to get there can vary widely. Another problem is the fact that most studies use far too low a dosage. If the dosage is too low, you cannot get your blood level into the protective range, and thus it will appear as though vitamin D is useless.

A third factor that can influence the outcome of vitamin D studies is the interaction between vitamin D and other nutrients. Competing deficiencies can affect a particular sub cohort or population, thereby obfuscating results.

A fourth factor is how you define deficiency — using a “word” versus a serum level. For the GrassrootsHealth Scientists’ Panel of 48 researchers, the consensus is that minimum serum level should be 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L). Wagner explains:

“If you do a PubMed search, you see literally thousands of articles. You see this really rich basic science information that’s been accumulating in the last two decades, that strongly supports vitamin D’s role in immunity.

But then, when randomized control trials are done, there are some that suggest vitamin D is effective and others say no. It’s been a contentious issue and I’m sure Bruce and Carole [Baggerly] will agree with me that doing nutrients studies is not the same as doing a pharma study where … they start with zero as their baseline.

[When it comes to] vitamin D [levels], everybody is different. And so, using a biomarker, which is what we use in our studies, total circulating 25(OH)D is a much better indicator.”

Hollis adds:

“In nutrient studies with vitamin D, it’s always been the dosage — how much you’re going to give — with no concern about what the attained blood levels would be.

In our studies, of course, we always measure blood levels. Those studies that Carol [Wagner] and I carried out in pregnancy (in 2003), they were monitored by the FDA. We had to get an investigational drug number (IDN) to run these studies, and it was unheard of to have to do that …

In the end, we proved the [dosage] we [gave] — 4,000 units — was totally harmless as far as dosing went. But it’s still a fight … We have yet to see one adverse event due to vitamin D in any of the studies that Carol [Wagner] and I have carried out, not a single one …”

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Laws Need Updating

Unfortunately, with labeling laws the way they are, it’s very difficult to get this point across. As noted by Baggerly:

“GrassrootsHealth … [asked] the FDA … for the ability to be able to print on the [label of] any vitamin D supplement that ‘[Vitamin D] may help have a healthy pregnancy and [improve] birth outcomes.’ What we were told in that meeting by the FDA person was, ‘According to what dose?’

We explained repeatedly that it wasn’t a dose, it was a serum level, and the FDA person in charge said, ‘By law, we can only accept recommendations based on dose, and if you can’t provide us with a dose, we cannot accept any recommendation.’ So, the laws are out of date, to say the least.”

Skin Color Impacts Your Vitamin D Deficiency Risk

The color of your skin has correlations to your vitamin D level, and we’re also seeing racial disparities in COVID-19. As noted by Hollis, in Detroit, Michigan, where African-Americans account for 14% of the population, they accounted for 40% of COVID-19 deaths.1

“It was even worse in Sweden where the Somali population is less than 1%, and they [account for] 40% of the deaths,” Hollis says. “In Britain, of the 24 health care physicians who have died, 23 were people of color. It was so bad that they pulled those people off the front lines … the physicians and the nurses.” 

Vitamin D deficiency likely plays a role in this racial disparity, although nutrition, obesity and diabetes rates also contribute to immune dysfunction. It’s important for people with darker skin to realize that the more melanin you have, the more sun exposure you require to make sufficient amounts of vitamin D.

According to Hollis, it’s physiologically impossible for a dark-skinned individual in the United States, unless they’re in Southern Florida or Hawaii, to get optimal vitamin D from typical sun exposure.

Daily Supplementation May Strengthen Lung Tissue

If for whatever reason you cannot get regular sun exposure, then vitamin D supplementation is advisable. Ideally, you’ll want to take it daily, opposed to taking a large bolus dose once a week or once a month. As noted by Hollis, studies have consistently shown only daily supplementation were effective.

“When they looked at bolus supplementation, the effect on respiratory infection disappeared,” he says. “Taking a bolus dose every other week or once a month, every three months, that was not effective at controlling respiratory infections. So, we prefer daily [supplementation].”

Baggerly adds:

“The vitamin D component produced in the skin as a result of sun exposure is at one stage what we take as a supplement, the D3, and that then is metabolized into 25(OH)D, which is what we’re measuring, for the most part.

The D3 and even the 25(OH)D have been considered in times past … as not being active … In recent studies, and we really are talking relatively recent, the D3 itself seems to be active in helping keep the epithelia strong [to prevent endothelial leakage].”

Vitamin D3’s ability to strengthen the endothelial structure of the lungs may be one way in which vitamin D helps protect against COVID-19. “COVID-19 attacks the lungs … and vitamin D in this model showed to stabilize that,” Hollis says.

Vitamin D Strengthens and Regulates Immune Function

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Vitamin D also has a clear effect on your innate immune system, which is your first line of defense against bacteria and viruses, as well as your adaptive immune system, which involves your T regulatory helper and suppressor cells, and natural killer cells.

All of these need to be in balance, Wagner explains. If an imbalance occurs, you can end up with a cytokine storm. According to Wagner, vitamin D is very effective for regulating and balancing adaptive immunity. One example demonstrating the elegance of this system is pregnancy. Wagner explains:

“You go from a very active immune system where you have, as the egg is fertilized, an invasion into the uterine wall. You have to allow for that, [and] it’s a very pro-inflammatory state. Then, in order to allow fetal growth, you have to have quiescence of that [proinflammatory state].

You see shifts in the T cell populations, the phenotypes, as well as in the monocyte macrophage population, their activity. And then, at the time of delivery, you shift back to a proinflammatory state [when you] go into labor and have expulsion of the fetus and the placenta. So, it’s a tremendously elegant process.

We know that when it’s deranged, we get such conditions as preeclampsia. You get a vasculitis throughout the body and it can lead to death of both the mother and the fetus, and you have a cytokine storm during that. So COVID-19 is not like a foreign alien; it’s utilizing the very immune system that we have in our body and it makes sense.

Even though this particular virus is new, it’s incorporating systems within our body that are ancient and that includes a very ancient pre-pro hormone, which is vitamin D.

So, it makes sense to me, as a physician and as a scientist, that those individuals who have balance in their bodies, and in this case vitamin D balance, they’re going to do better than if they had deficiency [because then] they can’t mobilize those [immune] cells. Those cells are going to be dysfunctional.”

Research has also demonstrated that pregnant women with optimal vitamin D levels significantly reduce their child’s risk of developing Type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune disorder. As noted by Baggerly:

“We’re working with the Diabetes Research Center to see whether, even after the child is born, as long as they don’t have full-blown type 1 diabetes, what can we do to help stop it? And it turns out that the combination of vitamin D and omega-3 really matters.”

The Importance of Vitamin D Testing

Naturally, vitamin D has many other benefits beside boosting immune function and protecting against respiratory diseases and viral infections. Wagner, for example, reviews some of the benefits in pregnancy and delivery, so for more information, be sure to listen to the interview.

As mentioned, the most important factor here is the level of vitamin D in your blood, not the daily dose, so it’s important to get tested at least twice a year. Again, you want a level of at least 40 ng/mL, and ideally between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL.

According to data published in the Archives of Internal Medicine,2 75% of American adults and teens are deficient in vitamin D, based on a sufficiency level of 30 ng/mL. If the sufficiency cutoff were to be moved to 40 ng/mL or 60 ng/mL, deficiency rates in the U.S. would likely be in the high 90% bracket.

Importantly, aside from people with darker skin, the elderly tend to lose the ability to synthesize vitamin D from sun exposure, and therefore tend to have suboptimal levels even if they spend plenty of time outdoors. “It’s at that point people may need to supplement or find additional sources,” Baggerly says.

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of measuring your vitamin D level is to participate in the GrassrootsHealth’s personalized nutrition project, which includes a vitamin D testing kit, either alone or in combination with the omega-3 test. This is done in the convenience of your home.

You’ll learn your nutrient levels, how effective your health actions are, and you’ll be able to see 1000’s of other data sets that allow you to compare health outcomes important to you.

The Synergy Between Magnesium and Vitamin D

If your vitamin D level is low and remains low even though you’re taking high dosages every day, say around 5,000 to 10,000 IUs, you may be too deficient in magnesium for your body to convert the vitamin D into its active form. As explained by Hollis:

“A couple of years ago, I was reviewing an epidemiologic study from Harvard that showed the relationship between magnesium intake [and vitamin D levels]. Because you can’t do a blood test to tell if you have enough magnesium … you have to take it every day. At the time … I was taking 10,000 IUs of vitamin D a day and I couldn’t get my blood levels to go up to 50 ng/mL.

And so I thought, wow, so I’m going to start taking magnesium. So, I start taking 400 mg a day and my level is now 60 ng/mL on 6,000 IUs of vitamin D a day. So, magnesium intake can have profound effects on the conversion into 25D … The magnesium intake is really important and I never paid much attention to that until then.”

GrassrootsHealth now also has a magnesium research project called Magnesium* PLUS Focus, which is also open for enrollment. All of these nutrient field trial projects involve sending in a blood spot test that you do at home, and filling out a health questionnaire and providing details on the supplements you take.

COVID-19 Study Underway

Last but not least, GrassrootsHealth is currently working on a vitamin D study to assess its ability to prevent COVID-19 and/or reduce illness severity. Wagner explains:

“We put together a study that will be submitted to our human subjects committee shortly. And we’re working with GrassrootHealth on this. We’re taking individuals who come to our virtual clinics for COVID-19 testing. Those who are negative at the time of testing … [will] get randomized to receive 6,000 IUs a day of vitamin D or placebo.

Everyone will take 800 IUs a day of vitamin D in the form of a multivitamin that also has magnesium, vitamin C and the B vitamins. Then, we follow them monthly for retesting and if they become positive, we’ll note that and the severity of their symptoms and their duration of the acute illness. Every month, we’ll test their vitamin D [25(OH)D] level, and along with that we’re measuring their COVID-19 PCR … [and] antibodies …

In the COVID positive arm … they would get a bolus of 20,000 IUs a day for three days followed by 6000 IU/day vs. placebo. All would take the multivitamin, which has 800 IUs plus the other vitamins …

The endpoints [are]: severity of symptoms and whether they required hospitalization, how long was it before they could return to their normal daily activities … respiratory questionnaires and … nasal drainage. They’re actually doing genotyping of the cells in the secretions from the nose and so forth in those individuals.

A key measure though, of the vitamin D, is the desired [level] of at least 40 ng/mL. So those who have not achieved that in two months’ time, their doses are going to be adjusted to get there. It’s [the focus is] not going to be the dose.”

REALLY IMPORTANT: Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels Before Fall!

Not only will be this an important strategy for you and your family, but it would be really helpful to start thinking about your community. People of color are at really high risk because their skin color impairs their ability to generate vitamin D from sun exposure. So if you could speak to any pastors in churches with large congregations of people of color and help them start a program getting people on vitamin D you could help save many lives, far more than any vaccine program.

Additionally, if you have a family member or know anyone who is in an assisted living facility you could meet with the director of the program and encourage them to get everyone tested or at least start them on vitamin D. Tomorrow I will have an article with more specific action steps, so you can start planning now.

For years, I’ve stressed the importance of optimizing your vitamin D level, especially in anticipation of flu season, and it seems clear it can go a long way toward protecting yourself against COVID-19 as well. Wagner notes:

“One of the things that I think is worth mentioning is there are receptors all over the body for vitamin D and it includes the Type II cells [in the lungs], which create surfactant.

So, the issue of whether or not an infection gets from upper respiratory down into the lung. That’s when it progresses from upper respiratory to lower respiratory, and it’s the lower respiratory infection that’s associated with cytokine storm …

Vitamin D has a tremendous effect on the local renin-angiotensin system. You’ve probably heard about ACE2 [receptors] and so forth. Vitamin D specifically affects surfactant production — this local renin-angiotensin system that is involved with fluid clearance … When you have vitamin D deficiency, that whole system is deranged.”

In closing, experts are already warning that SARS-CoV-2 may reemerge in the fall when temperatures and humidity levels drop, thereby increasing the virus’ transmissibility. Now is the time to check your vitamin D level and start taking action to raise it if you’re below 60 ng/mL.

Again, an easy and cost-effective way of measuring your vitamin D level is to order GrassrootsHealth’s vitamin D testing kit and learn more about vitamin D and its impact on your health. Knowledge is empowerment, and that is particularly true during this pandemic.