COVID-19 Medicine

Cheese against COVID-19

Dutch scientists, including two Vitamin K fraudsters, claim this blood clotting factor is the cure for COVID-19. The lead author and The Guardian advise everyone to eat cheese.

The COVID-19 science idiocy has a new contender: cheese. The dairy product is said to help with coronavirus infection because of its high content of Vitamin K, which is a fat-soluble, diet-acquired blood clotting factor. The authors are some clinicians from Nijmegen, and two thieves from Maastricht who defrauded their university over a… Vitamin K business.

The idiocy made news of course, including local TV, who spoke of “international breakthrough in the corona crisis”. Most prominently, the cheesy COVID-19 therapy and its authors were celebrated by the Guardian.

It was about this preprint:

Dofferhoff, A.S.; Piscaer, I.; Schurgers, L.J.; Walk, J.; van den Ouweland, J.M.; Hackeng, T.M.; de Jong, P.A.; Gosens, R.; Lux, P.; van Daal, H.; Maassen, C.; Maassen, E.G.; Kistemaker, L.E.; Vermeer, C.; Wouters, E.F.; Janssen, R. Reduced Vitamin K Status as A Potentially Modifiable Prognostic Risk Factor in COVID-19. MDPI Preprints (2020), doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0457.v2.

The preprint itself never mentions cheese and comes along all serious and sciency. At least it’s not about Vitamin D and COVID-19 which can easily slip into racism. The leads authors of the Vitamin K preprint are the internist Anton Dofferhoff and the pulmonologist Rob Janssen, both at the Canisius-Wilhelmina Hospital, Nijmegen in the Netherlands. The clinic issued a press release, which was for some reason now deleted.

134 Covid-19 patients and 184 “historical controls” were studied, because the authors felt that COVID-19 might be associated with lower Vitamin K. They then postulated that it is Vitamin K which is needed to survive the coronavirus infection and conclude with

“A trial should assess whether […] vitamin K administration improves Covid-19 outcomes.”

A weird idea, especially since one main problem with COVID-19 are the lung embolisms, blood clots in the tiny lung capillaries which can lead to inability to uptake oxygen and thus to suffocation. Adding more blood coagulants might not be such a good idea, this is why it is unlikely Dr Janssen will get his way with a clinical trial. But Janssen explained why a blood clotting factor is still not a problem at all in a disease which lethality is caused by blood clots:

Vitamin K plays a role in clotting blood, but it also plays a role in protecting the elastic fibers in the lungs. Corona causes massive inflammation in the lungs, damaging the elastic fibers that allow us to breathe. In response, your body tries to make more protective protein for those fibers, but needs vitamin K for that. If you don’t have that, you’re missing that protection, so you’re more at risk.

Instead of being ignored or at least laughed at, the cheesy cure by Janssen and colleagues made it into The Guardian. And this is where the cheese finally got served. As a very bad journalist, I love press releases and newspaper reports, because this is where certain scientists really open up and say what their research really aims to prove, instead of hiding behind complex scientific formulations.

The Guardian reported on 5 June under the rubric “Medical research”:

Vitamin K found in some cheeses could help fight Covid-19, study suggests

Scientists in Netherlands explore possible link between deficiency and Covid-19 deaths

Janssen was quoted:

We are in a terrible, horrible situation in the world. We do have an intervention which does not have any side effects, even less than a placebo. There is one major exception: people on anti-clotting medication. It is completely safe in other people.

My advice would be to take those vitamin K supplements. Even if it does not help against severe Covid-19, it is good for your blood vessels, bones and probably also for the lungs.

We have [vitamin] K1 and K2. K1 is in spinach, broccoli, green vegetables, blueberries, all types of fruit and vegetables. K2 is better absorbed by the body. It is in Dutch cheese, I have to say, and French cheese as well.

Dr Janssen then discusses that Japanese stinky and slimy delicacy natto also works, citing personal communications with another scholar:

I have worked with a Japanese scientist in London and she said it was remarkable that in the regions in Japan where they eat a lot of natto, there is not a single person to die of Covid-19; so that is something to dive into, I would say.

Mind you, The Guardian brings tall this unironically. The natto debate prompted Twitter suggestions on social distancing:

The manuscript has been now submitted for peer review, while the authors announced a clinical trial with Vitamin K on COVID-19 patients, for which they seek funding. I suggest instead of Big Pharma, they should try Dutch cheese industry, the Big Cheese.

Dr Janssen’s clinical trial

As a prospective COVID-19 cure, this cheesy Vitamin K study will sure go great with red wine, the source of the magic drug resveratrol, peddled by David Sinclair. In this regard, at least two of the coauthors of Janssen’s preprint are incidentally in the business of selling supplements also (Vitamin K in fact).

Janssen did his study in collaboration with the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, and its scientists Leon Schurgers and Cees Vermeer. Those names ring an alarm bell, the two gentlemen are namely fraudsters who stole public money while running a Vitamin K business. That did not make it into Guardian, because The Guardian stands for “independent, investigative journalism”.

Read about these two coauthors, as reported last year by the journalist Wendy Dagens in Observant:

Fraud in UM spin-off VitaK

MAASTRICHT. Two Maastricht University researchers, professor Leon Schurgers and professor Cees Vermeer (the latter has by now retired) have apparently enriched themselves through the university subsidiary company VitaK. De Limburger and De Groene Amsterdammer in collaboration with the Investico platform reported elaborately on this news at the end of June. André Postema, former vice president of Maastricht University, is supposed to have known of the fraud. As a result of the publication, the present Executive Board is carrying out a fact-finding investigation.

Set up in 2001, the VitaK company, headed by biochemist Cees Vermeer, emerged as a knowledge and research centre in the field of vitamin K. Leon Schurgers had done a work placement with Vermeer, did his PhD with him, and was regarded as his intended successor.

But in 2008, Vermeer became aware of fraudulent payments to Schurgers. He had apparently received 70 thousand euro on his bank account from the Norwegian pharmaceutical company NattoPharma, VitaK’s largest client at the time. Apparently, fake invoices had been sent from a non-existent company. Vermeer reported the matter by e-mail to his boss, Jan Cobbenhagen, who was director of Universiteit Maastricht Holding at the time: “I know I should actually fire Leon immediately,” says the e-mail, published by the De Groene. Nevertheless, Vermeer backs his heir-apparent. Schurgers is not fired, he does not receive a fine and no police report is filed. De Groene: “The greatest punishment is that his researcher [Schurgers] may never become the managing director of VitaK.” Schurgers is transferred to the faculty. A transfer that only actually occurred in January 2011. He was appointed professor at the UM on 1 December 2017.

But the matter is even more appalling, according to the research journalists. Patents were apparently passed on to Schurgers, earning him a hefty sum later on.
Then there is the bonus of half a million euro that was given to Vermeer. He received this after his retirement; with the aid of the university, he misled the pension fund.

De Groene writes that several VitaK employees reported to the present Executive Board and the supervisory board. The Executive Board rejected the complaints. According to spokesperson Gert van Doorn, the first reports were made a year ago, he says in answer to questions by Observant.
The matter is currently being investigated. The Executive Board, after “analysis” and possibly its own additional investigation, will come forward with a “clear opinion”, said Van Doorn. When this will be, he cannot say.

Eleven days after Schurgers was inaugurated as professor, VitaK was declared bankrupt (on 23 October 2018).

The article about the case in De Groene Amsterdammer (in Dutch):

Podcast (in Dutch):


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16 comments on “Cheese against COVID-19

  1. Smut Clyde

    the Norwegian pharmaceutical company NattoPharma

    I don’t want to think about that.


  2. Unbanmagic

    ‘to avoid coronavirus infections. The article doesn’t say if the nose plug is made of cheese.’
    No, it says there, it’s a test-strip you put in your nose after which it can be tested in a lab on anti-bodies.


  3. Weird. There is excessive clotting in nCOVID19 patients, so Vitamin K would hurt rather then help, as it is an agonist for clotting. I think you are better off with Vit K antagonists like Warfarin.

    Everybody wants an easy dietary way out of this, and scientist know. Unscrupulous ones will take advantage of this. Maybe we can stick molecules of Vit K and NAD+ on sirtunins on nanoparticles, and make these overpaid faculty fraud-farts rich.


    • Get your act, straight. Vitamiin K1 is responsible to blood cloting regulation. Not vitamin K2. Totally diferent.


      • All vitamin K isoforms serve as subtrates for the carboxylase, which confers activity on the pro and anti-coagulant proteins, and other substrates such as osteocalcinin and matrix gla protein. Injecting vit K1 into humans, as far as I know, is pro-coagulant. Could you please find me a reference where vit K2 has an anticoagulant function?


  4. Unbanmagic

    “Assistant Professor Dimitri Diavatopoulos in the paediatrics department of Radboud University Medical Center designed a strip which you stick up your nose to avoid coronavirus infections.”

    This is still bullshit, why don’t you correct it or indicate it as ‘humor’ if that’s what you tried.

    It’s an attempt to make sampling for anti-bodies easier and quicker. Whole schoolclasses could, at instruction of 1 person, sample themselves for instance.


    • You are right, it is not about covid prevention, so I deleted the paragraph. The strip still won’t be very helpful in practice (even if it worked in theory, which is all but proven), but it is not the same silliness category as the cheese cure.


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  6. Yvonne k

    Not sure why you put the energy into mocking a study or even writing this article when researchers are trying to find solutions and be proactivr and preventative –
    You seem very emotional About this and anything related to someone trying to find solutions so we can combat this disease. Where is the emotion coming from ? Might want to see what you are projecting personally here before you make fun of things and cause confusion to others – If you don’t want to ingest vitamin k2 then no one if forcing you to

    Read more about the science behind vitamin k2 please before you mock it – there are doctors who explain the thrombosis effect and how k2 can potentially prevent this – It is very technical and complicated – but free to those who would like to read about it. Just google it – but you have definetely not taken the time to do this at all –

    And would be great if we had more energy into supporting the researchers Rather than making fun of
    Use your energy for positive approaches please so we can all help with a solutions to the issue. And no we cannot he count on a vaccine. Definetely not in the near future

    Quit the negative energy please
    Toward those that are trying to come up with natural solutions to an obvious major medical diliemna


  7. Prem Leandre

    Actually, as a layman I can confirm I may have benefitted from ingesting Old Gouda cheese during an episode of Covid type symptoms.

    During the one week event I ingested a variety of alternative natural remedies which i self prescribed. I wont list them. And almost like a pregnant woman I had an unending compulsion to eat the Gouda in the fridge. It wasnt part of my self medication, I just found it yummy to the max. And I also knew that it has high K2 levels in it..because Im a vegetarian and thats what I read about. In fact I also was concerned that extra clotting of the K2 might provoke more trouble, given the initial reports of the Covid lung stuff. So I took aspirin too.To balance things out. The whole episode lasted a week.Plus some recovery/lockdown/fascism/stalinism recovery time.( please notice the subtle socio political satire).

    I found your website by pure chance, was not looking for cheese or K2 covid stuff.

    The definition of mirth filled humour is that it kicks up , against sacred or profane knowledge as wisdom. Mirth is there to dissolve and even to abandon self with others, in trust.
    Stand up comedy has been closed down completely for the last 4 months here. You can see wherem going with this.

    I initially did all the hand washing stuff even cleaning produce packets from the shops.
    I then started doing what we from the 70’s always advocated… Autonomous enquiry for a mutual and free society. ..yes I started reading.
    Until and unless medical information is inclusive and communitarian along for example the Keralan ( Indian southern state) lines of a long history of collective and, in their case Marxist and Ayurvedic traditional healing sympathies, then there will be what we have now… Neo liberal psychopathology , hierarchically-esteemed professions wothout a consequent inclusive and distributed power dynamic for individuals. Previously no one was bothered about western dissidents much ..they tended to turn on tune in and drop out. But thats not available when everywhere , even a shop is a policing yard.

    Vaclav Havel the bohemian Czech Dissident/President is inspirational in many ways on the combination of psychopathology, health, society, laughter and praxis.
    From the UK we see a rigid and very pedestrian populace where triumph, authority and the replacement of religiosity by a medical establishment iss now complete. There is no right of community access to consensually informed publicly consituted media and… logic is a prostitute which follows the money.
    Despite these conditions a Socratic persistent, sometimes polarised enquiry is essential. But overall, transparency is secondary to authority and imposition. We dont have transparency . Humour was always intended since Shakespeare and Commedia to be at least a safety valve for the disempowered to ridicule despotism from above.

    Vitamin K and K2 is actually little known amongst lay people as a prophylactic arterial support to prevent some forms of stroke from forming . In fact warfarin , K2s antagonist, is known to harden capillaries and arteries to cause strokes. K2 , conversely is reputed by various research to assist in arterial it is an area of sufficient interest,despite your welcome review of bank accounts and thievery and clotting agents elsewhere.
    If you are a protagonist of the vaccine, monkey pharma,lab coat plutocracy or support it…. Well , then you are having good times.

    Even though they’ve banned singing and dancing together.. I managed to get this out via the Resistance..

    Kovid, kinder küche und kirche !!!
    Uraaa! urraaa! uraaaaaa !


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  11. Your argument that “Adding more blood coagulants might not be such a good idea” might have a problem.It is known that People with too little K are likely to have trouble because for them blood clotting doesn’t work well. So your argument is “if too little vitamin K causes too little clotting then too much vitamin K should cause more blood clotting” – Do you have any evidence to back up this claim?


  12. Pingback: What is Vitamin K – Diabetes Today

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