January 15, 2021
“The world is groping blindly against the new virus variants” – according to a headline in the Danish newspaper Berlingske January 12th. The article then deals with the capacity for gene sequencing and rapid diagnostics for infection control. But it is clear that panic spreads every time a new variant appears.
It began with clusters 1-5 found in Danish mink, which led to politician panic and the most drastic coercive intervention so far against any business in Denmark and the total closure of the region Vendsyssel.
The next time the panic screw was turned is now that the English variant B 1.1.7 is spreading. It is not more dangerous, but more contagious.
When the panic and anxiety for this begin to subside, then it’s time to introduce the South African variant and with grave faces tell us that this variant can now hit children, and then shut the country down. It is so deeply predictable that we absolutely must be pressed down into a state of chronic anxiety so that we conform to what is expected and all line up for vaccination.
However, it is a good thing that the vaccines have arrived. The first vaccine was received by the media and politicians as another Messiah, and it was very nearly close to rose petals being sprinkled on the road in front of the trucks.
It is excellent that the health authorities quickly have launched vaccinating the elderly and seriously ill at risk. So far so good.
But my goodness, how they could have done so much good in the 10 months that have passed if they had listened to science.
When you consider that in order to shop in the supermarket Netto you have to look like a bank robber and wear a face mask whose effect is extremely poorly documented; -then it is striking that for months the authorities have turned a blind eye to well-documented opportunities that could have saved many lives and much suffering.
A study recently published in the Lancet (1) reviewed 89,000 hospitalizations with Covid-19 in March-April 2020 and Influenza Dec-Jan 2017-18.
It was found that Covid-19 caused significantly longer length of stay and greater mortality than the flu and it was concluded that in the future every effort should be made to prevent and vaccinate as well as finding methods for treating Covid-19.
The Vital Council can only agree on this 3-string strategy.
Unfortunately, this is not the strategy the government has chosen. Instead, they have chosen to put all their eggs in one basket.
Ever since the start of the pandemic, there has been hope and talk about the upcoming vaccine.
They have been going all in, bone-hard, on vaccine and only vaccine and has not even wanted to squint at the other options in the three-stringed strategy mentioned above.
You can therefore understand the panic of the politicians until they were reassured that the mink variant was probably also sensitive to the upcoming vaccine. The same has now happened with B 1.1.7 from England, while we are still unsure of the South African variant.
That is to say the vaccines may in the future have difficulty keeping up with the constant changes in the highly mutated RNA virus, and one day they will fall short.
Yet all measures other than vaccines have been swept off the table despite massive documentation.
It is as if the authorities have overlooked that we humans actually have an immune system that is itself capable of adapting a new virus mutant.
Unlike a vaccine, a well-functioning immune system will be able to keep up every time a virus mutates.
Of course, it requires the immune system to function optimally, and it requires that we humans get a diet with the nutrients that the immune system needs.
It’s almost so obvious that it hurts to say over and over again (see 5 previous newsletters from May 2020):
Decades of scientific evidence show that deficiency of especially vitamins A, C, D and K as well as deficiency of selenium, magnesium and zinc weakens the immune response and increases the incidence of infections, especially lung diseases. (2-10)
Specifically, in recent years there has been extensive writing about vitamin D, and the University of Copenhagen wrote almost prophetically on March 7, 2020 on their website in the News section: “Vitamin D is absolutely crucial for the immune system.”
Since then, several studies have been performed on vitamin D against Covid-19, which show significantly less infectivity, shorter hospital stays, milder illness and lower mortality. (11-17) This documentation is further strengthened by the fact that the groups that are low in Vitamin D, are those most affected by Covid-19, especially overweight persons, nursing home residents, immigrants, the chronically ill and the elderly.
Traditionally, here in Denmark we have considered it sufficient, as long as S-vitamin D was 50 nmol/L (20 ng/ml) or more. This is not enough. All studies point to the need to have at least 75 nmol/L (30 ng/ml) in the blood and preferably 150 nmol/L (60 ng/ml.)
Far less than half of the Danish population are within these figures.
You cannot reach this preferred level, even if you then eat fatty fish every single day; you have to take supplements.
1. Comparison of the characteristics, morbidity, and mortality of COVID-19 and seasonal influenza: a nationwide, population-based retrospective cohort study. Piroth L et al, Dec.2020, Lancet. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30527-0
2. Arvinte C, Singh M, Marik PE (2020) Serum Levels of Vitamin C and Vitamin D in a Cohort of Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients of a North American Community Hospital Intensive Care Unit in May 2020: A Pilot Study. Med Drug Discov. 8:100064. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32964205
3. Hewison M. Vitamin D and innate and adaptive immunity. Vitam Horm, 2011; vol 86:23-62.
4. 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).
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Uwitonze AM, Razzaque MS. Role of Magnesium in Vitamin D Activation and Function. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2018 Mar 1;118(3):181-189.
10. Dofferhoff A et al, Reduced Vitamin K Status as a Potentially Modifiable Risk Factor of Severe Coronavirus Disease 2019, Clin Infect Diseases, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1258
11. Kohlmeier M. Avoidance of vitamin D deficiency to slow the COVID-19 pandemic. BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health. 2020;3.
12. Grant WB, Lahore H, McDonnell SL, et al. Evidence that Vitamin D Supplementation Could Reduce Risk of Influenza and COVID-19 Infections and Deaths. Nutrients. 2020; 12(4):988.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. Kaufman H et al, SARS-CoV-2 positivity rates associated with circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels PLOS ONE, sept.17,2020