JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Handy tip: Vitamin D deficiency causes chronic inflammation (which means aging, dementia, bad stuff)

How many people have died of a vitamin D3 deficiency in the last 20 years?

If you are deficient in Vitamin D3, you may reduce chronic inflammation just by taking this five cent supplement and getting a bit of sun. A new study finds evidence that low levels of Vitamin D are not just linked, but cause the dreaded chronic inflammation which is so tied to aging that researchers talk about inflammaging in medical papers. The term captures the diabolic systemic effects of inflammation that accelerate aging, dementia and heart disease and a whole alphabet of other conditions. But don’t wait for your CDC, NHS, or AHPRA-approved-doctor to tell you. The global anti-inflammatory drugs market was worth USD 94 billion a few years ago. Imagine what it would do to that market if everyone sorted out their vitamin D levels?

Since Covid exacerbates inflammation, and people who are obese find it very hard to get their vitamin D blood levels up, it fits that aging, inflammation, obesity and low vitamin D3 make for a bad combination with SARS-2. And if inflammation causes some cases of Long Covid, then it seems to me that vitamin D3 may help with that too.

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Wow. Vitamin D deficiency may cause 40% of respiratory deaths in older people

It’s really quite a scandal.

Missing out on the Sunshine Vitamin?

Historians will marvel that societies that were advanced enough to stream reality-tv-shows at 100 million bits per second, were also so backwards that half the population was deficient in Vitamin D — something that costs 6 cents a dose or comes free from the sun. Nearly 60% of older Germans were deficient, and the ESTHER study puts a fine point on how much that matters. Almost 10,000 people were followed for 15 years in Germany, and during that time about half the people who died of respiratory illnesses might not have died if they had enough Vitamin D.

In this German study 44% did not have adequate Vitamin D and about 1 in 6 people have levels so low they are clinically deficient.

Imagine if someone found a drug that stopped nearly half of all influenza deaths?

Right now, the Northern Hemisphere has higher levels of Vitamin D than most months which is quite likely reducing the death rates. The message needs to get out about Vitamin D before the next Northern Winter.

 

Morethan half the population is deficient.

In terms of respiratory diseases, those whose […]

Perhaps solve the other pandemic: Vitamin D deficiency — to help beat Coronavirus?

Missing out on the Sunshine Vitamin?

We’re throwing billions at Coronavirus but missing cheap wins.

After masks and soap, the next bargain to reduce the impact of coronavirus is Vitamin D supplements.

Vitamin D deficiency is so common it’s an epidemic affecting a billion people around the world. Ponder that half the population of many western nations are clinically deficient by the end of winter. Add that to a novel virus and consider that higher Vitamin D levels reduce the risk of respiratory tract infections like influenza by as much as 40%.

As Grant et al say:

“Low vitamin D status in winter permits viral epidemics.”

Vitamin D levels also correlate with lower rates of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, heart disease, dental caries, preeclampsia, autoimmune disease, depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. Vitamin D influences over 200 genes. It’s so crucial, it was likely the reason northern Europeans evolved whiter skin. The lack of sunlight and the introduction of grains in diets (as opposed to eating liver and whales) meant that Europeans weren’t getting enough D from either food or sun. The selective pressure was so strong that lighter skin rapidly took over all the northern […]

One in six dementia cases might be avoided with Vitamin D

Click to enlarge | Paper

Just imagine that 17% of dementia cases could be prevented with a new drug that cost five cents, had a huge safety margin, and virtually no risk?

The study from the University of South Australia looked at data from 294,000 people in their 60s in the UK, and followed them for a median of 11 years or so. Researchers even controlled for time spent outdoors, types of physical activity, and the amount of oily fish they ate to try to cover for other benefits from these activities.

Seems to me, that if Ministers of Health were interested in actual health, they might be offering free Vitamin D tests, free supplement bottles, lessons in school and public awareness programs. They might even offer testing clinics in shopping centre car parks or free bottles at the RSL and Bowls clubs. Crazy idea right? In the world you thought you were living in, the treasurer might be chasing them down to forecast savings on public health spending ten years from now by keeping 1 in 6 out of nursing homes. Instead our Departments of Health are apparently keen to approve patented drugs with few clinical benefits […]

What if Vitamin A could stop 70% of severe cases of Covid?

For anyone who is “vitamined-out” — ponder that the most important theme is not just about personally avoiding hospitalization, it’s Where the hell are our publicly funded universities? Does the Minister for Health serve the People, or Pfizer…

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Vitamin A was allegedly once called “ “the anti-infective vitamin” — a snappy title which didn’t stick with any biochem student beyond the end of the sentence. But it’s needed for your immune system to function normally, so it seems sort of obvious to ask “what if” we don’t have enough. Could taking more prevent people catching Covid or ending up in hospital, or dead?

Vitamin A |

As always, research in prevention and prophylaxis is a wasteland in the the Modern West. No one can profit from it and indeed if everyone got enough it could harm the prospects of shareholders of Pharmaceutical firms and Hospitals. But it appears we definitely don’t want to be short of it. About three quarters of people who end up in the severe ward of Covid hospitals were deficient.

Imagine a Minister of Health who embarked on a program to raise awareness, test and give out free supplements? Lordy! It […]

It’s a Pandemic of the Vitamin D Deficient: A few dollars of D3 in hospital reduced deaths 60%

Did someone say there’s a hospitalization crisis?

There is a crisis. People are getting stuck for days extra in hospitals and even dying because of nutrient deficiencies that we could easily solve.

A new study from Istanbul shows that even if we negligently fail to correct Vitamin D deficiencies before people get sick, we can still save half of the ones who might die with a cheap vitamin, pumped in hospital for about 1/5000th of the daily cost of an ICU bed.

The mortality rate in the unsupplemented group from 2020 was 11%, but in the supplemented group in 2021 it was 5.5%. Imagine what the mortality rate might be if these people weren’t deficient in the first place?

The study shows us that there is a causal connection between low Vitamin D and more severe Covid. It also shows what a train wreck our medical systems are. For the price of a few dollars we can free up a lot of hospital beds and stop a lot of deaths, and we’ve known this might be the case since the beginning, and we’re still not doing it? The incentives are so screwed in our healthcare systems that […]

People deficient in Vitamin D are 14 times more likely to get severe Covid

How badly do our Health Ministers want to reduce Covid infections and deaths? Not much. If they were at all serious — before they hand out free vaccines, they’d hand out free Vitamin D supplements.

In a study conducted in a Galilee hospital, 26 percent of vitamin D-deficient coronavirus patients died, while among other patients the figure was at 3%. — Times of Israel

If only black lives mattered? Dark skins are so much more likely to be deficient, this is one of those absolutely easy wins for any politician, yet none of them are doing it?

Nearly half the people in the study were deficient, and half of those who were seriously deficient in Vitamin D would go on to develop a severe case. These were the people with levels below 20 ng/ml. Of all the people above that, only 10% would get a severe case. And just being “above 20ng” would still be classified as moderately deficient by many measures, yet it made such a huge difference.

It was a life and death thing — the mortality rate was 25%, fully five times higher for those who fell below the 20ng/ml bar.

The Israeli study […]

Vitamin B6 may reduce the cytokine storms of Covid

Maybe getting enough Vitamin B6 will reduce deaths

The main two things that kill people with Covid are blood clotting and an out-of-control inflammation known as a cytokine storm. A group of researchers noticed that both of these were things Vitamin B6 was known to reduce — blood clotting, and inflammation. In particular, there’s a molecule called Interleukin 6 which is a “masterplayer” signal in our immune system and — what do you know — B6 reduces it. Mice that weren’t fed enough B6 got mouse pneumonia more than mice who were fed enough. B6 is anti-inflammatory, anti- and reduces reactive oxygen species (ROS).

The Big Black hole in medical research?

I hoped this paper was report on experiments with Covid patients, but the paper and press release is essentially a literature review of many pre-covid studies and a plea for research into whether vitamin B6 might help stop the deadly cytokine storm.

The bigger, global question they don’t ask, is why despite the millions (billions) going into vaccine design and drug research, hardly anyone is studying the cheap unprofitable and obvious questions? Perhaps we need some government funded research that’s not driven by profits… oh. wait.? What happened to […]

Pandemic of incompetence? Vitamin D reduced intensive care by 80%. Ministers don’t care?

If a new drug reduced deaths by 10% it would almost get a Nobel Prize — that is, as long as it made someone rich.

A free antiviral shining down on you?

At the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona 930 people who turned up with Covid were randomly asked to take a vitamin D3 (calcifediol) treatment or a placebo. Of them, 551 were given four doses of Vitamin D3 over the next four weeks. The other 379 luckless people got the chance to be randomized controls..

The lucky ones got 20,000IU (or 20 normal vitamin D3 tablets) on day one, then 10,000 IU (ten normal tablets) on four other days in the next month. (Technically, the big dose was given was given on day one followed up with half doses on day 3, 7, 15, and 30.)

In the hapless control group as many as 80 people (21%) would go on to need Intensive Care (ICU). And 57 people of the original 379 would end up dying, or about 15%.

Of the 551 people given five dollars worth* of Vitamin D (that’s the cost online) only 30 (5%) would go on to need the ICU, and all up 36 […]

Junk study on Vitamin D shows nothing much but how bad science reporting is

The Sunlight Vitamin

UPDATED! Mea Culpa from me. The post has been corrected*. Thanks to Rob.

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More junk reporting from the Australian government broadcaster the ABC which just copies the junk science press release. Is this what we pay $1b a year for?

The Journalists missed the key factor which was blood levels of participants.

The headline says Clinical trial finds vitamin D does not ward off colds and flu but all it really shows is that in a group that already have *normal, non-deficient levels* of Vitamin D, taking big doses of Vitamin D once a month won’t will raise your blood levels — but won’t make a big difference to your risk of respiratory infections. And it only applies to people aged 60 -74.

Most participants in the study had a normal but sub-optimal Vit D levels and after five years of sporadic high doses, were raised to optimal levels at the end.

After taking 60,000 IU each month, supplementers apparently went from having 77.5 nmol/L up to 114.8 nmol/L,. To put this in perspective, normal levels of Vitamin D start at “50” and above, and there are professors who point out that there are […]