Blog COVID-19

We arrived at Vitamin D as COVID-19 cure

It was only logical that COVID-19 will be cured with vitamin supplements. Peer-reviewed science is now catching up with the bustling Vitamin D market.

It had to happen. Vitamin supplements are promoted for every malaise, and COVID-19 is the hottest business opportunity one can get. After the initial confusion with stem cells, nanotechnology, hormones, irradiation, and of course chloroquine and its derivative hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), the world came to its senses and recognised that only a prescription-free drug can cure COVID-19, otherwise where is the fun in that.

Since most COVID-19 victims are senior citizens, anti-aging companies arrived on the spot offering their proprietary supplements as COVID-19 prevention or even therapeutic medicine. While these fancy NAD+ and resveratrol supplements sound cool and futuristic (anti-aging!) it excludes other hard-working scammer and grifters who also wish to sell something but have patented nothing. The mineral supplement Zinc is literally dirt cheap and thus has a potential, since it was prophesied by quack-messiah Vovka “Zev” Zelenko of New York as important ingredient in the HCQ cure, but then again, you still need prescription drugs HCQ and the antibiotic azithromycin for Zinc to do its magic on COVID-19. A vitamin would be perfect, pensioners always need those, vitamins are always good, the word alone is reassuring. But which vitamin?

While scratching their bottoms about whether to go for Vitamin A, Vitamin B or Vitamin C (which cures all diseases anyway, cf Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling), with some Dutch merchants peddling Vitamin K, and surely Vitamin E is an option, too, the experts seem to have eventually arrived at Vitamin D. Why?

Well, as the coronavirus is raging uncontrolled in the United States because the President Donald Trump does not like bad news, most deaths happened among the Black and LatinX communities. Which is for sure not something making the Imperial Wizard Trump sad, but it made some biomedical scientists think. What if it is not the poverty, failed public health and blatant institutional racism which kills Black Americans in the pandemic, but something as simple and cheap as a lack of Vitamin D? In humans, the vitamin is naturally produced by exposure to sunlight, of which white skins takes up more than dark skin, so you see where this is going.

If you need scientific guidance, genetics professor Ewan Birney, director of EMBL-EBI in Edinburgh, can explain. Even a Time article highly critical of the Vitamin D theory of COVID-19 medicine wrote this:

“Indeed, many of the known risk factors for COVID-19—being Black or Hispanic; being elderly; having an underlying health condition; having a high body mass index—are also risk factors for vitamin-D deficiency.”

You see, since LatinX people are not perfectly pale white, they count as Vitamin-D deficient also, even if they live in the polar regions of California. In fact, US insurances might register being non-white as pre-existing medical condition (yes, I am aware they are eager to do exactly this as Trump dismantles Obama’s Affordable Care Act). Even The Lancet chimed in with some race medicine, via a comment article by British experts Adrian Martineau and Nita Forouhi endorsing Vitamin D supplements:

“The striking overlap between risk factors for severe COVID-19 and vitamin D deficiency, including obesity, older age, and Black or Asian ethnic origin, has led some researchers to hypothesise that vitamin D supplementation could hold promise as a preventive or therapeutic agent for COVID-19.”

Yes, we forgot Asians! Which explains such horrendous rates of COVID-19 in India, it must be the dark skin, and the lack of sun because unlike COVID-19 resistant British folks, those Indian farmers are always indoors…, ah crap, never mind. Since when are non-peer reviewed reality facts allowed to interfere with peer-reviewed science?

Vitamin D theory of COVID-19 is beautiful. It allows you to roll out any crypto-racist bunk and pretend it’s solid science, while peddling prescription-free supplements out the back. And in America, they love racial medicine, US hospital algorithms distribute (or rather deny) healthcare according to your skin colour, which bottom line is that Black people are more primitive than whites and therefore need less medical care.

Studies correlating COVID-19 to Vitamin D levels arrived quickly as the pandemic grew, and now gain traction as the HCQ hype declines. This paper from 3 September is probably the most headline-grabbing one, because it is from USA and appeared in JAMA. No wait, it’s the downstream Open Access cash-making outlet, JAMA Network Open, where it costs $3000 to publish.

David O. Meltzer, Thomas J. Best, Hui Zhang, Tamara Vokes, Vineet Arora, Julian Solway Association of Vitamin D Status and Other Clinical Characteristics With COVID-19 Test Results JAMA Network Open (2020) doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.19722 

The authors accessed health records of COVID-19 patients and concluded that those who eventually caught the virus had low Vitamin D levels before:

In this cohort study of 489 patients who had a vitamin D level measured in the year before COVID-19 testing, the relative risk of testing positive for COVID-19 was 1.77 times greater for patients with likely deficient vitamin D status compared with patients with likely sufficient vitamin D status, a difference that was statistically significant.

Yes, the skin colour of patients was noted. None of the participants was actually Vitamin D deficient, so the authors set some threshold to assign them as “likely deficient”. They did notice that many had various pre-existing conditions like obesity, diabetes or cardiovascular problems, all COVID-19 risk factors. Low Vitamin D levels used to be see in the pre-COVID-19 times just an general biomarker of bad health, but now they became the main cause for getting infected with COVID-19 in the first place. Maybe confused by the fact that the majority of their analysed patients were not white, the authors conclude:

Since African American and Hispanic populations in the US have both high rates of vitamin D deficiency and bear a disproportionate burden of morbidity and mortality from COVID-19,35,36 they may be particularly important populations to engage in studies of whether vitamin D can reduce the incidence and burden of COVID-19.

What a lovely idea. Instead of providing public health and insurance available to everyone, why not telling Black and Hispanic Americans to pop some cheap Vitamin D pills.

As paediatrics professor Todd Alexander of University of Alberta was quoted in Folio, this Vitamin D deficiency and weakened immunity theory is not new, and has been used to explain diseases before:

“In the 1980s and ’90s, studies emerged that found a role for vitamin D in immune function. This, according to Alexander, led to a deluge of clinical studies finding reduced vitamin D levels in people affected by a host of diseases including asthma, cancer, diabetes and multiple sclerosis.”

Those cancer and asthma studies are now long forgotten, except by some unscrupulous vitamin peddlers. Correlation is not causation, but unfortunately not every scientist will agree with Alexander. Aside of rickets (which is a real Vitamin D deficiency syndrome) medical science has so far failed to convincingly connect any other disease to Vitamin D deficiency. Thanks to modern diet, there are anyway only few people with critically low Vitamin D levels in need of supplementation, while these unnecessary supplements do increase calcium uptake up to the formation of kidney stones. Doctors already noticed cases of Vitamin D poisoning in COVID-19 risk group patients who tried to “boost immunity”.

But then again, there is COVID-19 pandemic going on and their is no time for the scientific method.

The market for Vitamin D was already there, which is another beauty of the approach. Because everyone was convinced that showing yourself outside unprotected will immediately give you skin cancer, a notion supported by the extremely successful sunscreen industry (even thoughmelanoma rates in the U.S. have tripled since the 1970s, even as the use of sunscreen has increased“), there evolved a need to counteract the sun avoidance and the resulting potential Vitamin D deficiency with supplements. And now there is COVID-19 on, and what coincidence, Vitamin D helps also against that! The science has spoken.

Especially since the Vitamin D approach is such great business and also great fun. How about European COVID-19 death rates explained with dark-skinned Italians and lazy Spaniards doing their siesta in the shadows while the Nordic races toil in the fields, with their proud white faces turned towards the sun? Here is a paper from the (apparently COVID-19-resistant) UK on just that, its p-values for Vitamin D levels vs COVID-19 cases and mortality just happen to be exactly p=0.05, the magic value.

Petre Cristian Ilie, Simina Stefanescu & Lee Smith The role of vitamin D in the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 infection and mortality Aging Clinical and Experimental Research (2020) doi: 10.1007/s40520-020-01570-8

The Southern European countries have lower levels of vitamin D because of decreased exposure (prefer the shade in strong sun) [10] and also as skin pigmentation decreases vitamin D synthesis [11]. Northern part of Europe’s mean levels are better as a consequence of the consumption of cod liver oil and vitamin D supplements as well as fortification of milk and milk products (Finland) [6].”

Indeed, it must be all that Surströmming which Swedes eat, if anything it ensures social distancing. You might wonder who takes such a braindead and bigoted study seriously. Professor Helmut Schatz does, one of Germany’s top endocrinologists. Former governmental advisor Professor Hans-Konrad Biesalski of University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart analysed 30 studies, including the coronavirus effects on the “black race“, and urged Germans in June 2020 to take Vitamin D supplements for COVID-19. Elsewhere in Germany, the ultra-right xenophobes and rabid COVIDIOTS of the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) demanded, also in June 2020 that the German Bundestag issues Vitamin D recommendation for COVID-19 prevention. Their proposal was rejected.

Vitamin D from fish is what keeps Sweden COVID-19 free!

But also Italians and Spaniards themselves are jumping the bandwagon. Endocrinologist Luigi Gennari of University of Sienna presented his research to a closed circle at a conference, and nobody else, which should suffice. He concluded:

Our data give strong observational support to previous suggestions that reduced vitamin D levels may favor the appearance of severe respiratory dysfunction and increase the mortality risk in patients affected with COVID-19“.

And in Spain, just look at this clinical trial from Cordoba, which used the Vitamin D analogue calcifediol. It cannot be more convincing:

Marta Entrenas Castillo, Luis Manuel Entrenas Costa, José Manuel Vaquero Barrios, Juan Francisco Alcalá Díaz, José López Miranda, Roger Bouillon, José Manuel Quesada Gomez “Effect of Calcifediol Treatment and best Available Therapy versus best Available Therapy on Intensive Care Unit Admission and Mortality Among Patients Hospitalized for COVID-19: A Pilot Randomized Clinical study” The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology (2020) doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2020.105751 

Only 2% of the 50 Vitamin D treated patients went to ICU as opposed to 50% of 26 patients who did not get Vitamin D!

Now, I really must commend the authors for their cleverness. The clinical trial started by dosing all COVID-19 patients with HCQ, but then that chloroquine cargo cult ship has sailed, or rather ran aground (its unhinged captain Didier Raoult crying sabotage as Marseille went from HCQ religion hotspot to COVID-19 hotspot). Hence the clever Cordoba investigators quickly switched to a new magic drug, Vitamin D, on top of HCQ! The journal they chose is not really specialising on clinical trials (aside of reviews), but it does specialise on Vitamin D research. Which was good enough to find the right reviewers. Who agreed with the authors that the many COVID-19 deaths Spain has experienced are due to Spaniards not getting enough sun in the winter.

Update 17.11.2020. The Castillo et al paper seems to be extremely authoritative, maybe because not many bothered to read it properly, but here is a nice takedown by DW Science. It quotes Martin Smollich, pharmacology professor at University of Lübeck in Germany, who noticed that the placebo control arm of the clinical trial included 19% of diabetics and 57% of hypertension sufferers, who are the highest COVID-19 risk group. The Vitamin D arm, where the survival rates were so much higher, happened to have merely 6% of diabetics and 24% of hypertension patients. But it passed peer review, so how dares Smollich to criticise it now!

Now, we arrive at some really serious money making. With these authors it cannot be any more obvious that they are all unashamed Vitamin D industry shills. Especially the last character on that paper.

Harvey W. Kaufman, Justin K. Niles, Martin H. Kroll, Caixia Bi, Michael F. Holick SARS-CoV-2 positivity rates associated with circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels PloS one (2020) doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0239252

The first four authors are employees of Quest Diagnostics, which tests your blood Vitamin D levels and then sells you Vitamin D supplements. The last author is the notorious Michael Holick, described by New Yorker as “The Child-Abuse Contrarian”, who issues bizarre medical diagnoses over the phone and whose custom-curated promotional Wikipedia profile was eventually vandalised by the reality. A Controversies section was added:

Holick has been involved in several medical controversies. While at Boston University, he was asked to leave the Division of Dermatology because of his promoting the medical benefits of sun exposure. He accepted research funding for this work from a non-profit tanning bed company, considered by many to be an important potential bias. Barbara Gilchrest, then head of the department at Boston University, called Holick’s book “shlock science” and Holick “a poster boy for the tanning industry”.[50]

Holick received nearly $163,000 from 2013 to 2017 from pharmaceutical companies, according to Medicare’s Open Payments database, which tracks payments from drug and device manufacturers. The companies paying him included Sanofi-Aventis, which markets vitamin D supplements; Shire, which makes drugs for hormonal disorders that are given with vitamin D; Amgen, which makes an osteoporosis treatment; and Roche Diagnostics and Quidel Corp., which both make vitamin D tests.[51]

Holick has also been criticized by other physicians because of his testimony, defending accused child abusers by asserting that Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a cause of non-traumatic fractures in infancy (rather than abuse).[52] Experts in Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, as well as pediatricians specializing in traumatic bone injury, refute Holick’s position, which is completely unsubstantiated by the medical literature. In over 300 criminal cases Holick has never concluded that the child who suffered broken bones had been abused. In one case of a child who had suffered broken bones in which Holick defended the accused parent, the child later went on to suffer severe brain injury, for which the parent has been indicted.[53]

Since May 2017, Holick has been barred from evaluating or treating children by Boston Medical Center, which subsequently reported him to the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine for “health care facility discipline.” [54]

In January 2018, Robert Marvin Ray, one of the parents whom Holick worked with over child abuse suspicions, was arrested and charged with child abuse.[50][55]

His promotion of Vitamin D has been called extreme, even speculating that the extinction of dinosaurs caused by a lack of it in reduced sunlight.[56]

Would you as a journal editor accept anything from such a “scientist”? Well, PLOS One did. Maybe they were impressed by the sheer numbers of patients:

This study used a retrospective, observational analysis of deidentified tests performed at a national clinical laboratory to determine if circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels are associated with severe acute respiratory disease coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) positivity rates. Over 190,000 patients from all 50 states with SARS-CoV-2 results performed mid-March through mid-June, 2020 and matching 25(OH)D results from the preceding 12 months were included.

Over One Hundred Ninety Thousands of patients, who can say no to such a gigantic clinical trial dataset, especially if it promises The Cure for COVID-19? If it reminds you of the Surgisphere scandal for which both The Lancet and NEJM fell arse over tit, well, this is how scholarly publishing works. The story counts, not the author’s or their dataset’s credibility.

Holick’s Boston University of course proudly issued a press release. But PLOS One might have second thoughts:

Having tweeted their concern on 24 September, the next day PLOS One published yet another paper by Holick about curing COVID-19 with Vitamin D. It first appeared as preprint on the Elsevier’s SSRN server, which is a much fancier preprint server than others because it is named “Preprints with THE LANCET“. Now in PLOS One, what honour for the journal.

Zhila Maghbooli, Mohammad Ali Sahraian, Mehdi Ebrahimi, Marzieh Pazoki, Samira Kafan, Hedieh Moradi Tabriz, Azar Hadadi, Mahnaz Montazeri, Mehrad Nasiri, Arash Shirvani, Michael F. Holick Vitamin D sufficiency, a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D at least 30 ng/mL reduced risk for adverse clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19 infection PLoS ONE (2020) doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0239799

This time, the authors saved “only” 235 patients in Iran, while PLOS One informs you: “The authors have declared that no competing interests exist“. Not even Holick, half of whose business is Vitamin D grifting (the other half being helping child abusers in court).

But now, the best Vitamin D for COVID-19 paper ever. Straight from the French Parliament, Assemblée National, and its MP, Joachim Son-Forget. This professional politician once studied medicine and did a PhD in psychology, which automatically made him expert for many things sciency, these days always ready with an educated and even peer-reviewed guess about COVID-19. Son-Forget has been promoting HCQ on Twitter and he of course is a great admirer of the greatest French scientist of all times, Didier Raoult (for whom he even raised money, it seems).

A great scientific mind himself, Son-Forget (and colleagues) postulated in Medical Hypotheses, a comedy magazine run by Elsevier, “that betathalassemic heterozygote population prevalence is correlated to immunity against COVID-19, by a regression“. Would you like to see the data they based this assumption on?

The polymath knowledge of Dr Son-Forget, MP is evident in his genius way of plotting that regression.

Incidentally, the authors list there was exactly same as on this stroke of genius, this time about the Vitamin D:

Édouard Lansiaux, Philippe P. Pébaÿ, Jean-Laurent Picard, Joachim Son-Forget Covid-19 And Vit-D: Disease Mortality Negatively Correlates With Sunlight Exposure Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology (2020) doi: 10.1016/j.sste.2020.100362

The authors (or rather only Edouard Lansiaux who has to vouch for everything) analysed COVID-19 related health data from France, except colonies and Corsica because the authors decided they have much sun but not enough hospitals there. They concluded:

in continental metropolitan France, average annual sunlight hours are significantly (for a p-value of 1.532 × 10−32) correlated to the COVID-19 mortality rate, with a Pearson coefficient of -0.636. This correlation hints at a protective effect of sunlight exposure against COVID-19 mortality.

And indeed, there is no COVID-19 at all in Marseille, famous for its radiant sun (who is of course Didier Raoult). Don’t believe the news.

A Letter to Editor regarding that article by Son-Forget was published in the same journal, its authors are Florian Naudet, Clara Locher, Alain Braillon and André Gillibert. They listed “Major statistical flaws”in Son-Forget’s research and concluded:

the manuscript has no informative value at all concerning any association between “Covid-19 And Vit-D”. Therefore, we think that the article methods and conclusions are too flawed to have any value.

But, as scholarly authorities advice, we must remain open regarding Vitamin D as COVID-19 medicine. Especially since the former CDC director Tom Frieden advised Americans already in March 2020 to take Vitamin D supplements for COVID-19 prevention.

The Vitamin D hype is working. Even Anthony Fauci himself recently advocated the supplement:

If you are deficient in vitamin D, that does have an impact on your susceptibility to infection. So I would not mind recommending, and I do it myself taking vitamin D supplements“.

The 78 year old Fauci also recommended taking Vitamin C:

that vitamin C is “a good antioxidant.” “So if people want to take a gram or two at the most [of] vitamin C, that would be fine

Sure, people in Fauci’s age are in danger of vitamin deficiency and some might need supplements to support their weakened immune system. But old age is about much more than maybe lacking some Vitamin D, so the causality with COVID-19 severity is very strenuous there at best. Maybe it all is Fauci’s diplomatic way for distracting Americans from taking HCQ. Or drinking bleach.

And anyway, the only real prevention cure for COVID-19 is cabbage.


Update 15.12.2020

Of all Vitamin D papers out there, this one by marketing professor Bernd Skiera from my neighbourhood Goethe University Frankfurt takes the proverbial biscuit.

Rahul Kalippurayil Moozhipurath, Lennart Kraft & Bernd Skiera, Evidence of protective role of Ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation in reducing COVID-19 deaths. Scientific Reports (2020). doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-74825-z

Brief summary:

  • COVID-19 deaths are caused by Vitamin D deficiency, science fact
  • UV light is great
  • But UV light is also bad, in can cause cancer
  • Solution: buy Vitamin D supplements, a preventive and therapy for COVID-19!

Now read this Conflict of Interest disclaimer:

RKM is a PhD student at Goethe University, Frankfurt. He also is a full-time employee of a multinational chemical company involved in vitamin D business and holds the shares of the company. This study is intended to contribute to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and is not sponsored by his company. BS also holds shares of the company.”

The company is BASF, Rahul KM does consulting for it. BS does not stand for bullshit, but for Professor Bernd Skiera, The Teutonic Genius Who Saved The World from COVID-19.

Update 28.12.2020

Now it gets serious, the IT folks are the to solve Covid-19!

The Open Letter from 7 December 2020, organised by the former Google exec and now anti-aging biotech investor Karl Pfleger , IT entrepreneur Gareth Davies and some others, is signed by currently 150 doctors, academics and British politicians (all disclose their own daily Vitamin D supplement uptake). It declares:

“Vitamin D is much safer than steroids, such as dexamethasone, the most widely accepted treatment to have also demonstrated a large COVID-19 benefit. Vitamin D’s safety is more like that of face masks.”

The list of signatories includes shills like Holick, but also other names I recognise: the Twitter celebrity doctor Eric Feigl-Ding, former Brexit negotiator David Davis MP and UCL’s chief eugenics enthusiast Steve Jones.

Oh, and there is also another “Evidence Synthesis” paper from the UK:

George Griffin, Martin Hewison, Julian Hopkin, Rose Kenny , Richard Quinton, Jonathan Rhodes, Sreedhar Subramanian and David Thickett Vitamin D and COVID-19: evidence and recommendations for supplementation Royal Society Open Science (2020) doi: 10.1098/rsos.201912

We learn that people with dark skin are low in Vitamin D and hence die of COVID-19 more often. While look, Italians and Spaniards don’t get enough sunlight:

Figure published by same authors previously in May, Laird et al 2020, hence the European mortality ratios a bit outdated, but who cares.

The paper concludes:

“There seems nothing to lose and potentially much to gain by recommending vitamin D supplementation for all, e.g. at 800–1000 IU/day,”

Two authors (including Thickett) declared to receive speaking honoraria from Vitamin D seller Thornton Ross.


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122 comments on “We arrived at Vitamin D as COVID-19 cure

  1. Why did we evolve white skin then? Surely it’s an evolutionary benefit – we generate Vitamin D and then die less often of infections.

    Like

    • I couldn’t get through this artcle. The writer’s supposed goal of elucidating the science is contorted to his principal goal of proclaiming racism and spewing poison at everyone reporting their understanding of the medical findings.

      I don’t mind a generalized hit piece, but let him give the facts straight and save the snideness for a criticism after reporting the claims and then his political blame fest would be more acceptable.

      BTW I thought that Obamacare is still the law and that that was the generalized solution to all the deprivation claims he posits!

      I wonder if Dr. Zelenko has a good case against the author and/ir site for defamation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah what in the hell does racism and donald trump have to do with science ??!!!!!.donald trump cant control this !! Ive looked on the internet and you tube a long time ago and found that vitamin d can help cure this! Cant EVERY OTHER SKIN COLOR BUT WHITE LOOK THIS STUFF UP TOO ??? NOBODYS STOPPING THEM AND NEITHER IS DONALD TRUMP !!!
        IM A POOR WHITE WIDOW THAT HAS TO FEND FOR MYSELF.NOBODYS STOPPING OR HELPING ME EITHER ONE.
        WHAT A TROUBLE MAKER AND HATE MONGER.TRYING TO ADD TO THE FIRE !!!!
        This is OLD NEWS ANYWAY.
        BUNCH OF GARBAGE.
        I WISH HE WOULD READ THIS BUT HE PROBABLY WONT.THROW GAS ON THE FIRE AND LEAVE !

        Liked by 1 person

    • Doc Wattkins

      Do not bother to dignify this cynical, sarcastic, vacantly polemical, virtue signing “science journalist’s” point of view.

      You’ll be wasting your time, his and the world’s. Not sure how this ended up in my news feed, but not anymore.

      I like funny cartoons as much as the next boob. By contrast, this all reads like a sick joke that leaves out the funny as much as the science parts.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Hi Leonid,
    I almost spit on my keyboard, 3 freaking data points!!!!!!!
    That parlamentarian must have have had too much of that french wine.

    Cheers, Oliver

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Andy Tomlinson

    Excellent article. Humorous, well written and factual.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Humorous if you find 1M deaths funny. Not factual. Leonid likes to ignore facts he can’t explain. Like why there are almost no Covid cases in Africa. Or why half the world’s population uses HCQ or CQ. China India Russia Turkey Switzerland Morocco. Costa Rica. Or why DR. Zelenko has a case fatality rate of less than 0.1% in a state where it was as high as 9%

      Liked by 1 person

    • This article is factually very weak. I’m still wrapping my mind around the fact that he thinks there’s a “big vitamin d” industry

      Like

  4. Maybe you overdid it, because 20K IU daily of D is a lot, like as in likely WAY too much based on anything I’ve ever read on the subject. I’ve read ONLY that 10K IU daily is an absolute upper limit before experiencing some nasty side effects like kidney failure. Otherwise, in general (though not specifically), I’ve read that 4K is a safe upper limit. The other thing is, did you ever get a vitamin D blood serum test to see what your D level was at before pounding down 20K IU a day? Or did you just start taking vitamin D after COVID was already a pandemic? I’ve personally been ingesting 3K to 4K IU daily for well over 20 years, so there’s no question that I was never running a deficit at the onset of the virus. But I did have a serum blood test done just a few months ago and my level was at 40 nanograms to the milliliter, which is actually optimal without being too much. Levels of 60 and over are often toxic, so be mindful about what you’re doing to yourself…☝️

    Like

    • Tom Connelly

      I guess that you aren’t familiar with how K2 works with Vit D? How K2 (not K1) prevents the calcium issues completely? There’s also an MD with an ebook out about he and his entire practice is taking 30K IU daily for years with no issues, and that is without considering K2. But, K2 and magnesium are your answers to “Vitamin D toxicity”… Look into it and you’ll find the answers. Problem is, most people can’t get enough K2 without supplements unless they like Japanese natto, which thankfully I love the stuff. Highest food source. (K2, not K1) …and specifically the MK-7 type of K2, which has a much higher half-life in the body. Vitamin D is not and cannot be toxic. That’s a farce. The problem is other deficiencies can happen as a result of high D intake, like magnesium, and without enough K2 then you get the calcium issues. K2 prevents that.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Parijat Sinha

        Excellent and absolutely correct comments- i just have to totally endorse your comments. The problem today is that preconceived and motivated articles are being witten by persons without adequate knowledge and understanding – sad. Vitamin-D really boosts one’s immunity immensely – i have tried it out on myself, my mother – 87, on a host of friends and relatives, all of whom have benefited in various ways – and my informal trials are an ongoing process. I realised this and a lot more during my research after my prostate cancer treatment through radiation and chemotherapy.

        Liked by 4 people

      • Exactly. You have described what makes for an effective calcium transport system in the body that deposits calcium in the bones and not in the arteries of the heart, i.e., atherosclerosis.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Fred Lander

        Tom Connelly do you have a blog? I like your style. No snide comments so it makes u believable.
        Rhonda Patrick has done a lot of reporting on vitamin D over the last 4 or 5 years. She even did a presentation before a group of doctors in the Philippines and got asked hard questions. She did well.
        Recently a functional medicine doctor cited a study oF 20,000 , with some taking ultra high doses of D3, and only 1 case of hypercalcemia. ( sarcoidosis patients have to be careful as elevated calcium can destroy the kidneys and about 20% of them have problems with this– this is very serious ). I didn’t look up the study.
        So Leonid should we completely ignore the observational data and wait until we get some RCT data in the early summer? If our blood levels are below 20 ( USA ) just leave it alone?

        Like

      • https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2776738

        Effect of a Single High Dose of Vitamin D3 on Hospital Length of Stay in Patients With Moderate to Severe COVID-19
        A Randomized Clinical Trial
        Igor H. Murai, PhD1; Alan L. Fernandes, PhD1; Lucas P. Sales, MSc1; et al Ana J. Pinto, BSc2; Karla F. Goessler, PhD2; Camila S. C. Duran, MD1; Carla B. R. Silva, MD1; André S. Franco, MD1; Marina B. Macedo, MD, MSc1; Henrique H. H. Dalmolin, MD1; Janaina Baggio, MD1; Guilherme G. M. Balbi, MD1; Bruna Z. Reis, PhD1; Leila Antonangelo, MD, PhD3; Valeria F. Caparbo, PhD1; Bruno Gualano, PhD2,4; Rosa M. R. Pereira, MD, PhD1
        JAMA. Published online February 17, 2021. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.26848

        Like

      • morevegetablesyahoocom

        A single dose of 200,000 iu may not be enough to make a difference. Have you reviewed the SHADE trial? They decided, after investigation, that 60,000 iu for 7 days was, likely, needed:

        “What we have found
        Daily cholecalciferol supplementation of 60,000 IU helps in achieving 25(OH)D>50 ng/ml in 75% of participants by day-14.

        Therapeutic, high-dose cholecalciferol supplementation led to SARS-CoV-2 RNA negative in additional 41.7% participants (p<0.001) and was useful for viral SARS-CoV-2 RNA clearance.”
        https://pmj.bmj.com/content/early/2020/11/12/postgradmedj-2020-139065

        As far as the overall impact of vitamin D on influenza, in general, I found a publication cited at one of Ivor Cummin’s posts and found this:

        “”Compelling epidemiological evidence indicates vitamin D deficiency is the “seasonal stimulus” [22]. Furthermore, recent evidence confirms that lower respiratory tract infections are more frequent, sometimes dramatically so, in those with low 25(OH)D levels [90–92]. Very recently, articles in mainstream medical journals have emphasized the compelling reasons to promptly diagnose and adequately treat vitamin D deficiency, deficiencies that may be the rule, rather than the exception, at least during flu season [40, 41]. Regardless of vitamin D’s effects on innate immunity, activated vitamin D is a pluripotent pleiotropic seco-steroid with as many mechanisms of action as the 1,000 human genes it regulates [93]. Evidence continues to accumulate of vitamin D’s involvement in a breathtaking array of human disease and death. [40, 41]

        In 1992, Hope-Simpson predicted that, “understanding the mechanism (of the seasonal stimulus) may be of critical value in designing prophylaxis against the disease.” Twenty-five years later, Aloia and Li-Ng found 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day abolished the seasonality of influenza and dramatically reduced its self-reported incidence [25]. (Figure 2) Hence, we propose this modification of Hope-Simpson’s theory. We do not expect our revisions to prove invincible, nor do we delude ourselves that influenza is now comprehensible. Rather, we build on Hope-Simpson’s theory so that it “may be corroborated, corrected, or disproved.” (Hope-Simpson, 1992, p. 191)”

        ” Review
        Open Access
        Published: 25 February 2008

        On the epidemiology of influenza”
        https://virologyj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1743-422X-5-29

        Like

      • Oh, another crappy trial.

        Like

  5. I would hazard a deficit in testing on people Not deficient in vita D. I had been taking 20,000 of D qd, and Still contracted Covid19; in fact, I now have Covid19 Syndrome, the moniker applied to long term effects covid. I’m currently at 6.5 Months!! Am I an anomaly? I was fit and healthy as well, but Vita D didn’t spare me from this virus. Maybe, back to the drawing board. Start again. Speculation does not make for good Science.

    Like

    • 20,000 what? What was your tested Vit D level before you caught Covid?

      Like

    • 20000 of D qd. Are you joking…or are you just plain fibbing. If you mean 20000 IU 4times a day (qd) you are a dead fish.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not a dead fish, the only case studies I can find of Vit D toxicity involved taking 50-60,000 IU/day for months. They stopped and were mostly fine, I think. Still, it’s an absurd and dangerous dosage and Donna’s post is nonsensical not least because at best Vit D might only reduce risk, it won’t eliminate it.

        Like

  6. Hello, my theory is that the “capsaicin” in hot chili peppers will kill COVID-19 on contact. I have proven this to my own satisfaction, since I eat a lot of hot peppers every day and I don’t have the virus (yet). I also go to wild parties with no distancing & no masks, and I don’t have the virus (yet). In places where I do have to wear a mask (for cosmetic purposes), I use a toothpick to puncture the rows of little squares on either side of my KN95 masks so that it’s easier to breathe (the virus) in and breathe (the virus) back out. And I still don’t have the virus (yet). So my medical advice is to eat enough hot chili peppers until they burn the hole in your ass and you’ll also be saying — “See there, I don’t have the virus (yet)!”

    Like

  7. COVID is actually the cure- the disease is liberalism..
    Take vitamin D or not I could not care less, but for the poor person who might have stumbled into this site and might be convinced it all just a scam, Dr Fouchi is taking 6000iu a day, that’s 10x the recommend dose for his age.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. NMH, the failed scientist and incel

    Just give me the damn virus already, I want to join the herd. Then I can make some bucks from my convo plasma (enriched with Vit D and K after a cheese bolus). Maybe I can consume some LOX inhibitors too, Springer cant sell them anymore for melanoma, but they might work on COVID.

    Like

  9. Brandon Shantz

    It might be worth mentioning that vitamin D is a hormone that regulates the immune system and gene expression. Maybe random articles popping up in my browser mocking effective immune function boosting next to 5 article headlines designed to pump cortisol into my system is just looking out for my best interest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Richard Alexander

      Facts like Vitamin D’s central role in the human immune system don’t mesh with the general mocking and condescending theme the author wants to convey.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Gary McCollom

        Couldn’t agree more. Plus have a look at countries with a great consumption of fish.

        The parallels are undeniable.

        Like

  10. This is one of those occasions when both the angel and the devil seem to be right 😊
    But as we all know, this isn’t exactly possible, though…
    One has to be wrong, if not both 😊
    While you are sadly right about the US administration just letting the people die and the “public health” in US being a cynical joke, those speaking about the vitamin D in Covid are also right.
    I mean, absolutely, really right.
    First, the investigators discovered that most victims had a deficiency of this immunomodulator.
    There was a long scientific voyage after that, and, to my surprise, despite more and more proofs, for many months nobody advocated the vitamin D, neither the politicians, nor the press… not as they are advocating other stupid, unprooved remedies.
    Only recently they started to speak about it, still timidly.
    I don’t mean publishing studies… yes, the doctors and even the public media are doing this. I mean political or medical representatives just going out in public and saying loudly and clearly, in easy to be understood words: “People, do take vitamin D supplements!” (You know, like the orange idiot did about that cleaning substance that killed a lot of illiterate people… only being right, in this case, not dangerously inept.)
    Long story short, recently it was conducted a study in Spain, in which 50 individuals with COVID received calcifediol (the easiest to be absorbed form of vitamin D), and other 26 individuals of similar ages and comorbidities did not received it. From those 50 in the test group only 1 person ended up in hospital with complications, but walked away afterwards on his own, while from those 26 unlucky members of the “control group” 13 persons, a huge 50%, developed bad complications and 2 died.
    I won’t insult you providing sources for what I just wrote above.
    You are the journalist, not I…
    I am sure you will be able to cross-reference this.
    I am just a foreigner living in Spain (no, not an English native, so please forgive my bad English), who’s life happens to have been saved when I caught the bloody virus, but fortunately my family doctor was giving me at that time a rather big monthly dose of calcifediol. Against all odds (I am a high risk patient) I survived, without being even hospitalized. I was bedridden for more than 10 days and suffered a lot but my lugs were perfectly ok. No, my doctor had no idea about the vitamin D in Covid cases, not then… it was only April. He was giving me calcifediol for my usual, huge deficiency of vitamin D and an autoimmune illness. It seems he saved my life 👍
    So, please, do a research about it and don’t scare the people against a perfectly valid scientific breakthrough. They are enough confused and manipulated and scared as it is. IMHO.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Simon Brown

      Kama, he actually references that study although it’s mostly a snarky comment about how they were being given HCQ+AZT before “that ship had sailed”. Which is fine, it just dates the start of the study to being at the beginning of the epidemic.

      He references the study. He has done SOME research. There are legitimate questions to be answered, with that study, about how the masking was done – how the study itself was carried out. It’s not clear, from the paper, whether specialists treating the patients had access to patient status regarding whether they took calcefidiol supplement or not. It is also a very small study, just 76 patients.

      He points out that this was published in a journal which specialises in vitamin D which is incorrect, it was published in a journal which specialises in the use of steroids in medicine.

      Your response also is incorrect: all of these patients were admitted to the trial on admission to hospital. All 76 were being hospitalised which meant they already had respiratory failure. It is not that only 1 from the medicated group was admitted to hospital: it is that only 1 from the medicated group was admitted into intensive care (ICU). In the context of Covid-19 that typically means on a ventilator in a medically-induced coma.

      The numbers are pretty stark and if true should encourage the use of calcefidiol when patients first develop symptoms. The author is dismissive of this study and it’s not clear as to why.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. Richard Welch

    Immune health being impacted by Vitamin D level is well established. To what degree, irrespective, or as a function of race in particular, this is true I don’t know. But obviously, immune health is important in Covid-19 response. We do know that the darker your skin (which is evolution based upon historical need of your race based on geography of origin) – the more UVB is necessary for the same level on conversion – that’s simply science – neither good nor bad, but reality. Accordingly, initially separating this discussion from race is important. Additionally, regardless of race, all races of people on average, test as deficient if they live above latitude 38, from Fall through early Spring – with the only reasonable only option supplements, as it’s well established food alone will not avoid deficiency. Especially at this time given the pandemic – but in general – anything we can do to easily optimize immune health makes sense, i.e. as long as we are assured there’s only upside. In that regard, like adequate sleep, hydration and good nutrition, vitamin D3 supplementing makes sense. Bottom line: there’s been no study that has shown anything but upside to having a 25 hydrxo vitamin D level above 40 ng/ml and below 50 ng/ml – for general health. Note: That level is one-third of the level of toxicity of 150ng/ml – so toxicity doesn’t reasonably seem a risk if people follow basic nutritional guidelines, unlike as you suggest I your article. All people should know their blood D levels and consult with their MD periodically – and consider if MD supports, daily supplementing to 2000 to 4000 IU, which is the Upper Limit. Whether or not this will attenuate – avoid or at least lesson – a Covid-19 infection will take time to sort, but appears reasonable for general health.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is quite informative , without doubt vitamin D is the answer .

    Like

    • For goodness sake, Vitamin D definitely isn’t “the” answer. It might be an answer that might reduce the death rate – but it’s definitely not the answer.

      Like

  13. Long article attempting to say that brown people are dying from covid because we lack Healthcare? What utter bs. Or that theres some racial conspiracy? 60% of deaths were nursing home patients wait let me guess you will debunk me as well. Covid is a biological weapon period.

    Like

    • Socio-economics are obviously a major factor in the death rate of darker skinned people in the UK, EU and especially the US. This is undeniable.

      The question is whether that’s the only causal factor, and with over 90% of the UK doctors that died in the first wave having been ethnic minority I don’t see how it’s plausible that socio-economics could be the sole cause of that. It certainly shouldn’t be assumed that it is.

      Like

  14. I found that eating, daily, 3 cups of Captain Crunch that were immersed in garlic laced heavy cream allowed me to survive 4 weeks in a Bronx nursing home, where 93 % of all the residents perished from Covid. I then discovered that viral shedding was coming from my ass onto the toilet seat and unfortunately, the cleaning lady died !! I am now so depressed that I force myself to watch Don Lemon as a self imposed cruel penance for my sin………Oh !!………..the HUMANITY !!!!

    Like

  15. Richard Alexander

    Your article is snide, condescending and much too long.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Roger Pelizzari

    You seem to forget that the Spanish Flu of 1918 was only stopped when they took he patients beds outside in the sunshine.
    It worked like a charm.

    You also make a big deal out of money to be made from Vitamin D. The cost is a bargain when compared to the billions being spent on various vaccines, none of which have proven yet to be safe. In fact, Moderna’s mRNA GMO vaccine being pushed by Fauci and Gates is downright scary. It will be able to permanently alter the gnome. Only a fool would risk damaging their DNA.

    Take a good look at the CDC and you discover that it sells $4.1 billion worth of vaccines a year. It spends $4.6 billion promoting vaccines, and it only spends $20 million testing vaccines.
    Four federal studies have characterized the CDC as a sesspool of corruption because of it’s pervasive entanglements with the vaccine industry.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ah, an anti-vaxxer – although I’m sure you’ll deny that moniker, even though you’re using anti-vaxxer talking points. As for an mRNA vaccine (oh, it’s GMO too! SCARY!!) altering the genome, that’s just hilarious. You’ve learned some big scary words but haven’t learned any scientific literacy. The sort of nonsense you’ve posted is killing people.

      Why is this thread full of clowns to the left, jokers to the right?!

      Like

  17. I didn’t understood why you must insert Trump in a article about vitamins. Vitamins and political articles don’t go together. I stopped to read this article after this sentence about Trump because I don’t believe you

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m generally not a fan of Schneider’s abrasive style (you catch more flies with honey rather than vinegar, no?), but he’s absolutely spot on here. Having to deal with covid/vitamin truthers at work is exhausting and infuriating. I’m happy for them to waste their money on useless supplements, but stop wasting my time (and yours) trying to convert me to your magic pills and potions. And wear your masks, FFS.

    Like

    • Nicholas LaRoche

      Without being to disrespectful, and I rarely comment on things like this but this article is absolute trash and full of misinformation. I hope this person realizes that the people highest at risk for vitamin d deficiency are darker complected skin types. This is because the darker your skin is the more full body sun exposure you need to maintain adequate levels. Vit d3 is clinically proven to be effective at turn your immune system up to fight off all viruses and even cancer. Just make sure it’s hight quality d3 bound with vitamin k2 and some kind of fat such as medium chain triglycerides. This ensures the d3 has a proper delivery system to get in the cells and work effectively. I hope everyone on here doesn’t believe such blatant misinformation that helps contribute to a sick and dying population

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m guessing the author is a Leftist. Part of fear or anger media. He certainly would not want anyone concluding that we could improve outcomes drastically with simple vitamin supplements for those vulnerable individuals that are deficient. I mean, like as if there is a group of billionaires out there that are going to get rich selling vitamin D, and zinc.

        Like

      • NMH, the failed scientist and incel

        Schneider was a solid Marxist-Leninist but with his clear capitalistic streak (he has plenty of stock rubles caught up in Moderna and Pfizer) he is best described now as a kulak. Too bad Siberia is warming up.

        Like

      • Gilead! I am shilling for Gilead!

        Like

  19. Nathan Hoar

    “For Better Science” haha. More like “For Better Bullshit”

    1) only the fringe weirdos, like exist in every camp, are claiming Vitamin D is a “cure”. The general much more consistent advice is “vitamin d lowers the risk of infection and severity of respiratory virus’s” which includes COVID, but we have research going back to the 80’s showing this is true for the common cold and flu as well.
    2) its been KNOWN for a long time that vitamin d is an important immunomodulator. It doesn’t “boost” your immune system any more than good sleep does, it helps modulate it properly. The body having a right-sized response is as important to getting over an illness as the severity of the virus itself.
    3) The reason Vitamin D hasn’t had more large scale clinical trials is because there isn’t money to be made from it. it’s off patent, anybody can make it, just get it from a reputable supplement company (yes those do exist).
    4) The risk is 0 when taken at or below the maximum tolerable intake for everybody. That max tolerable intake increases with age and obesity. There is no evidence that taking a reasonable amount of vitamin D is harmful, and plenty that it is helpful.

    This isn’t those zinc supplement studies where literally the only ones that showed efficacy were the ones paid for by the supplement company. Studies going back 30 years show that being sufficient in Vitamin D and/or adding supplementation reduce the risk for and severity of respiratory illness. None show any real risk until you supplement up to a level that is waaaaay outside the recommended limits. Many studies are also not discounting the role that poverty and healthcare access have at all like you imply they do, they mention those aspects as well as vitamin D status. They control for those factors as best they can. (yeah, epidemiology is inherently limited. That doesn’t make it bad as long as you consider the proper context, which you fail to do.

    Larger scale clinical trials certainly need to be ran, but when you combine the smaller scale studies with the decades of epidemiological evidence there is absolutely nothing wrong with recommending vitamin d supplementation with a reasonable expectation that it is helpful. You very clearly have an axe to grind here. I’m not even sure why this ended up in my feed or why I am bothering to comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NMH, the failed scientist and incel

      You are bothering to comment because you are onto something. Let me add; Schenider and his oppilating sidekick, Smutley Clyde, are employees of IG Farben and the Rand corporation. Both did postdocs in the Level 4 Ebola lab in Fort Detrick, and both speak fluent Chinese. These guys are on completely “on the take” (!)

      For who,I’m not so sure of.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gary McCollom

        Ty for the background as my Spidey sense was yelling at me.

        Like

      • As a fellow scientist I have to say this article is jumping the gun ridiculously. There is plenty of associative evidence (circumstantial) implicating that vitamin D may be effective in determining COVID severity, and we are awaiting the results of a number of Southern European interventional trials, but we are a very long way from calling it a cure. More like a sensible prophylactic measure. I agree with everything Nathan Hoar wrote, and the kind of information you are propagating isnt helpful, and as he sais, shows you have an axe to grind. Absolute BS.

        Like

      • Dr Ceough, you got me. I once applied to work for Dr Holick, but he rejected my application for not being suntanned enough. Since then, I spend my days grinding axes on Vitamin D experts.

        Like

    • Fred Hughes

      Thanks Mr Hoar, Best info so far. Vit D is naturally produced by sunlight on oil & grease of skin. No Soap!
      Dr Johanna Budwig (Budwig Protocol 1950s to 2004) recommends elderly in sun. I’m 65 (2020) & 13 yrs no cancer in throat by using Budwig Protocol/ flaxseed oil diet thanks to heeding pastor Doug Gibbs recommendation as it saved his friends leg amputation Sept07 from a returned “cancer cure”. Vit D is as basic for immunity as air is for car tyres.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. This article is why covid is still spreading rapaidly because od the stereotypes of always fixating on black people like whites are never the dominate in any illness. Blacks are deprived from sufficient healthcare that whites get not because of being disproportionate by choice. Doctors pick and choose who they want to heal and yes we know that studies has to be done through our skin types because we are the true people of God with our DNA and mitochondria. This article doesn’t tell facts it only tell lies to white people to make blacks look like we are carriers and bad people but we are Woke believe me.

    Like

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