If a new drug reduced deaths by 10% it would almost get a Nobel Prize — that is, as long as it made someone rich.

A free antiviral shining down on you?

At the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona 930 people who turned up with Covid were randomly asked to take a vitamin D3 (calcifediol) treatment or a placebo. Of them, 551 were given fours doses of Vitamin D3 over the next four weeks. The other 379 luckless people got the chance to be randomized controls..

The lucky ones got 20,000IU (or 20 normal vitamin D3 tablets) on day one, then 10,000 IU (ten normal tablets) on four other days in the next month. (Technically, the big dose was given was given on day one followed up with half doses on day 3, 7, 15, and 30.)

In the hapless control group as many as 80 people (21%) would go on to need Intensive Care (ICU). And 57 people of the original 379 would end up dying, or about 15%.

Of the 551 people given five dollars worth* of Vitamin D (that’s the cost online) only 30 (5%)  would go on to need the ICU, and all up 36 people died (6.5%).

So, proportionately, more than twice as many people died in the group that missed out on Vitamin D3. Which loosely suggests that of the 57 deaths in the placebo group, possibly 34 of them could have been saved by a cheap vitamin available at chemists around the corner from their home. People can get D3 from the sun too, though not so much in northern Europe in winter.

If you are a normal sane person, this could make you very angry. Lives could have been saved and many hospital beds emptied at almost no cost. Even before Covid arrived –  we already knew a lot about Vitamin D3 .. As I said in April, deficiency in D3 is a pandemic we need to solve.

D3 is used to activate or influence about 200 different genes, Vitamin D levels also correlate with lower rates of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressureasthma, heart disease, dental caries, preeclampsia, autoimmune diseasedepressionanxiety, and sleep disorders. It’s so crucial, it was likely the reason northern Europeans evolved whiter skin. The lack of sunlight and the introduction of grains in diets (as opposed to eating liver and whales) meant that Europeans weren’t getting enough D from either food or sun. The selective pressure was so strong that lighter skin rapidly took over all the northern communities. 

For months now we’ve know that in at least one study, 40% of older people who die from respiratory infections seem to be dying because they are deficient in this vitamin. The study also showed that people who were deficient in Vitamin D were also more likely to die.

And here’s another kicker — this study was done way back in March April and May last year. It’s a Spanish study and it’s only just been published. And the thing that will make you grind your teeth was that nearly a year after this started there are still no good big studies. It’s almost like this one slipped under the radar in the early days and forever after, despite the billions in costs and the millions of patients, no one wants to do a larger follow up? This was an idea so obvious it was organised within weeks of the outbreak, yet one year later, … crickets?

There are caveats

In most studies the people that benefit the most are the ones who are deficient. This study didn’t even measure those levels.

All the patients in both groups were also given HCQ and AZ. Perhaps this improved all the outcomes?  On the other hand, doctors didn’t know a lot about Covid back then, and that undoubtedly meant higher death rates.

The standard treatment for everyone:

All hospitalized patients received the same standard therapy, consisting in hydroxychloroquine 400 mg/24h
first day and 200 mg/24h 4 days with azithromycin 500 mg/24h 3 days, plus ceftriaxone 1 or 2 g/24h 7
days when there was bacterial superinfection. Patients with severe or critical conditions of pulmonary
inflammation or clinical suspicion of cytokine storm were additionally treated with dexamethasone bolus
(20 mg/day x 4 days) according to hospital guidelines.

What we desperately need are bigger better studies, though who would want to be in the placebo group?

The billion dollar question is why they haven’t been done.

Cholecaliferol, Vitamin D3

There are plenty of reasons for human incompetence, but there are serious financial incentives that needs to be addressed. There are huge profits in finding new drugs and almost none in solving the problem with known cheap and unpatentable molecules.

Follow the money. This is exactly the kind of research that our government funded universities and hospitals ought be doing. Yet where are they?  Trapped in some public-private agreement?  Worried that they  Cowering in fear that they might be cancelled. Think of Craig Kelly MP, — he’s under attack for talking about Ivermectin.

The Covid pandemic is a virological bomb, but a lot of the damage is due to a pandemic of corruption and government incompetence.

It doesn’t have to be this way. It’s time to start protesting for real government funded research on vitamins and antivirals. Raise awareness that people need to check their Vitamin D levels, and we need to make sure those with darker skin know about their higher risk for being deficient.

Do Black Lives really Matter? Does your Health Minister Care? Just ask…

Other posts on Vitamin D

*That’s the USD price of 60 tablets of 1,000 IU — enough to treat one person. People taking Vitamin D would be wise to also look up Vitamin K levels.

REFERENCE

Nogués, Xavier and Ovejero, Diana and Quesada-Gomez, J. M. and Bouillon, Roger and Arenas, Dolores and Pascual, Julio and Villar-Garcia, Judith and Rial, Abora and Gimenez-Argente, Carme and Cos, ML. and Rodriguez-Morera, Jaime and Campodarve, Isabel and Guerri-Fernandez, Robert and Pineda-Moncusí, Marta and García-Giralt, Natalia, Calcifediol Treatment and COVID-19-Related Outcomes. SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3771318 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3771318

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February 17, 2021 at 12:27PM