Vaccine, treatment, prevention and censorship

February 4, 2021

Since the turn of the year, the big mantra on the part of the Danish government has been vaccines, vaccines, vaccines, and much of the news flow has revolved around approval, safety, supplies and groups of people that needed to be vaccinated. In addition, vaccine passports are now being introduced, which will be necessary if you want to go to the movies, to Mallorca, to concerts or to festivals. – That is coercion.

Immunological disability

Moreover, one mutation after another of the Covid-19 virus is being discovered, and currently it is the Brazilian P1 version that is lurking on the horizon. There are hundreds of thousands of virus types, and in addition, mutations of these.
RNA viruses are particularly prone to mutating, and the more the mutation changes the protein structures of viruses, the less immunity from previous infections or vaccines there will be. Well, then you have to make a new vaccine or adjust the old one, we hear in the media…. – And then we have to be vaccinated again.
How many immunizations must we have?
If the survival of mankind is made dependent upon new vaccines having to be made all the time, every time a virus mutates enough, will we then after 2-3 generations risk that increasing immunological disability occurs?
This is, of course, a hypothesis, but also a horror scenario where simple epidemics could require many deaths.
This race between viruses and vaccines is meaningless. It is a race we will never win.
Viruses will always be in the lead, and they will never be eradicated.
The only thing that is capable of lightning-fast adaptation and can keep up is a well-functioning immune system.
The question is whether we will ever get rid of the SARS-Cov-2 virus, or whether it will simply join the ranks of other corona, rhino and many other types of virus that exist among us and that appear from time to time with the symptoms of a cold or flu.

Treatment

For years, orthodox medicine has researched the possibilities for treating colds and flu without much success. A few substances have been found such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu), which 20 years ago was thought to work against influenza, but where the results are highly questionable. And with such a product with many side effects, it is a mystery that it is still registered for the treatment of influenza here in Denmark. It is banned in Japan.
Another example is Remdesevir, which has been widely used against Covid-19 until WHO now has advised against it.(1)
Hospitalized patients are currently getting steroids to dampen down the exaggerated immunological response (cytokine storm) in Covid-19 disease. It makes good sense. In Danish hospitals, however, steroid treatment is still being combined with Remdesevir despite the WHO recommendation against its use. (1)
Far better results have been seen in orthomolecular medicine, where one uses substances already known by the body with minimal side effects.
The other day, for example, an RCT (randomized control study) was published from India using ozone therapy in conjunction with standard treatment versus standard treatment alone.(2) It is a small study with 60 patients, but the difference is massive and the authors conclude that ozone therapy is a safe and effective treatment for hospitalized covid-19 patients with mild and moderate disease.
A few months ago in the journal Science one could read an interesting article about a very solid research project by the Berger group at the Max Planck Bristol Center at the University of Bristol.(3)
Using “cryo-electron microscopy” they have mapped the spikes that make up the corona of the virus.
The spike protein is a so-called trimer (consisting of three proteins), and the authors have discovered a non-protein density in the SARS-CoV-2 S receptor binding position that has not been seen before.
In the binding pocket of the spike proteins was found a molecule that was examined by mass spectroscopy at the Max Planck Institute in Heidelberg and revealed something as simple as linoleic acid, which we know from the cheap corn oil or sunflower oil, but also in safflower oil.
Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid. We cannot synthesize it ourselves, and so we must have it. -Just not too much, because it is an n-6 fatty acid, which in its synthesis pathway forms arachidonic acid and thus prostaglandin 2, which is pro-inflammatory. And that is not suitable. –
Especially not when we talk Covid-19, where the point is that we want to inhibit inflammation.
Therefore, it seems contradictory that linoleic acid nevertheless is not that crazy if you are faced with a Covid-19 disease. Actually the researchers showed that linoleic acid can inhibit virus replication by blocking the ACE-2 receptors, allowing the spike proteins to bind together by means of linoleic acid to a closed form that makes the virus non-infectious.
This is quite in line with the discovery that all severe Covid-19 patients had low levels of linoleic acid in their blood.
The research group is quite resigned to the inevitability of antiviral vaccination and mentions as an example that after 30 years of research into developing an HIV vaccine, we have ended up without a vaccine, but with a cocktail of antiviral small molecules that can keep the virus at bay.
The group is therefore now aiming to develop a small linoleic acid-like molecule that can be used in the treatment of Covid-19 disease. Again, an example of orthomolecular treatment.

Prevention and censorship

In the examples with ozone and linoleic acid, we got a few examples of orthomolecular treatment, as an option for covid-19 treatment.
But the orthomolecular methods are first and foremost supreme when we talk prevention.
In the recent many newsletters and in several interviews on radio and TV, as well as letters to the authorities, I have repeatedly pointed out the importance of ensuring that the immune system gets the nutrients it needs to function optimally, and the many scientific references to this can be found in the previous newsletters.
It is especially important that we get the blood content of vitamin D above 75 nmol/L (30 ng/ml), and preferably double that. Roughly estimated, a maximum of 10% of the Danish population is at this level.
That the blood content of vitamin D is only estimated and not factual data is because the regions oppose widespread testing of vitamin D because it costs money to test.
In a newsletter from University of Copenhagen 7/3 2010, Professor Carsten Geisler writes: “Vitamin D is absolutely crucial for the immune system”.
And further on, he states, the research group has discovered as something “completely new that vitamin D is crucial for the activation of the T cells, which play a central role in fighting particularly dangerous infections”.
Well, hello. Isn’t that just the knowledge we need when we have such widespread vitamin D deficiency?
This very important discovery is published in Nature (4), where the research group explains the activation of vitamin D by key T cells in the immune system. –In fact, exactly the cells that can fight the new virus mutations.
I came to mention this in an interview on a small TV station, which posted the interview on Youtube. From here, it was removed a few days later with the stamp “medical deception”. Almost the same day, the Danish National Board of Health went into the media with advice to the population about eating more vitamin D.
Section 77 of the Danish Constitution states: “Censorship and other preventive measures can never be reintroduced.”
This, of course, refers to state censorship. But Youtube, Google and Facebook are so massively widespread that they have something approaching monopoly-like conditions, and it is thought-provoking that here in Denmark we have a former prime minister to sit and administer such censorship.
When these tech giants get together in the medical-political complex, it costs lives.
This is best described in an editorial in the British Medical Journal from last year:(5)
“Politicization of science was enthusiastically introduced by some of history’s worst autocrats and dictators, but it has unfortunately become common in democracies. The medical-political complex tends to suppress science in order to adorn and enrich those in power.
And as the powerful become more successful, richer, and further intoxicated by power, the inconvenient truths of science are suppressed.
When good science is suppressed, people die”.
Therefore, the Vitality Council finds it necessary to spread the knowledge of the science that the population must not see.

Take care of yourself and others.

Claus Hancke MD
Specialist in general medicine

References

  1. https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/who-recommends-against-the-use-of-remdesivir-in-covid-19-patients
  2. Shah M et al, 2021 Int Immunopharmacol. 2021 Feb;91:107301.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7758022/
  3. Toelzer Christine, Gupta K et al. 2020, Free fatty acid binding pocket in the locked structure of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Science 06 nov 2020;370(6517):725-30.
    https://science.sciencemag.org/content/370/6517/725
  4. Geisler C, Ødum N et al. 2010, Vitamin D controls T cell antigen receptor signaling and activation of human T cells. Nature Immunology 2010;11:344-349.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/ni.1851
  5. BMJ 2020;371:m4425
    https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4425

Be prepared for the next Corona epidemic

The population is not

May 29, 2020

The Corona is spreading more slowly now, and, here in Denmark, Covid-19 is gradually infecting fewer and fewer people and we are more aware of protecting ourselves against it.

There have been good effects from keeping our distance and from maintaining good hygiene in which we have all been well instructed.

Much to the surprise of the Danish Serum Institute, less than 2% of the Danish population has had the disease, and only a few of these individuals may have obtained immunity to SARS-CoV-2, which the virus is called.
This means that more than 98% have not been infected and are completely without immunity. So forget about herd immunity.

The Danish population is just as vulnerable it was were in March when it all started.

Let’s try to summarize what we know and what we can do about it.

What do we know now?
SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus responsible for the current Covid-19 pandemic, is characterized in that it – like the influenza virus – triggers a reaction with the release of a number of signaling molecules such as interleukins, interferons, and lymphokines.

When this release is powerful, it is called a “cytokine storm”, and with Covid-19, it is so powerful that immune cells begin to damage the tissues where the process is taking place, and, in this case, it is primarily the lung tissue that is damaged.

During the cytokine storm, a violent inflammatory response and increased release of free oxygen radicals are created, which further damages the lung tissue due to the subsequent inflammatory microcoagulation seen in the pulmonary vessels. Adding too much oxygen at this stage will only aggravate the situation, which several anesthesiologists have experienced when Covid-19 patients’ conditions worsen when they are put on a respirator.

What can we do about it
Thus, it is primarily about attenuating the fatal cytokine storm.
Here vitamin D, magnesium, selenium, and vitamin C are particularly important as they specifically inhibit this cytokine storm and the subsequent inflammatory microcoagulation in the pulmonary vessels.
If the level of these essential substances in the body is high enough then you will have a subdued cytokine storm and thus attenuated symptoms, as seen during influenza infection. Fresh extract of Coneflower (Echinacea) has also been documented in several scientific studies to effectively inhibit this cytokine storm.

It should be obvious to protect ourselves by promoting such harmless and inexpensive remedies, but unfortunately in the medical and pharmaceutical world, one tends to stare blindly at the most expensive solutions.
Medical professionals were first intrigued by the antiviral drug Remdesivir, which could shorten the disease period of Covid-19 from 15 to 11 days. This fascination has now been replaced by a new one, another drug, an experimental cancer drug, Bemcentinib that may prevent viruses from entering the cells. A phase II trial is underway for 120 people, and we hope we will be able to get the result in a few months.

Well, it is excellent that medical professionals try to find a medicine that can help in this situation, but is it absolutely necessary to find a new, expensive medicine with side effects, when there are other far cheaper options without side effects?

The long awaited vaccine
While all this is going on, the pharmaceutical industry is working full speed on a vaccine. A vaccine against an RNA virus is very difficult to make, and using a vaccine is especially problematic because viruses constantly mutate and thereby often change the immune response.

No vaccine has ever been safety-tested, in the same way that medicine is tested, and this is a bit problematic because in recent years, the industry has started to add substances whose purpose is to stimulate the immune system for effective antibody formation. And stimulating antibody formation is good enough, too, but the safety of these substances has never been investigated. In Denmark, the use of mercury (thimerosal or thiomersal) in childhood vaccines was stopped from 1992 and in influenza vaccines from 2004, with the exception of the vaccine in 2009, which was an embarrassing exception. The toxic mercury should never be used again for human use – neither in the teeth, for that matter.

But in recent years aluminum has been added in the form of nanoparticles as well as squalene emulsions. These adjuvants have not been safety tested. It has just been noted (WHO has noted) that the number of side effects is not greater than is usually seen with vaccination. Aluminum is a neurotoxin, but it has been used in vaccines in the form of various aluminum salts since 1930, so in that form it probably isn’t particularly harmful. The problem is that nanoparticles are now being used that cannot be stopped by a cell membrane. They can penetrate all tissues.
It cannot be ruled out that it is safe to use these additives. It’s just never been investigated.

It should be a simple task to make a study with each of these ingredients against a real placebo such as brine.
We have many excellent vaccines, so let’s not be vaccine deniers. Let’s welcome a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine when it arrives, and then just hope it is properly safety tested. Of course, this hope becomes a requirement if we are to be mandatory vaccinated.

Of course, the Coronavirus will return
When and how bad we do not know, but it will come.
As mentioned in the Vitamin C newsletter, one of Europe’s experts in Covid-19, Professor Christian Drosten from the University of Berlin, has stated that the second wave could be tougher than the current one.
And since more than 98% of the Danish population is without immunity against it, we should not sit with our hands in our laps and wait for a vaccine.

We need to be proactive.
We need to make sure that we have enough of the nutrients that can reduce the risk of our getting sick, and especially the nutrients that can dampen the cytokine storms, so that we get a mild course of illness if we get sick anyway.

Especially old people and people who eat only very little, who may also be weakened by chronic disease, will do well by supplementing the diet in order to be well equipped with an optimally functioning immune system as the next virus threat approaches.

An appropriate daily dose for a normal-weight adult will typically be:

  • Vitamin A: 1-2 mg
  • Vitamin B6: 4-5 mg
  • Vitamin C: 2-3,000 mg
  • Vitamin D3: 75-100 µg
  • Selenium: 100-200 µg
  • Zinc: 20-30 mg
  • Magnesium: 200-300 mg

Note: The low dose is for those weighing less than 70 kg (155 pounds / 11 stones).

If you start now, you will be prepared in the fall. This is an obvious strategy for the country’s nursing homes.

This is the fifth and final Covid-19 newsletter.

Unfortunately, the five newsletters are necessary as this knowledge and scientific back-up are neglected in the public counseling of the population.

Take care of yourself and others,

Claus Hancke, MD,
Specialist in general medicine

Refs:

  • McGonagle D et al. (2020) Immune mechanisms of pulmonary intravascular coagulopathy in COVID-19 pneumonia. Lancet May 7, 2020:1-9
  • Zhang Y, Leung D, Richers B, et al. (2012) Vitamin D Inhibits Monocyte/Macrophage Proinflammatory Cytokine Production by Targeting MAPK Phosphatase-1. Journal of Immunology. 2012;188(5):2127-2135.
  • Alberto Boretti, Bimal Krishna Banik (2020) Intravenous vitamin C for reduction of cytokines storm in acute respiratory distress syndrome PharmaNutrition.
    2020 Jun;12:100190. Published online 2020 Apr 21.
  • Sharma M, Anderson A et al.(2009) Induction of multiple pro-inflammatory cytokines by respiratory viruses and reversal by standardized Echinacea, a potent antiviral herbal extract. Antiviral Research, 2009;83(2):165-170.
  • Cannell JJ, Zasloff M, Garland CF et al. (2008) On the epidemiology of influenza.
    Virol J. 2008;5:29.
  • Gorton HC, Jarvis K (1999) The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections. J Manip Physiol Ther, 22:8, 530-533
  • Hemilä H (2003) Vitamin C and SARS coronavirus Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Volume 52, Issue 6, December 2003, Pages 1049–1050
  • WHO Global advisory committee on vaccine safety 2020 (ikke ændret siden 2006). https://www.who.int/vaccine_safety/committee/topics/adjuvants/squalene/Jun_2006/en/

Severe Covid-19 disease can be prevented

But we don’t hear about it.

May 6, 2020

“Immunity! Well, that comes naturally.”
Does it?

Now we are so far into the corona crisis that the first serious scientific results are beginning to emerge, and since no one else does, the Vitality Council will try to disseminate these results.
“Just throw people into the water. They will swim by themselves ”.
A foolish claim. It is well known that the chances of surviving a dive into the water increases if you have learned to swim.
But that is, in fact, what the (Danish) authorities are saying, now that they are opening up the country while coronavirus is still circulating.
They are throwing people into increased viral exposure because then it is thought that people automatically get built-up immunity.
Well, this may be true if people can defend themselves, that is, have a well-functioning immune system.
Without good immune defence, people have no chance.

The (Danish) authorities  know very well that there are large groups in the population that have a impaired immune system. And yet, they expect us all to sit with our hands in our lap without doing anything while we wait for a vaccine that stands as an angel of salvation on the horizon.
A vaccine may be excellent, but firstly, it takes at least a year before we have it, and secondly, a vaccine can never keep up with a virus in the many mutations that make its immune profile so varied that a vaccine quickly becomes obsolete as we have seen with the flu vaccine.
The only thing that can keep up with an adequate immune response against a virus’ mutations is a well-functioning immune system in the individual.
Despite the knowledge that many people have an impaired immune system, we have in the months that the corona crisis has lasted, not once heard the (Danish) authorities give the public advice on how to optimize the immune system.
If the population has a fundamentally strong immune system, then a virus will do less harm as the individual course of disease will be milder.
People still get infected and maybe sick too, but they don’t have to die from it.

Let’s start with the simple, Vitamin D3.

It is quite evident that the Covid-19 disease is massively over-represented in the northern hemisphere. Just like the annual flu epidemic, which ravages the northern hemisphere in precisely December to March, whereas it ravages the southern hemisphere from August to October – and why is that?
We can thank the Sun for that. It is high in the sky in the summer and charges our stores of vitamin D, so we have a strong immune system from June to November, and of course the other way around in the southern hemisphere. We never get the flu in July-August.

A second indication is that elderly people are at particular risk. Older people more often have a very low level of vitamin D in their blood, as they do not get much out in the sun.

A third indication is that obesity is at particular risk. Vitamin D accumulates in the adipose tissue, where it does not benefit the immune system. Overweight people must therefore have a significantly higher dose of vitamin D to achieve the same blood concentration as slim persons.

A fourth indication is that the disease is over-represented in immigrants, who often have severe vitamin D deficiency. On the one hand, most immigrants have dark skin, which allows less passage of sunlight, and on the other hand, many immigrant women are covered, even in the summer, when they need to get their annual vitamin D dose.

A fifth indication is that diabetics are also a special risk group. On the one hand, diabetics often have an impaired immune system, and, on the other, many diabetics receive cholesterol-lowering medication. If people lack cholesterol, you cannot produce vitamin D, even though the sun is shining sufficiently.

A sixth indication is approaching evidence in the case of a recently published observational study that compared mean vitamin D levels in 20 European countries with prevalence and mortality caused by Covid-19. There was significant negative correlation between vitamin D level and both prevalence and mortality. It was interesting to see that both morbidity and mortality approached 0 in those populations where the vitamin D level was above 75 nmol/L.
Vitamin D levels are seriously low in the aging population, especially in Spain, Italy and Switzerland. This is also the most vulnerable group of the population in relation to Covid-19.

A healthy diet with green vegetables is also important, as they contain magnesium, which is a prerequisite for activating vitamin D.
Magnesium is included four places in the synthesis as well as the activation and deactivation of vitamin D, so without magnesium, vitamin D is ineffective.

If you combine these indices with solid evidence that vitamin D3 is essential for a functioning immune system, it is not far off to propose a solid dose of vitamin D3 to optimize a suffering immune system in immigrants, diabetics, older and overweight people in particular.

In the past, people were nervous about overdosing on Vitamin D, but this has proved unfounded. Extremely high doses need to be taken over a long period of time before there is any risk. In the past, it was also thought that a vitamin D level of 50 nmol/L was sufficient in the blood, but this is too low.
If people want to be sure that the vitamin D level is sufficient for an optimal immune system, the level should be between 75 – 150 nmol/L.

This newsletter is the first about some of the factors in our environment, nature, surroundings and diet that can optimize our immune system and thus reduce the risk of serious Covid-19 disease.
The next will deal with the latest research on selenium and Covid-19 disease.

Take care of yourself and others,

Claus Hancke; MD,
Specialist in general medicine

Refs:

  • Hewison M. Vitamin D and innate and adaptive immunity. Vitam Horm, 2011; vol 86:23-62.
  • Gombart AF, Pierre A, Maggini S. A Review of Micronutrients and the Immune System-Working in Harmony to Reduce the Risk of Infection. Nutrients. 2020 Jan 16;12(1).
  • Schwalfenberg GK. A review of the critical role of vitamin D in the functioning of the immune system and the clinical implications of vitamin D deficiency. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2011 Jan;55(1):96-108.
  • Dancer RC, Parekh D, Lax S, D’Souza V, Zheng S1, Bassford CR, et al. Vitamin D deficiency contributes directly to the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Thorax. 2015 Jul;70(7):617-24.
  • Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M, et al. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 May;91(5):1255-60.
  • Sabetta JR, DePetrillo P, Cipriani RJ, Smardin J, Burns LA, Landry ML. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin d and the incidence of acute viral respiratory tract infections in healthy adults. PLoS One. 2010 Jun 14;5(6):e11088.
  • Uwitonze AM, Razzaque MS. Role of Magnesium in Vitamin D Activation and Function. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2018 Mar 1;118(3):181-189.
  • Valint S. Vitamin D and Obesity. Nutrients. 2013 Mar; 5(3): 949–956.
  • McCartney DM, Byrne DG. Optimisation of Vitamin D Status for Enhanced Immuno-protection Against Covid-19. Ir Med J. 2020 Apr 3;113(4):58.
  • Grant WB, Lahore H, McDonnell SL, Baggerly CA, French CB, Aliano JL, Bhattoa HP. Evidence that Vitamin D Supplementation Could Reduce Risk of Influenza and COVID-19 Infections and Deaths. Nutrients. 2020 Apr 2;12(4). pii: E988.
  • Aldridge RA, Lewer D, Beale S, et al. Seasonality and immunity to laboratory-confirmed seasonal coronaviruses (HCoV-NL63, HCoV-0C43, and HCoV-229E): results from the Flu Watch cohort study 30 March 2020.
  • McCullough PJ, Lehrer DS, Amend J. Daily oral dosing of vitamin D3 using 5000 TO 50,000 international units a day in long-term hospitalized patients: Insights from a seven year experience. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2019 May;189:228-239.
  • Ilie PC, Stefanescu S, Smith L. The role of Vitamin D in the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019, infection and mortality. Aging Clinical and Experimental research (https://doi.org/10.1007/s40520-020-01570-8) Springer Switzerland. 2020 May 6.

Much ado about nothing

February 12, 2019

One could justifiably use the above-mentioned Shakespeare title about a newly published article (1) that supposedly shows that antioxidant supplements reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation therapy in postmenopausal women.

Please note that this assertion is by no means proven; there is much research that points in both directions.

The above-mentioned journal article does not contribute to clarification of the issue, not least because of the weak design of the study.

The data in the study came from interviews of postmenopausal women in two regions in Germany. The researchers used data from the “Mamma Carcinoma Risk Factor Investigation,” a study that was first published more than 10 years ago to report on the risk factors associated with postmenopausal hormone therapy.

Despite the known weaknesses of the interview study, the Danish TV2 reported the results of the study as a great sensation and with a headline that announced:

“New research: Dietary supplements can spread breast cancer.
German researchers have learned that antioxidant supplements can worsen breast cancer in women. The Danish Cancer Society is concerned.
For many years, there have been discussions as to whether antioxidant supplements are good for human health or not. And now a German study makes it clear that they are definitely dangerous for women with breast cancer.”

No, no, and no again.

There is no evidence for the dramatic TV2 news statements.

The German study does not make anything clear.

And the journal article authors’ own conclusion is much more cautious than the TV2 news report.

The journal article authors write:

“Our data do not support an overall association of postdiagnosis supplement use with prognosis in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors. Our results, together with other clinical and experimental evidence, suggest that during breast cancer treatment, antioxidants should potentiall be used with caution.”

In their journal article, the authors do not even advise against the use of antioxidants during chemotherapy and radiation therapy. They just urge caution.

Normally, German research results are shrugged off in Denmark, and interview-format studies get the same treatment. But, this time, the German interview study could be used to advance specific points of view, and so it was.

There are many things in this German study that grab the attention of the alert reader, and a close reading of the study reveals that the authors are biased, not least in their selection of earlier research on the topic.

An interview study, with no blinding of at all, is certainly not the most valid form of research and cannot be compared with prospective randomized controlled trials (RCT’s).

In the German study, the researchers asked some 2000 breast cancer patients whether they took antioxidant supplements before and/or after the time of their diagnosis with breast cancer and/or during their chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

The women in the study were to answer yes if they had just taken one or another supplement three days a week for a year at a given point in time. A “current user” was any woman who used supplement postdiagnosis within the 6 months before the first follow-up interview.

The term “supplement” and the term “antioxidant” are used quite sloppily but with a noticeable consistency. Whenever the researchers discuss the study, the usage, or the statistics, they use the term “supplements.” Whenever they discuss the chemotherapy or the radiation therapy, however, they use the term “antioxidants” without specifying what the term “antioxidants” covers.

In other words, the researchers have had to extend the definition of antioxidants with other supplements in order to achieve sufficient statistical power and thereby just barely sneak over the line into statistical significance.

About this, the authors write in their article:

“The main exposures of interest included postdiagnosis use (no postdiagnosis use, postdiagnosis use, current use) of any type of supplement; specific supplements, such as magnesium and calcium; and supplement group, such as antioxidants, in which there was adequate statistical power to conduct analyses. Only a few women reported postdiagnosis use of multivitamins, vitamins A, C, E, zinc, and selenium, and therefore they were collectively evaluated together as antioxidants in all of our analyses.”

Above and beyond the fact that the researchers have jumbled everything together in a big group that they call “antioxidants,” there is also a total lack of information about daily dosages, single dosages, and preparation types.

This study has a weak design and has unclear results. Therefore, the authors are careful to settle for a cautious conclusion, which speaks for itself.

The misinformation occurs when the Danish media then trumpet the study conclusion as the definitive truth.

Any serious researcher would avoid making such bombastic statements.

Litt:

  1. Jung AY et al. Antioxidant supplementation and breast cancer prognosis in postmenopausal women undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Am J Clin Nutr 2019;109:69–78.
  2. Flesch-Janys D, Slanger T, Mutschelknauss E, Kropp S, Obi N, Vettorazzi E, Braendle W, Bastert G, Hentschel S, Berger J. Risk of different histological types of postmenopausal breast cancer by type and regimen of menopausal hormone therapy. Int J Cancer 2008;123(4):933–41.

Contradictions about vitamins

 April 26, 2012

One may wonder about the Danish newspapers’ poor interest in the latest vitamin report. First of all, the report predicts dead to those who take vitamin pills, secondly, the turn-over for vitamins is one and a half billion kroner a year. The subject must interest many.

Here the report itself will not be discussed. It is already commented. On the other hand, attention must be paid to a very serious issue concerning the marketing of the report: The contradictory statements that a prominent researcher has used the report to make.

The statements are from chief physician Christian Gluud from Rigshospitalet. He has previously said peculiar things. It’s hard to forget how he on television declared antioxidants (like vitamin E and vitamin C) to be carcinogenic, even when they occur in fruit and vegetables. However, in fruit and vegetables there was, he believed, “a lot of other substances that might either correct the potential damage caused by the antioxidants or that could completely neutralize them.”

You might consider this amusing statement the next time you eat broccoli. It is thus an antidote to vitamins, you are eating!

Currently, Gluud said on TV that his latest study, which combined the results of different trials, is based on trials with commonly recommended vitamin doses. And yet, in almost all trials, there were used from five to twenty times the recommended dose or more.

Gluud has further said (the news program Deadline 2.4.2012) that his group has revealed that, for example, the antioxidants Vitamin C and selenium are directly life threatening, as they increase mortality by 4%. And yet, his report frees both of the two antioxidants for this accusation.

In the TV2 news (22.3.2012) Gluud said that “it’s quite common vitamin pills in very common doses that give the increased mortality.” But in an interview with Medwatch.dk he said the opposite: He could not comment on that subject – that multivitamins increase mortality – because no one had studied it!

If you ask chief physician Gluud, you may obviously get the answer that his current state of mind indicates. One moment, common vitamin pills are dangerous poisons, the next, it is not known, and at one time, selenium and vitamin C are poisonous, but at another time and towards another audience – those who read the report – they are harmless.

The contradictions do not prevent Gluud from hoping that the report will have “a practical and industry related consequence,” as he says. What that means is easy to understand. Gluud is/has been chairman of a lobby group that has sought to influence the European Commission to prevent the free sale of vitamins. They must be made into drugs, which in practice will push small vitamin companies out of the lucrative market, which alone in Europe is more than $ 20 billion a year.

When a researcher is politicizing, he invariably throws a dubious light over his research, justly or not. Worse, however, is when the researcher is facing the public, on a topic of great importance, against better knowledge.

In doing so makes him disqualified.

By. Niels Hertz, M.D

Huge victory for freedom of speech in America

May 5, 2011

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has suffered a stinging defeat in a lawsuit in Washington DC, where their tyrannical censorship of serious health claims have been found unconstitutional.

In the beginning was the word
“First Amendment to the United States Constitution” refers to freedom of expression as fundamental to the nation and is also the foundation of any civilized legal community today.

Without freedom of expression – no freedom
However, in civil services in many countries a tendency has crept in to promote their own political objectives by intimidation and over-management rather than under-management.

This is well known in Europe’s vast civil service, where no case is too small to rule from Brussels. And here in Denmark we know it as a tendency of the civil sevice to administer dietary supplements regulations in a far more restrictive way than it has ever been thought or spoken in the EU Food Supplements Directive, although this is much more restrictive than the equivalent in the U.S.
In other European countries like the Netherlands and England the same EU
rules are administered far more in consistent with people’s interests than is the case here in Denmark.

In the U.S. in 1996 the civil rights group “Citizens for Health” succeeded in implementing that a dietary supplement can only be banned if it is harmful.
Here in Denmark it will be prohibited if it is beneficial!

Lawsuit against FDA
It was the straw that broke the camel’s back to the “Alliance for Natural Health (ANH), and the organization sued the FDA in this matter in the District Court for the District of Columbia,” which recently ruled in the case.

The Court ruled that the FDA’s censorship of documented claims are contrary to the U.S. Constitution very first words about freedom of speech. The Court even allowed explicitly the following claims, which however was not about dietary supplements, but vitamins: “Vitamin C may reduce the risk of gastric cancer” and “Vitamin E may reduce the risk of bladder cancer”.

Denmark
Unfortunately we can´t expect Danish politicians in a foreseeable future to be awakened by a population who is surprised that there are health-promoting information, it may not get, even if it so desires.

One day, people will make politicians aware that this is contrary to the Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights in which one may not prevent people from information that they wish to receive.

This means that the authorities are on thin ice when they prohibit Internet sites that contain documented product information about diet or dietary supplements. The citizen performs however a independent active action when he or she click their way to a website; – thus accessing information on their own hand. But this is not allowed. It is not good for him to see how he can improve his health.

It must strike one with wonder, who might have an interest in restricting the population from such information.

A cry for freedom
Allow us here at Denmark’s Independence Day, May 5th to make below pious desire to promote general health in a free Denmark:
The Danish Vital Council believes that people should have free access to information about dietary supplements and free access to buy safe dietary supplement. This is the best guarantee to prevent accidents and to ensure that the consumer gets the best possible product to suit his needs.
This implies that:

1) The consumer must have free access to information
The Vitality Council believes that misinformation must be penalized.
Today we penalize information in Denmark. Not even pharmacies and doctors must be informed about the available scientific evidence concerning dietary supplements.
This should be changed so that consumers can get free access to accurate information.
2) The consumer must have free access to dietary supplements
The Vitality Council does not believe that it is in the public interest to have curtailed ones right to buy the dietary supplements, one may wish, when these are otherwise safe to consume.
The Vitality Council must therefore urge that no authority administratively hinder people’s access to dietary supplements whose safety can not be doubted.

By: Vitality Council

www.anh-usa.org/free-speech

Vitamin D protects against colon cancer

January 26, 2010

A huge European study now confirms that vitamin D may lower the risk of colon cancer by 40%.

The Danish Vitality Council has in several previous newsletters refered to scientific studies showing that vitamin D may lower the risk of cancer, and we have even been urged by journalists to withdraw those statements. Fortunately we have not complied.

A few days ago British Medical Journal published the largest study ever of the link between diet and health, known as the EPIC study, and this is just one of many results, we will see in the near future from this huge study.
More than half a million mostly healthy people from ten European countries have been closely studied and followed over 10 years by researchers from across Europe.

Participants completed detailed dietary questionnaires, and they have been checked with blood tests to identify their nutritional status.

At the time of analysis 1,250 cases of colon cancer had occurred and after comparison with a healthy control group researchers found that those who were low in vitamin D in their blood had significantly higher risk for this type of cancer.

Unlike many other studies this is characterized by being a prospective study. Thus looking-forward from the start time, and based on a group of healthy people. The study also distinguishes itself by involving so many different countries, cultures and – not least – food cultures.

Vitamin D, we primarily get from the sun, and a little bit from the diet. Danes are not the most tenacious fish eaters and much of the fish we eat is farmed and therefore does not include the fatty acids and other substances, we think they contain.

So we’re back at sunlight as the main natural source of vitamin D.

However, some of our ancestors for inscrutable reasons have found reason to settle north of the Alps, and it leads to midday sun high enough in the sky to make enough vitamin D in the skin for only 3-4 months a year (providing we have enough cholesterol).

So we must therefore tend to sunbathing when the Sun is at its highest point, ie the middle of the day, without sunblock, and therefore only half an hour, so we do not risk burning.

If it gets too complicated, you can also just grab a vitamin D capsule as a supplement. It is perhaps a little easier, and it can be done the whole year.
The dosage is somewhat controversial and should ideally be measured in a blood sample, but most serious scientists recommend between 2,000 and 4,000 IU, equivalent to 50-100 micrograms daily.

It will take a long time before we again will see such a thorough, multi-national study including so many people over such a long period.

So it is not just any study. It has high validity and ought to push the critically low RDA-value we have today.

By: Vitality Council

 

Litterature:
Jenab, M. et al (2010). Association between pre-diagnostic circulating vitamin D concentration and risk of colorectal cancer in European populations: A nested case-control study BMJ, 340 (jan21 3)
Can be downloaded directly at: www.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/340/jan21_3/b5500

Latest news on selenium

January 12, 2010

Intensive research is going on in utilization of selenium against cancer.
The public in Denmark do not hear much of it, but here is a selection of recent news.

The lack of television and newspaper information may give the impression that there is quiet on the antioxidant front concerning disease control. This is not the case. The news shortage is chiefly due to the censorship that has been introduced. Regarding selenium alone, being one of the major antioxidants, there were in 2009 published more than 900 scientific articles. Here we will mention a selection of recent articles about selenium in the fight against cancer.

A famous attempt to demonstrate whether antioxidants protect against cancer were performed in the years 1985-91 in the Chinese Linxian province. Nearly 30.000 participated in the study, which showed a strong decrease in cancer risk among those who received a supplement of selenium (50 micrograms) and Vitamin E and Beta Carotene (respectively 30 and 15 mg). Now it has been determined, what had happened to the participants 10 years later (2001). Even after so long a time, there were relatively more survivors in this group than among those who received other supplements (eg. Vitamin A + zinc, was of no benefit). In particular, the group had reduced incidence of cancer of the stomach, but it was the participants under 55 years of age who experienced the greatest gain – you must avoid lacking vital nutrients already from the youth.

Apparently this result is contradicted by another famous study, the SELECT trial conducted in the U.S. Here it appeared that you could not prevent prostate cancer using selenium, vitamin E or a combination of both. This study was in large scale and the result a huge disappointment.

One of the world’s leading selenium specialists, Margaret Rayman, did point out however, a few months ago what really is obvious: Supplementation with selenium is of no benefit if you already get enough! As a general rule you get enough in the U.S., where you typically get 3-4 times as much selenium in the diet as in Denmark. Sufficient selenium is essential for the body to form enough of the enzymes which we presume protects against cancer. Amongst others Rayman refer to another U.S. cancer trial where you just saw a massive impact in those who received the least amount of selenium, but no effect in those who got the most.

Heavy metals neutralized
One of the veterans in selenium research is Gerhard Schrauzer from San Diego University of California. He has been involved more than 20 years. Now he points out that selenium is able to detoxify numerous toxic metals that somehow during our civilized environment ends up in our bodies. This applies to lead, mercury, copper, cadmium, arsenic, etc. Selenium inactivates these metals by forming insoluble compounds with them. But, says Schrauzer, one must remember that at the same time selenium is used up, so we for that reason are less protected against cancer. In Europe we already get too little selenium, but heavy metals etc. increases the demand.

Taylor and associates have written an article on new advances in selenium research. They write that the renewed interest in selenium is linked to the fact that the anti-cancer effect is now very well documented in animal studies. This is worth noticing.

And precisely on animals a research team from San Diego University have demonstrated that the effect of chemotherapy (cisplatin) against cancer of the colon is reinforced considerably by large supplements of antioxidants (A and vitamin E and selenium) combined with fish oil. The group believes their achievement justifies that research is made with people. The result is very exciting because cancer doctors in this country often discourages in strong terms their patients from combining antioxidants with chemotherapy. The reason for this warning has hitherto been unclear.

Selenium and chemotherapy
Researchers from The Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm state without hesitation that it is well documented that selenium prevents cancer. They describe several experiments which have shown that selenium has strong anti cancer effects – especially against cancer, which no longer responds to chemotherapy. Normal cells will not be harmed by the selenium doses needed for this!

Italian researchers, however, stresses that people can get too much selenium (but living in Denmark you have take approx. two selenium tablets a day in order to get the same amount as a typical American). They argue that high doses may increase the risk of diabetes, an assertion, however, that is controversial.

In the Netherlands, like in China there has been an interest in selenium and cancer of the esophagus. More than 120,000 persons who was 55-69 years old in 1968, delivered at that time, a portion nail clips from their big toes. 16 years later it was found who and how many have got cancer of the esophagus or stomach in the meantime. Then the selenium levels in their nails was measured and compared with the levels in healthy subjects. It was found that the risk of both cancers was significantly higher among those who only had small amounts of selenium in their nails, and hence their body.

A curious study has been conducted in Japan. Here researchers cultivated broccoli-sprouts in a selenium-rich environment, so the sprouts got an extra high content of selenium. In a laboratory study the sprouts was investigated for their impact on prostate cancer tissue. The enriched sprouts inhibited cancer growth clearly better than normal sprouts. Now the Japanese suggests, that men eat that kind of sprouts to prevent cancer of the prostate.

Finally other Japanese mention, that it is well known that selenium can kill cancer cells from humans, but but precisely how this happens is still unclear. They have reached the conclusion that at least part of the effect is due to selenium starts off a cancer cell death process using the same mechanism (apoptosis) as when normal cells must be replaced and die. Such a mechanism is of course necessary, since almost all normal cells divide continuously. There would soon be twice as many, and we would grow indefinitely, if not worn-out cells were put out.

As you can see, the research is really alive. Much of our understanding of selenium is achieved in very recent years. More will undoubtly follow.

By: Niels Hertz, M.D.

References
1. Qiao YL et al. Total and cancer mortality after supplementation with vitamins and minerals: follow-up of the Linxian General Population Nutrition Intervention Trial. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2009 Apr 1;101(7):507-18. Epub 2009 Mar 24.
2. Lippman SM et al. Effect of selenium and vitamin E on risk of prostate cancer and other cancers: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). JAMA. 2009 Jan 7;301(1):39-51. Epub 2008 Dec 9.
3. Rayman MP. Selenoproteins and human health: insights from epidemiological data.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Nov;1790(11):1533-40. Epub 2009 Mar 25.
4. Schrauzer GN Selenium and selenium-antagonistic elements in nutritional cancer prevention.
Crit Rev Biotechnol. 2009;29(1):10-7.
5. Taylor D. Recent developments in selenium research. Br J Biomed Sci. 2009;66(2):107-16; quiz 129.
6. Ma H. Bi Efficacy of dietary antioxidants combined with a chemotherapeutic agent on human colon cancer progression in a fluorescent orthotopic mouse model. Anticancer Res. 2009 Jul;29(7):2421-6.
7. Selenius M. Selenium and selenoproteins in the treatment and diagnostics of cancer.
Antioxid Redox Signal. 2009 Sep 21. [Epub ahead of print]
8. Vinceti M. Risk of chronic low-dose selenium overexposure in humans: insights from epidemiology and biochemistry Rev Environ Health. 2009 Jul-Sep;24(3):231-48.
9. Steevens J. Selenium status and the risk of esophageal and gastric cancer subtypes: the Netherlands cohort study. Gastroenterology.. [Epub ahead of print]
10. Abdulah R. Selenium enrichment of broccoli sprout extract increases chemosensitivity and apoptosis of LNCaP prostate cancer cells. BMC Cancer. 2009 Nov 30;9:414.

Fish oil reduces age-related blindness

October 14, 2009

New U.S. study shows that intake of fish oil may reduce the incidence of age-related blindness by 30%

There seems to be no end to blessings from fish oil.

Fish oil is the end stages in the development of omega-3 fatty acids which is transformed from alpha-linolenic acid in a number of processes to E.g. eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which then are converted to prostaglandin E 3 with a wide range of health-promoting properties.

The fish oils EPA and DHA are some of the strongest anti-inflammatory nutrients, we can consume. This is probably one of the reasons why they reduce the risk of blood clots, but they also reduces blood triglycerides, reduces inflammation in rheumatic diseases, enhances children’s learning capacity, reduces the risk of pre-eclampsia (pregnancy–induced high blood pressure) and premature birth, and gives brighter children from pregnant women who took fish oil and much more.

It is indeed difficult to see the end of the health-promoting properties, we can get from fish oil, and new scientific findings seems to emerge all the time which support its use.

Thus, even last week when researchers from the National Eye Institute in Bethesda, MD, USA, 7 October published a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Scientists have over 12 years studied 1,837 people with moderate to severe risk of age-related central blindness in the form of central atrophy or macular degeneration.

For both types of blindness, it appeared that the incidence was 30% lower in the group that took the most fish oil (0.11% of total caloric intake) compared with the group that took the least.

Although previous studies have been uncertain in its conclusions, the authors believe that the figures can be generalized, this is both a cheap and readily available intervention opportunity against risk families with high incidence of these diseases.

In times when the collective consensus have shouted in our ears that we should eat less fat, it is important to use common sense, read the research properly and stand firm.

Fat is healthy, and fat is vital!

One should obviously not wallow in margarine, french fries and chips, but make sure to eat well from the healthy fats as olive oil and especially fish oil.

It can be ingested as a liquid, as capsules, or as very attractive food.

Fish is not only healthy but also tastes very good indeed. Many people are nevertheless troubled by the increasing presence of heavy metals in fish, but if you avoid the large predatory fish as swordfish and tuna, there is significantly less in for example salmon and trout, especially if they are caught in clean rivers and lakes.

There are however problems with farmed fish, which often contains pretty much omega-6 fat, due to the fish feed composition. And this we should avoid. We already get far too much omega-6, especially linoleic acid, found in the cheap cooking oils with corn and sunflower oil, so as to avoid further bias, we must select the oily fish that are caught in the wild and not farmed.

We must remind you that in a previous newsletter we described two studies that showed that even eggs contain substances that prevent the age-related central blindness, so it may be, we soon will see a Danish ban against bread with eggs and herring. In Denmark food is not allowed to prevent a disease!

Enjoy your meal.

By: Claus Hancke, MD 

References:

  • Sangiovanni JP, Agron E, et al. Omega-3 Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and 12-y incidence of neovascular age-related macular degeneration and central geographic atrophy: a prospective cohort study from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study, Am J Clin Nutr, 2009 Oct 7 (E-pub. Ahead of print)
  • Mares JA, Larowe TL, et al. Predictors of optical density of lutein and zeaxanthin in retinas of older women in the Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study, an ancillary study of the Women’s Health Initiative. Am J Clin Nutr., 2006, 84(5): 1107-1122.
  • Wenzel AJ, Gerweck C, et al. A 12-wk egg intervention increases serum zeaxanthin and macular pigment optical density in women. J Nutr., 2006; 136(10):2568-73.

Summer sun prevents multiple sclerosis

April 10, 2007

Still more supports the theory that vitamin D can prevent multiple sclerosis. Enjoy the sun while its there.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a feared disease. Many believe that sclerosis is synonymous with a life in a wheelchair, and many have heard about tragic examples of how the disease can progress. It is worth remembering that even 20 years after the emergence of the disease, 75% of patients can walk unaided. Also, the death rate for those suffering from sclerosis is not much higher than that of the rest of the population.

On the other hand, MS affects especially younger people, primarily women. It is disquieting that the frequency of this disease has increased in the last 50 years and continues to increase. Over 80,000 people in the UK suffer from MS, which at a prevalence of over 140 people per 100,000 the highest in the industrialised world.

MS is an “autoimmune” disease, which is to say a disease where the body’s immune system turns against the body itself. In the case of MS the so called myelin sheaths which coat and isolate the nerves are attacked. On average, every fourth person with MS also suffers from another autoimmune disease, for example psoriasis, arthritis, or metabolism diseases.

Can one prevent MS? It is tempting to have this thought when one notices the enormous geographic variations. In England, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, and Canada the frequency is about the same. In Greece and Turkey it is about half as common while in northern Spain and Italy the frequency lies in between that of these areas.

These and other figures support a growing belief that MS has something to do with lack of sunlight; or more accurately, lack of vitamin D, of which the sun is the most important source. Vitamin D has in studies prevented an experimental form of MS (EAE, Experimental Autoimmune Encephalitis). In countries north of a latitude of 42, corresponding to Corsica, the sun is so low during the winter months that vitamin D practically cannot be produced in the skin. The result is widespread vitamin D deficiency.

Less than half the risk
Researches from Harvard University among others analyzed the problem in more detail. They studied 257 blood tests from military personnel who contracted MS between 1992 and 2004. The blood tests were taken and frozen before these people became sick. The question was whether they had remarkably little vitamin D in their blood when compared to people who did not contract MS.

It was shown that they did. 25-OH-D, the best measure for vitamin D status, was measured in both the sick and a large number of healthy people who were randomly chosen from 7 million personnel. It was found that “high circulating levels of vitamin D are associated with a lower risk of multiple sclerosis.” Low vitamin D levels were especially risky for people under 20 years of age.

How much vitamin D is enough? When the level of 25-OH-D was at least 99 nannomol/litre serum, the risk of MS was the lowest at about 40% average. The difference was statistically certain. For comparison, levels under 50 are indicative of insufficient levels of vitamin D. Such values can be found in most people during the winter.

The theory that vitamin D prevents MS is thus strengthened. One should attempt to distance oneself from vitamin D deficiency. This is easy during the summer, but from October to April it requires, for the majority of those in our latitudes, supplements.

By: Niels Hertz MD

References:
1. Munger L et al. Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D levels and risk of multiple sclerosis. JAMA 2006;296:2832-2838.
2. MS prevalence data for selected countries: http://www.mult-sclerosis.org/prev_tab.html
3. Newsletter from Vitalrådet dec. 27. 2006

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