A stool with one leg

February 21, 2021

As previously quoted, they wrote in the Lancet (1) December 20th that in the future everything should be done to prevent and vaccinate and find methods for the treatment of Covid-19, and the Vitality Council can’t agree more that this stool should rest on three legs.

But the Danish government has not agreed to that. Since March 2020, it has focused on vaccines and only vaccines. – A one-legged stool.

Not only has the Government and the state media focused unilaterally on vaccines, but they have also actively censored information on both prevention and treatment. The government media has also been obediently accompanied by microphone holders from the major social and print media. It has been irrelevant to the censorship whether this information was sufficiently well documented.

Prevention

In the previous many newsletters, the Vitality Council has primarily advised on prevention in terms of keeping the immune system intact.

In our modern way of life with easy and fast industrial food of poor quality, improper preparation and overeating of carbohydrates, there is a great risk that our immune system will run out of essential nutrients. I have reviewed this topic again and again and will not bore you with this at this time.

But I will try to give a simple model for understanding the functioning of the immune system. This is because it is absolutely essential in prevention against Covid-19 and all sorts of other infections.

The immune system has a myriad of different cells to work with, and it’s pretty complicated, but let’s try a Pixie model; -a mousetrap:
There are two main systems, a so-called “innate” (non-specific) immune system, which works all the time, and an “adaptive” (specialized) immune system, which is adjusted by infection. The innate system attacks just about everything when, for example, a virus penetrates the body, but first the adaptive needs to get familiar with the new virus, adjust and activate the so-called T cells for attack, and teach the memory cells to remember for the next time how these virus are best attacked (antibodies).

Back to the mousetrap.

In the loft with all the mice (virus in the environment) we put a box (the body), with a small hole in the side (the innate immune system), and inside the box we put a couple of mousetraps (the adaptive immune system).

If we lack proper nutrition, vitamin D, selenium, vitamin C and magnesium, then the hole in the box is very large (the innate immune system fails). Then many mice can enter the box at once, and the traps (the adaptive immune system) do not have the capacity to snatch many mice. – Especially not if there is a lack of vitamin D, which is necessary to activate the T cells (2).

If, on the other hand, we get enough of the above nutrients, then we only have a small hole in the box (a good innate immune system), and then only a few mice enter the box (the body) at a time, and the adaptive immune system (the traps) can snatch them one by one.
Remember the Danish Minister of Health showing a graph with red and green curves some time ago.
If too many come too fast, then the hospital system would collapse.
The same way with our immune system.

If it is intact, the innate immune system will make sure to moderate the load so that the adaptive defense can have time to get to know the enemy and calibrate its cannons accordingly. Hereby we avoid the overload that results in the so-called cytokine storm, which is the start of all the accidents.

That is why it is so important to provide proper nutrition and supplement with vitamin D, vitamin C, selenium and magnesium.
And remember in the dark winter: Vitamin D in the blood should rise to 30-50 ng/ml (75-125 nmol /L.)
If you can’t get the blood sample taken locally, there are several excellent options for home testing i Denmark (3,4).

Treatment

Often you see pseudo-science, where vitamins and minerals are used as treatment after disease outbreaks, and even often in relatively small doses. It is pointless and only suitable to show that it does not work. These nutrients are for prevention.
An exception, however, is Vitamin C in high doses given intravenously under medical supervision.

There is only scant evidence here at the Covid-19 pandemic (5), but previously there is ample evidence of an effect on viral infections, as mentioned in the newsletter May 20th 2020.

There have been numerous experiments with hydroxychloroquine, which, however, have yielded quite varying results, and research into it is unfortunately largely discontinued.

Ivermectin is a remedy against scabies and certain parasites, and reportedly also has an effect on Covid-19 (6). The Indian health authorities have approved a treatment with Ivermectin, Doxycycline and zinc.
Ivermectin costs about 100 times as much as hydroxychloroquine, so it will probably never be the big success.
One week ago, Israeli researchers published (7) a preliminary result of treatment with inhalation of CD24 exosomes in 30 hospitalized moderately to severely ill Covid-19 patients. The 29 recovered in 3-5 days, the last one also recovered, but after more than 5 days. It should be a cheap method without side effects, so it sounds promising. CD24 exosomes are proteins that, like vitamin D, control T cell activation and can attenuate the cytokine storm.
We are anxiously awaiting news from the Israeli researchers.

What now?

After all, health authorities and the government are on thin ice right now, unless they manage to be saved by the globally declining infection rates and death rates.
You vaccinate and vaccinate, but to no avail on the closure of the society. The function of the vaccine is primarily to alleviate the disease in the vaccinated person.
Even though we have been vaccinated, we can still be infected and pass it on to others, because the virus is still there. Therefore, even the vaccinated must continue with face masks, despite the poor evidence of the effect of the hated face masks.
On top of this, there are still new mutations. Currently the English with increased infection of children, which we see in Kolding these days, but on the horizon lurks the South African and two different Brazilian varieties, which are even less sensitive to the antibodies we have received from previous infection and from vaccination.
Well, then the vaccine just has to be adjusted, and then the population just has to be vaccinated again.
Okay. -How many times? So far, in 2 months we have only vaccinated 3% of the population. So good luck with the task if it all has to start all over again.
It seems like a Sisyphean task if the Government will continue to focus only on the one-legged stool.
As a solution to this chaos, the Government is now proposing a wild testing strategy, where we will be tested twice a week next year. This will cost just as much as the overall healthcare system, and one does not have to be a nuclear physicist to figure out that this will massively affect all other diagnoses in the healthcare system.
And the virus will not disappear either due to this.
It’s a bit like setting up photo traps to detect an army of soldiers invading the country. No defense, just registration while the invasion rumbles towards the defenseless population.
When the hopelessness of this strategy eventually dawns on the Government, there is hope that the one-legged stool will be given two more legs, namely prevention and treatment.
Then every single person can be informed about the possibility of defending themselves against Covid-19.
Only then will the disease become so mild that it resembles a common flu, by which we can drop the hated face masks and the lockdown of society.

May we ask for the three-stringed strategy as soon as possible thank you.

A stool with one leg is doomed to tip over.
A stool with three legs does not tip over.
No matter how uneven the surface is, it will not even tilt.

Take care of yourself and others.

Claus Hancke MD
Specialist in general medicine

References

  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://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213260020305270
  2. 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
  3. https://www.webapoteket.dk/saar-og-sygepleje/selvtest/quicktest-d-vitamin-p-222465
  4. https://www.cerascreen.dk/products/test-for-d-vitamin
  5. 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. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2213434420300153
  6. Caly L et al, 2020, Antiviral Research, 178, june 2020, 104787.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166354220302011?via%3Dihub
  7. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04747574

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

Neglected opportunities

January 15, 2021

“The world is groping blindly for defences against the new virus variants” – according to a headline in the Danish newspaper Berlingske January 12th. The article then deals with gene sequencing and rapid diagnostics for infection control. But it is clear that panic spreads every time a new variant appears.

The fumbling in the dark 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 increased 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 from this variant begin to subside, then it’s time to introduce the South African variant and gravely 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 of us 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 like a 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 find methods for treating Covid-19.

The Vital Council can only agree on this 3-string strategy: prevent, vaccinate, find ways to treat.

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.
The authorities have been going all in, bone-hard, on the vaccine and only the vaccine and have 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 is necessary for the immune system to function optimally, and it ris necessary that we humans get a diet with the nutrients that the immune system needs.

This is 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 its 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 the serum vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D) level 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.
In turn, there is a major health benefit in eliminating the population’s deficiency of vitamin D. -Not only in the face of several of the major lifestyle diseases, but also of Covid-19.

Research shows, as mentioned, that sufficient vitamin D will shorten the duration of the disease, avoid hospitalizations, and reduce mortality from covid-19 disease. Those who become ill will simply have a mild course of the disease but will still build up immunological defenses until the next time they encounter it. If you also make sure that there is no shortage of the other above-mentioned vitamins and minerals, then the disease picture will look completely different in this country, and it could put a damper on the all-consuming anxiety and worry in the population.

Note: There is no talk of these vitamins and minerals being used to “treat” anything. They are used to correct deficiencies.

But it requires the authorities to think outside the box and show openness to the well-documented possibilities that exist here. Especially when these options are safe.
It is fine to think of collective infection control, but it does not preclude that one also thinks of the individual’s immune system and its well-being.

There has been an unfortunate streak of overlooked possibilities throughout the 10-month-long corona course. Opportunities that could have saved many lives and saved many sufferings.
-And these are, mind you, options that are significantly better documented than face masks.

Take care of yourself and others.

Claus Hancke MD
Specialist in general medicine

References

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

Mink panic in Denmark

November 5, 2020

As written in the first Covid-19 newsletter on May 6 (1):

”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 in response against a virus’ mutations is a well-functioning immune system in the individual.”

And now what has been expected has happened, namely a mutation that spreads a lot of panic, costs 17 million mink their lives, 1,100 mink farmers their livelihood and perhaps life’s work, 6,000 jobs, and Denmark 10 billion kroner in export revenue.

Many ask if this is now also necessary, and international researchers wonder about the Danish reaction, as they cannot see that this mutation is more dangerous than so many other mutations.

In the defense of the authorities, it can be said that 17 million mink do constitute a very serious pool of infection within the country’s borders, and, on mink farms, the virus can persist for years and can perhaps mutate into dangerous varieties.

The current “cluster-5 variant” found in mink is, according to authorities, no more dangerous than the “original Wuhan variant”, but is still considered dangerous by the Serum Institute.

Not more dangerous for humans, but dangerous for the vaccine.

It is feared that this variant will weaken the effect of a future coronary vaccine.
But there will be more mutations. It will continue. If not from domesticated mink, then from forest marten, ermine (stoats), otters, and ferrets. Or what about a variant of the dreaded bird flu that becomes contagious to humans? It is a far more dangerous situation.

If we continue with this eternal focus on vaccines and only vaccines, we can run in circles for decades and constantly have to jump from one position to another to escape new mutant variants.

At the EU level, however, hard work is underway to make human survival dependent on vaccines (2) so that the individual’s immune system can only be strengthened in this way and not by natural infection.

This is a dangerous path to take, and it can result in an inflicted immunological handicap that weakens humanity’s ability to counteract precisely the many mutations that microorganisms undergo in their own evolution.

One can imagine the situation that one day we will be exposed to a life-threatening pandemic like in 1918, which kills millions of people the year before we can get a vaccine. (The current pandemic has not increased overall mortality.)

We therefore need to ensure that the human population’s basic immune system is optimal. It may be possible to do so, but it requires openness to new thinking.

When we focus exclusively on the Covid-19 epidemic, there is an almost overwhelming number of studies that identify vitamin D deficiency as a significant risk factor for infection.

Most recently, three days ago (November 2), a new study (3) was published describing Covid-19 survival in the elderly as a function of their vitamin D intake.
There were 77 Covid-19 patients aged 78 – 100 years equally distributed between men and women. All were admitted to a geriatric emergency department at Angers University Hospital in France from March to May in 2020.

One could see the difference between the three groups: Group 1 (n=29) had taken vitamin D continuously for at least one year, group 2 (n=16) had not taken anything but had received a bolus dose of vitamin D on admission, and group 3 (n=32) had not received vitamin D.

The thrtee groups were comparable over a wide range of potentially confounding factors. The average age of the study participants was 88 years.

Researchers evaluated 14-day mortality and found that 93% survived in group 1, 81% in group 2, and 68% in group 3.

With group 3 as the reference group (Hazard Ratio: 1), group 1 thus had a hazard ratio of 0.07, and group 2 had a hazard ratio of 0.37.

Thus, group 1 with a history of solid vitamin D supplementation had significantly better survival than group 3, which had not taken vitamin D supplements.

Group 2, which received a bolus of 80,000 IU vitamin D at admission, had better survival, but the difference from group 3 survival was not statistically significant.

The conclusion of this study was thus that regular supplementation with vitamin D is associated with less severe COVID-19 disease and better survival in frail elderly individuals. The detailed figures can be seen in the reference below (3).

Study after study of vitamin D’s efficacy has been added to the basket over the last six months, and the studies are all identical. How many studies do we need?

When these studies are combined with the hundreds of previous studies on immune system weakening in the absence of vitamin D and with the even specific studies and a meta-analysis on lung infections like SARS, then one must again ask: How many studies does it take before the authorities will advise vulnerable groups to take vitamin D or at least to have their vitamin D levels in their blood measured?

Many studies (references 4-19) show that one can safely and effectively optimize the population’s resistance and survival of Covid-19 by taking sufficient vitamin D to reach a blood concentration of at least 75nmol / l.

This blood vitamin D concentration can most often be achieved with a daily dose of 80 – 100 micrograms.

If one also supplements with the other well-documented supplements, which have been mentioned in the previous newsletters, then we can get to the point that the general resistance of the population has increased. We need to increase the population’s resistance against the upcoming mutations of Covid-19 and also against other epidemics, which may even be dangerous.

But, for now, remember to wash your hands and keep your distance.

Take care of yourself and others.

Claus Hancke MD
Specialist in general medicine

Ref.:

  1. https://www.vitalraadet.dk/en/2997-2/
  2. https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/vaccination/docs/2019-2022_roadmap_en.pdf
  3. Annweiler G et al. Vitamin D Supplementation Associated to Better Survival in Hospitalized Frail Elderly COVID-19 Patients: The GERIA-COVID Quasi-Experimental Study. Nutrients. 2020 Nov;12: 3377 1-12.
  4. Hewison M. Vitamin D and innate and adaptive immunity. Vitam Horm, 2011; vol 86:23-62.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Uwitonze AM, Razzaque MS. Role of Magnesium in Vitamin D Activation and Function. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2018 Mar 1;118(3):181-189.
  11. Valint S. Vitamin D and Obesity. Nutrients. 2013 Mar; 5(3): 949–956.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  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. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Martineau A, Forouhi N (2020) Vitamin-D for Covid-19: a case to answer. Lancet 2020;8:735-6.
  18. Joliffe D, Martineau A, Damsgaard Camilla et al. (2020) Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory infections: Systematic review and meta-analysis of aggregate data from randomised controlled trials. medRxiv BMJ 17.juli 2020.
  19. Martineau A et al. (2017) Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: Systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data.
    BMJ 2017;356:i6585.

Update on Corona virus

August 26, 2020

Since the last newsletter from May 28, things have gone well here in Denmark.
On the other hand, viruses have become widespread, especially in those countries that have not taken the spreading of infection seriously.
In the past month, however, localized infection clusters have emerged in various places here in Denmark as well, especially in immigrant communities.
The reasons for this have been mentioned in the previous newsletters, whose advice is still valid, so I will not repeat it here, but instead focus on what has happened in the last 3 months.

Studies
In a literature study(1) from Norwegian, Russian and Swedish public health institutes six researchers have concluded that early intervention with Zinc, Selenium and Vitamin-D can alleviate the course of the disease, and virtually prevent the cytokine storm, which is the process responsible for the destruction of tissues, microthromboses, inflammation, etc. -the whole cascade that can take the life of the Covid-19 sick persons.

An almost simultaneous study(2) from Germany analyzed Serum-Selenium and Serum-Selenoprotein P, and both values were significantly lower in those who did not survive Covid-19.
(Selenium: 53.3 ± 16.2 vs. 40.8 ± 8.1 μg / l, Selenoprotein-P: 3.3 ± 1.3 vs. 2.1 ± 0.9 mg / L p<0.001). These results must be said to be highly relevant in our country, where we consume so little selenium. This study falls nicely in line with the former study.

On August 3, an article was published in the Lancet(3) which strongly calls for increased intake of vitamin D based on solid literature reviews.
This also falls in line with the first study mentioned above.

And, finally, there is a meta-analysis(4) of the role of vitamin D in the development of acute respiratory infection. It includes 30,000 people in controlled trials (RCTs), and has shown significantly reduced risk of acute respiratory infection already at 10-25 µg of vitamin D daily.
This confirms a previous meta-analysis(5), which also found a significant inverse correlation between the risk of acute respiratory infection and the vitamin D content in the blood.
All of the above studies are nicely in line with the advice mentioned in the five newsletters from May.

Authorities distribute vitamins
Azerbaijan has registered 35,000 Covid-19 cases in a population of 10 million. Of these, 1,800 were hospitalized and 508 died.
Here, the Ministry of Health has provided more than 3,500 Covid-19 patients with a free “medicine package” containing: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Selenium, Zinc and Paracetamol.
The idea is then that the patients stay at home and treat themselves there.
Every day they are then contacted by the local hospital clinic and have to answer a series of questions, just as the doctor checks that they are taking their pills.
So far, a significant reduction in the number of hospitalizations in this group has been observed(6).

You can only shout cheers when you see authorities who can think outside the box and dare to start such a project. My guess is that the trend will continue and that home treatment will continue to reduce hospital admissions in Azerbaijan.

The idea is not bad because you initiate a completely harmless treatment of a, for some people, -dangerous disease.
But why wait until they get sick?

With timely care, one can improve the immune system of the entire population if one simply provides information about these supplements and their significance.

What could be done here in Denmark is to provide subsidies to the vulnerable groups, especially residents of the country’s nursing homes, who are completely dependent on the public perception of vitamins and minerals. If their own doctor does not prescribe a vitamin supplement, then residents are often denied help to get the supplements, despite their own desire. They are completely dependent upon the doctor’s knowledge or lack thereof. I think Danish authorities and medical staff would be shocked if we measured the level of vitamin D in the country’s nursing home residents.
If you do not want to use public funds to donate these subsidies to the residents, then you can at least make sure that both residents and their relatives are informed.

These newsletters on Covid-19 are unfortunately necessary as this knowledge and the scientific back-up are neglected in the public advice to the Danish population.

Take care of yourself and others

Claus Hancke MD
Specialist in general medicine

References

  1. Alexander J, Alehagen U et al. (2020) Early Nutritional Interventions with Zinc, Selenium and Vitamin D for Raising Anti-Viral Resistance Against Progressive COVID-19. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2358.
  2. Moghaddam A, Heller R et al. (2020) Selenium Deficiency Is Associated with Mortality Risk from COVID-19. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2098.
  3. Martineau A, Forouhi N (2020) Vitamin-D for Covid-19: a case to answer. Lancet 2020;8:735-6.
  4. Joliffe D, Martineau A, Damsgaard Camilla et al. (2020) Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory infections: Systematic review and meta-analysis of aggregate data from randomised controlled trials. medRxiv BMJ (endnu ikke peer reviewed) 17.juli 2020.
  5. Martineau A et al. (2017) Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: Systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data.
    BMJ 2017;356:i6585.
  6. lmahamad A, (2020) 3.500 covid-19 patients provided with free medication. Azernews 18.august 2020. https://www.azernews.az/healthcare/168099.html

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/

A second wave of Corona epidemic is coming

That is why we need to be prepared

May 20, 2020

The Corona virus will return. Of course it will.

When and how bad it will be, we do not know, but it will come.

Curiously enough, most people expect the second wave this fall – what we are not being told is that this is because the population’s vitamin D level again will be low at that time that we also call the “flu season”.

One of Europe’s experts capabilities on Covid-19, Professor Christian Drosten of the Charité Institute at the University of Berlin, even thinks that the second wave could be tougher than the current one.

But should we then sit with our hands in our laps and wait for a vaccine?’
No, no and again no.

We must, of course, do everything we can to boost every Dane’s immune system so that we are “armed to the teeth” and can prevent a severe epidemic.

Well, isn’t it precisely an overreaction of the immune system (a cytokine storm) that kills lung patients? Yes. If they are vitamin-depleted, then it will happen.

However, several of the vitamins and minerals I have mentioned will specifically inhibit this cytokine storm from the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome, which releases the inflammatory cytokines. Here, vitamin D and magnesium, selenium and the antioxidant vitamins are particularly important as they inhibit this cytokine storm and the subsequent inflammatory microcoagulation seen in the pulmonary vessels. It was described a week ago thoroughly in the Lancet by Prof. Dennis McGonagle and colleagues. They describe how there is actually inflammatory coagulation in the pulmonary vessels, rather than a pneumonia. Of course, this causes oxygen deficiency and such coagulation cannot be treated with a respirator. McGonagle and colleagues call it a diffuse alveolar and pulmonary interstitial inflammation in COVID-19 resulting in a macrophage activation that triggers extensive immunothrombosis.

Thus, according to this article, it is an inflammation-triggered immune response that leads to microcoagulation in the lungs, and that is what Covid-19 patients die from. This is interesting because this reaction can be dampened by vitamin D, selenium, magnesium and vitamin C.

Some of these substances have direct antiviral properties. We see this confirmed in the few scientific studies that are already published, as mentioned in the previous newsletters. The higher the level of intake (within a safe limit), the lower the mortality rate. Therefore, it is important to have high enough vitamin / mineral content for the immune system to be so effective that it will not cause severe lung disease. The more effectively we can prevent disease, the less we need treatment. The previous three newsletters have dealt with Vitamin D, Selenium and Zinc. Now we come to one of the cornerstones of human survival, namely Vitamin C. It is also called “ascorbic acid” after “a-scorbut”, ie against scurvy.

In the past, just as with other vitamins, these were believed to only protect against a deficiency of that vitamin. Thus, it was believed that vitamin C merely protected against scurvy, ie vitamin C deficiency.

However, the past 60-70 years of research have shown that vitamins (and certain minerals) have completely different and quite potent therapeutic properties when dosed accordingly.

Vitamin C is essential for our immune system, which has been documented in over 1,000 scientific articles. Finding evidence is not difficult. Rather, one must know how to limit oneself when searching.

Some of these articles are listed in the literature list. I have included a few old ones for historical reasons. After all, it is interesting that Frederick Klenner with high-dose vitamin C cured children from active polio, while here in Denmark we put them in iron lungs (the respirator of that time), while letting the virus rage in the body. Klenner killed the virus.

Another classic is Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling’s classic “The common cold …”, which created a great debate for and against.
Since that time, the scientific evidence has been well established and unanimously shows that vitamin C is essential for a well-functioning immune system.

Vitamin C has many extraordinary properties in that it can not only prevent disease but also be used in disease treatment.

If we are to concentrate on the current Covid-19 pandemic, then several serious studies around the world are using ascorbic acid intravenously to treat severe Covid-19 disease.

Contrary to the often heard mantra, “we have no treatment to offer Covid-19 patients”.

Well, we have.

It is true, however, that there are no gold standard randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies published in reputable, peer-reviewed, medical journals. But come-on.

This is a completely harmless treatment with an extremely cheap, natural vitamin for a potentially fatal disease.

If the seriously ill Covid-19 patients have to wait for the above publication, then they will be dead. Why not try it when it can never hurt them? If doctors are nervous about the legal aspect, use Article 37 of the Helsinki Declaration on compassionate care. Here, the doctor’s judgment applies.

The theoretical basis for the antiviral effect of vitamin C is present, along with a second-to-none safety track record. There is even more than 70 years of clinical experience from doctors who have used ascorbic acid for a variety of diseases, including severe viral infections. In addition, a large number of scientific studies, which more than indicate that Vitamin C has a place in the treatment of viral infections.

The least that could be done was to do a pilot study with 10 patients hospitalized with severe Covid-19 disease and compare with 10 who did not receive vitamin C. All 20 patients would receive the standard treatment available today.
Then you can compare mortality, hospitalization time, and recovery time.
The study can be completed in a month within a general medical department’s budget. It can hardly be more simple.

But that is perhaps the problem.

The first four newsletters have dealt with optimization of the immune system using vitamin D, Selenium, Magnesium, Zinc and Vitamin C.

The next newsletter will summarize our knowledge of the Covid-19 pandemic and conclude with a comprehensive overview of what you can take if you want to be highly equipped with an optimally functioning immune system as the next virus threat approaches.

Take care of yourself and others,

Claus Hancke, MD,
Specialist in general medicine

Refs.

  • 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.
  • Cannell JJ, Zasloff M, Garland CF et al. (2008) On the epidemiology of influenza. Virol J. 2008;5:29.
  • Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and immune function. Nutrients 2017;9(11):1211.
  • Chambial S et al (2013) Vitamin C in Disease Prevention and Cure: An Overview. Indian J Clin Biochem. 2013 Oct; 28(4): 314–328.
  • Gerber, WF (1975) Effect of ascorbic acid, sodium salicylate and caffeine on the serum interferon level in response to viral infection. Pharmacology, 13: 228
  • Gonzalez MJ, Berdiel MJ, Duconge J (2018) High dose vitamin C and influenza: A case report.  J Orthomol Med. June, 2018, 33(3).
  • 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
  • Hunt C et al. The clinical effects of Vitamin C supplementation in elderly hospitalised patients with acute respiratory infections. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 1994;64:212-19.
  • Kennes B, Dumont I, Brohee D, Hubert C, Neve P (1983) Effect of vitamin C supplements on cell-mediated immunity in old people. Gerontology. 29:305-310.
  • Klenner F 1949, Southern Medicine & Surgery, Volume 111, Number 7, July, 1949, pp. 209-214
  • Li W1, Maeda N, Beck MA. (2006) Vitamin C deficiency increases the lung pathology of influenza virus-infected gulo-/- mice, J Nutr. 2006 Oct;136(10):2611-6.
  • McGonagle D et al, 2020, Immune mechanisms of pulmonary intravascular coagulopathy in COVID-19 pneumonia. Lancet May 7, 2020:1-9
  • Pauling L (1971) Vitamin C and the common cold Can Med Assoc J. 1971 Sep 4; 105(5): 448, 450.
  • Wintergerst ES, Maggini S, Hornig DH (2006) Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions. Ann Nutr Metab. 50:85-94.
  • Yejin Kim, Hyemin Kim, Seyeon Bae et al. (2013) Vitamin C is an essential factor on the anti-viral immune responses through the production of interferon-α/β at the initial stage of influenza A virus (H3N2) infection. Immune Netw. 13:70-74.

Zinc is important for the immune system

– also for Covid-19 disease

May 18 2020

In continuation of the previous two newsletters on Vitamin D and Selenium, a little important information about Zinc and its importance to the immune system is now presented here.

In these corona times, it is especially necessary that we each optimize our immune system so that we are well prepared for a possible new wave in about half a year from now, when people’s deposits of vitamin D again are declining.

In the Western part of the world, about 25% of the population has some level of zinc deficiency, especially the elderly, people with high alcohol consumption, people with chronic infections, those who get certain types of medicine, and elite athletes, who use up their magnesium and zinc.

Zinc is part of more than 200 different enzyme systems and is a prerequisite for normal growth and cell formation and a well-functioning immune system.

There is solid evidence that zinc deficiency leads to increased susceptibility to infection. Since zinc supplementation has also been found to reduce the duration of a cold, various zinc lozenges have been tried, and a Cochrane study of 18 studies found that 75 mg of zinc a day could reduce the duration of cold symptoms in healthy people, provided the zinc tablets were given within the first 24 hours after symptom onset.

The effect lies, among other things, in the skin and mucous membranes, where zinc is necessary for the cell replication that the body initiates when an infection is to be fought. This is especially true regarding the growth, maturation and differentiation of circulating lymphocytes, T cells and the killer cells, NK cells that we need to fight viruses.

In 2010, an in vitro study showed that zinc inhibits another coronavirus, namely SARS-CoV, which caused an epidemic in 2002. Zinc has a direct antiviral effect by inhibiting SARS-CoV RNA polymerase, which is a prerequisite for virus replication.

There is no specific study yet on the effect of zinc on the current CoV-Sars-2, but natural connections are looked for and, for example, the current Covid-19 disease is characterized by many people’s losing the sense of taste and smell, which is also seen in the case of zinc deficiency.
But it could be coincidence.

We have to take zinc all the time, as it is not stored specifically. It is not difficult to get enough zinc here in Denmark, just by eating real food and not industrial synthetic ‘plastic’ food. Zinc is found in meat, seafood, organ meat, fish, eggs, legumes, cereals, dairy products, green vegetables, fruits and berries. An intake of 20-30 mg per day is enough.

If you take zinc as a supplement, remember that it can reduce the copper content of the body, as zinc will upregulate the metallothionein synthesis, which can cause copper loss. This is probably not of great importance here in Denmark, where a large pig production has given us all a solid copper supplement.

In any case, we need zinc to optimize our immune system, so we are ready to fight an virus infection.

Now you have read about vitamin D, selenium and zinc in relation to the immune system.
The next newsletter to arm your immune system against Covid-19 will be about Vitamin C.

Take care of yourself and others,

Claus Hancke, MD,
Specialist in general medicine

Refs:

  • Read Scott A, Obeid S et al. The role of Zinc in antiviral immunity.(2019) Adv Nutr 2019;10:696–710
  • Skalny et al: Zinc and respiratory tract infections: Perspectives for Covid-19. Int J Molecular Med. April 13, 2020
  • Mossad S, Macknin M, Mendendorp S, et al. Zinc Gluconate Lozenges for Treating the Common Cold: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Annals of Internal Medicine 15 July 1996
  • Velthuis AJW, van den Worm SHE, Sims AC, Baric RS, Snijder EJ, van Hemert MJ (2010). Zn2+ Inhibits Coronavirus and Arterivirus RNA Polymerase Activity In Vitro and Zinc Ionophores Block the Replication of These Viruses in Cell Culture. PLoS Pathog 6(11): e1001176.
  • Shankar AH, Prasad AS. Zinc and immune function: The biological basis of altered resistance to infection. Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 Aug;68 (2 Suppl): 447S-463S. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/68.2.447S.
  • Singh M, Das RR. Zinc for the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD001364. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001364.pub4
  • Yoshimura A, Naka T, Kubo M. SOCS proteins, cytokine signalling and immune regulation. Nat Rev Immunol 2007;7(6):454–65.

Selenium attenuates Covid-19 disease

But we don’t hear about it

May 11, 2020

At this time, new research is emerging, newly published, especially about SARS-CoV-2, which has shut down the world with its follow-up Covid-19. This disease specifically affects the lungs, which is why people with lung disease are at special risk of serious illness.

One of the world’s most respected selenium researchers, Margaret Rayman, together with a team of researchers, has just published an important letter in the American Journal for Clinical Nutrition that shows a significantly (P <0.0001) higher cure rate for Covid-19 patients with higher selenium levels in the body.

An interesting study from 2004 (Beck) showed that if a virus like corona passes through a host animal with selenium deficiency, the viral virulence will increase. The host animal lacks selenium to produce glutathione peroxidase for its own protection, thus allowing the virus to mutate freely to a more virulent form. Such selenium-deficient host animals are found in large selenium-poor areas of China, and could, for example, be a bat, or more likely a civet, which is a Chinese cat-like animal resembling a mongoose a little bit. It is eminent for adapting to urban environments and can be a nuisance near human housing where the cats’ excrements make a mess and carry diseases – especially if the animals lack selenium.

Rayman mentions a number of diseases that are improved by optimizing selenium supplementation via the immunomodulatory effect of selenium, in particular selenium’s ability to attenuate the virus’s ability to mutate in a more virulent direction.

Along with the above zoological observation, this led Rayman and colleagues to assume that selenium status and Covid-19 disease had a relationship, and they wanted to find it.

In a retrospective population-based analysis, daily reports (from a credible, non-governmental source) were collected from each province, municipality and city on confirmed cases, cured and deceased Covid-19 patients.

From previous studies, data on selenium levels in individual small districts were reported as selenium concentration in hair. Hair selenium concentrations have shown strong correlation with selenium intake in the different Chinese districts.

By the term “cured” is meant more than three days of fever-free lung function and lung symptoms clearly improved pulmonary x-ray or scan normal, and negative immunological test for the lung pathogen in question in two subsequent tests at least one day apart.

The recovery was significantly lower in Hubei Province (13.2%) compared to all other provinces (40.6%), and mortality in Hubei Province higher (3% – sick) than in all other provinces (0.6 %). Both differences are highly significant (P <0.0001).

However, one of the cities of Hubei Province showed remarkably higher recovery rates than the rest of the cities of Hubei, and it was Enshi (36.4%), which is known for high selenium intake and high selenium status.
The reason China is so thoroughly researched for selenium, is because there are areas in China with both the world’s lowest – and the world’s highest occurrences of selenium in the soil and in the food.

An area of very low selenium status is Keshan in northeastern Heilongjiang Province. We know Keshan disease, which is a cardiomyopathy / heart failure due to selenium deficiency. In Keshan, the mortality rate was 2.4% compared to the other province’s 0.5%.

The Rayman study has significant weaknesses in confounding factors and the use of old selenium data. It was also published as a “facilitator” so that the news can come out as quickly as possible at a time when any whistleblow is welcome and every stone must be turned over.
The Vitality Council has emphasized that the research does come from a serious researcher, Margaret Rayman.

Furthermore, when we can link her new data with a large number of heavy scientific studies, all of which point to selenium as a key ingredient in our immune system, the Vitality Council will conclude that selenium is necessary to optimize our immune system, so we won’t get so sick from Covid-19.

Take care of yourself and others,

Claus Hancke; MD,
Specialist in general medicine

Refs:

  • Rayman Margaret et al, 2020, Association between regional selenium status and reported outcome of COVID-19 cases in China Am J Clin Nutr 2020; 00: 1–3
  • Beck MA, Handy J, Levander OA. Host nutritional status: The neglected virulence factor. Trends Microbiol 2004; 12: 417–23.
  • Rayman Margaret. Selenium and human health. Lancet 2012; 379: 1256–68.
  • Harthill M. 2011, Micronutrient selenium deficiency influences evolution of some viral infectious diseases. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2011 Dec; 143 (3): 1325-36.
  • Huang Z, Rose AH, Hoffmann PR. The role of selenium in inflammation and immunity: from molecular mechanisms to therapeutic opportunities.
    Antiox Redox Signal. 2012 Apr 1; 16 (7): 705-43.
  • Beck MA, Nelson HK, Shi Q, Van Dael P, Schiffrin EJ, Blum S, Barclay D, Levander OA. Selenium deficiency increases the pathology of an influenza virus infection. FASEB J. 2001 Jun; 15 (8): 1481-3.
  • Steinbrenner H et al. 2015, Dietary Selenium in Adjuvant Therapy of Viral and Bacterial Infections. Adv Nutr 2015; 6: 73–82.

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.