Everyone needs at least 50ng/ml 125nmol/L 25-hydroxyvitamin D for
their immune system to function properly. Without proper vitamin
D3 supplementation, most people's 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels are 1/2 to
1/10th this - greatly raising the risk of severe symptoms from
COVID-19, Kawasaki disease, Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome and
sepsis.Robin Whittle email@example.com 16 October 2021
I am an electronic technician and computer programmer - not a
doctor. Please read the research articles I cite and summarise
and make your own decisions - or ask your doctor or other primary
healthcare provider to read the the 05-mds/ page so they can learn about the most pertinent research before they advise you.
#contents << To the table of contents.
Most MDs are not aware of the research which shows that vitamin D is
the key to solving the COVID-19 crisis, especially when combined with
early treatment with ivermectin. Please read the research articles cited and summarised at:
What every MD, immunologist, virologist and epidemiologist should know about vitamin D and the immune system
Please also see my https://nutritionmatters.substack.com, where there is currently one article. Comments can be made there:
Here is how I supplement vitamin D3. I am 65 and weigh 69kg:
By the ratios I derived 01-supp/
from Ekwaru et al. 2014, a 70kg non-obese person should take between
0.125mg 5000IU and 0.25mg 10,000IU. The lower amount is a gram
every 22 years. (One IU is 1/40th of a millionth of a gram - the
amount a 6 gram baby rat needs each day to avoid rickets.) In Australia, the largest generally available vitamin D3 capsules contain only 0.025mg 1000IU D3. I take one small 1.25mg 50,000IU capsules a week:
Until 2021-09-19 I had a link
here to the product's web page. However, the manufacturer wrote
to me: "Due to NSF and FDA regulatory compliance standards, we ask that
you remove any direct link or reference to our product and/or our
website from your page immediately." So I removed the link, the name of the product and the name of the company.
This is 0.179mg 7143IU a
day. After a few months, this almost certainly raises my
25-hydroxyvitamin D level safely over the 50ng/ml 125nmol/L my immune
system needs to function properly. Maybe my level is twice this,
which is fine. It is highly unlikely to exceed 150ng/ml, beyond
which for some people toxicity may be a problem. So I feel no
need to get my level tested. Some MDs think this is too much -
but based on my understanding of the research, what I am doing is
perfectly healthy and desirable. I bought my capsules from a
company in Arkansas, USA. They are fusspots and financially
two vitamin D researchers / advocates I know. Searching eBay
Australia for vitamin d3 50,000 100 turns up some Australian sellers, which would be a faster way to get
some than waiting for shipping from the USA. AUD$62 for 100
capsules is enough for two people for nearly a year. I suggest
taking it after a meal.
What needs to be done, globally, NOW:
- Treat all people newly diagnosed with COVID-19 with calcifediol (which is 25-hydroxyvitamin D) to replete their circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels from the typical unsupplemented levels of 5ng/ml to 25ng/ml (parts per billion) to at least the 50ng/ml 125nmol/L
they need for their immune system to work properly. (See the
first graph below.) This is a small, single, oral dose of
0.014mg calcifediol per kg bodyweight, which is about 1mg for 55 to
85kg average weight adults.
This will replete circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels safely over 50ng/ml in 4 hours.
This is faster than bolus D3 and much faster than the months it would
take with ordinary daily vitamin D3 intakes such as 0.125mg 5000IU /
day (70kg bw). See the above-mentioned page and Emeritus
Professor of Medicine, Sunil Wimalawansa (Sri Lanka and New
Jersey): linkedin-2021-06 & linkedin-2021-07 .
- Treat them with ivermectin too - which has strong antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties: https://covid19criticalcare.com/ivermectin-in-covid-19/ and https://ivmmeta.com .
- Ideally provide extra zinc, vitamin C, magnesium and B vitamins.
These early treatments should be given ASAP
to every person newly diagnosed with COVID-19, or likely to contract it via close contact with infected persons.
This will reduce symptoms, disease severity and
duration. So the average number of viruses shed per infected person
will be greatly reduced, reducing transmission and so the number of people
. For those infected, this early treatment
is inexpensive, safe and greatly reduces the risk of lasting harm and death.
Vitamin D3 supplementation for all - to strengthen immune responses
- Vitamin D3 supplementation, in proper quantities (such as 0.125mg
5000IU/day for 70kg 154lb bodyweight) should be adopted by almost
everyone. The daily intake quantities should be a ratio of
bodyweight, with a higher ratio for those suffering from obesity.
(See 01-supp/.) There's very little D3 in
food or multivitamins. Ultraviolet B light on fair skin can
produce plenty of D3, but it damages DNA and so raises the risk of skin
only people who don't need vitamin D3 supplements are babies breast
fed from vitamin D replete mothers, and those who in the last month or
two have had sufficient, regular UV-B skin exposure. People with
melanin-rich skin need a lot more high-elevation sunlight to generate
sufficient D3 than people with unpigmented skin
- Government support for population-wide vitamin D3 supplementation
should begin with a concerted effort to help the most vulnerable people
first, ideally beginning with a bolus (large initial) dose to raise
levels faster than the several months it takes for regular D3 intakes
to achieve this:
- The elderly - especially those in care homes.
- People who live outside the tropics who have melanin-rich
skin and/or sun avoidant lifestyles. Without proper D3
supplementation, Muslim women living far from the equator are
at especially high risk of very low vitamin D levels. About half of Arab
women, even in sunny Israel have 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels below 12ng/ml: https://aminotheory.com/cv19/#2020-Israel . See also the 3rd graph below.
- Medical staff, police, emergency responders.
- Prison inmates and staff.
- Drivers, pilots and other staff working in public transport,
airlines, taxis and Uber etc., rail and road transport and mail
- People whose work involves high levels of contact
with the public - kindergartens, schools, universities, shops, post
offices, cafes, hotels, petrol stations etc.
- Armed forces and the crews of all ships.
In the longer term, full government and MD support for voluntary
of healthy vitamin D3 supplementation is the only way most
people can be healthy, avoid getting seriously ill from COVID-19,
influenza, sepsis etc. Numerous chronic diseases are at least
partly caused by inadequate 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. See: https://vitamindwiki.com
This will reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses, all year round, to such an extent that it will probably
not be necessary to rely on vaccinating most people or on social
distancing and lockdowns to suppress epidemic or pandemic
since we can't entirely rule out the possibility that current or future
SARS-CoV-2 variants will remain highly transmissible even if almost
everyone had 50ng/ml 25-hydroxyvitamin D, and was treated with
ivermectin promptly on infection. This seems unlikely, and the
sooner we can suppress the pandemic in all countries with high vitamin D levels and with
ivermectin early treatment, the less chance there will be of such
Doctors need to learn about the crucial importance of vitamin D to the immune system, NOW. You can help them do this.
The steps above will be taken only
after a critical mass of doctors understand the immune system's
complete reliance on adequate blood levels = 50ng/ml 125nmol/L
of 25-hydroxyvitamin D
(as measured in blood tests - produced in the liver from vitamin D3)
the internal (autocrine) and nearby (paracrine) signaling systems each
cell uses to respond to its changing circumstances. Most MDs are
not familiar with these terms or vitamin D's functions beyond that of
kidney, regarding calcium-bone metabolism. ("Vitamin D" refers to
three compounds: vitamin D3 cholecalciferol, 25-hydroxyvitamin D
calcifediol (AKA 25OHD and calcidiol) and 1,25-hydroxyvitamin D
While awareness of ivermectin for early treatment of COVID-19 is
increasing rapidly, MDs all need to understand that the immune system
can only work if 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels are 50ng/ml or above.
The 20ng/ml or 30ng/ml standards of repletion which are most widely
accepted are just for the needs of the kidneys - not the immune system.
MDs also need to understand the importance
of using a single small oral dose of calcifediol to raise
25-hydroxyvitamin D levels safely over 50ng/ml in 4 hours.
If you wait for doctors to do this, it might take years, or
decades. Some MDs have been working assiduously to raise
vitamin D awareness among their colleagues since at least 2008
We need a critical mass of fully vitamin D (and ivermectin) aware MDs
to get above the noise level of social and mass media. Once this
happens, everyone will be talking about it and awareness will spread
very rapidly, followed by the actions we all need.
Most MDs live in their profession's thought bubble - which for many
reasons (it would be a very long essay . . . ) results in them not
learning about simple, safe, solutions to complex problems. Instead many MDs cannot imagine
that a simple
nutritional problem could cause such complex and serious health problems.
Big pharma doesn't want doctors to know about vitamin D, since that
would mean they would prescribe much less in the way of the expensive,
patented, drugs and vaccines which generate tens of billions of dollars
profit. Bill Grant wrote
about this. (Vitamin D3 cholecalciferol is difficult to make, involving wool fat, difficult
chemical transformations, especially tricky short wavelength
ultraviolet photochemistry and subsequent purification steps.
Most D3 is made for agricultural animals. Only a handful of
companies in the world make D3. They are not associated with the major
drug and vaccine companies. 5000IU/day is a gram every 22 years,
and pharma-grade D3 costs USD$2.50 a gram ex-factory.)
Don't wait for doctors to slowly catch up. Please urge all the
doctors and nurses you know to read the most pertinent research, linked
to and summarised at: https://vitamindstopscovid.info/05-mds/
|URL for this sub-section: https://vitamindstopscovid.info/#business .
Managers and owners of businesses most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdowns:
There is a way out of this pandemic. You have an important role to play.
is now clear that even high levels of vaccination alone - without
vitamin D repletion and early treatment with ivermectin - cannot
suppress the COVID-19 pandemic to the point where travel,
socialising and group activities can resume, enabling many businesses
can return to full operation.
You have a crucial role to play in
raising awareness of how the pandemic can be rapidly suppressed with
early treatment with calcifediol (25-hydroxyvitamin D) and
ivermectin. In the longer term, population-wide vitamin D3
supplementation is needed to provide the 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels the
immune system needs to work properly. Without such supplements,
most people have only 10% to 50% of the 25-hydroxyvitamin D they need.
These changes will only take place when a critical mass of medical
doctors understand vitamin D's importance for the immune system, and
the effectiveness of the antiviral and anti-inflammatory drug
and through industry
associations you can demand that doctors and governments fully
understand the importance of vitamin D for immune system health - and
how COVID-19 disease severity and transmission can be greatly reduced
with early treatment using calcifediol (the 25-hydroxyvitamin D
all immune cells need) and the anti-viral, anti-inflammatory drug
Above is a brief account of the steps which must be taken:
Immediately below is an outline of what all MDs need to learn ASAP.
Below that is a description of
how the pandemic will continue to worsen, until and unless, the above
steps are taken - in entire countries and ideally in all countries - so
international business, social and tourism travel can resume.
who reads about and understands the latest research means the Vitamin D
Repletion Revolution is closer to being realised. This is the
only way normal travel and social relations will return, so customers
will return to your business.
- Early treatment for all people newly diagnosed with COVID-19: calcifediol and ivermectin.
- D3 supplementation for the most vulnerable people first, with
voluntary adoption for the majority of the population as awareness
develops and pharma-grade D3 production rises to meet the expanded human
demand. (In the short term, a fraction of the much larger quantity of
D3 made for agricultural animals can be refined to pharma grade.)
VACCINES OR ETERNAL LOCKDOWNS (and don't even think about early
treatment lest it distract people from VACCINES) approach can't work as
long as most people's
25-hydroxyvitamin D levels are so low. D3 supplementation can
raise most people's 25-hydroxyvitamin D to healthy levels all year
round. Then there will be no need for lockdowns or for vaccine
other restraints on travel and socialising. Only the most
vulnerable would need vaccines.
Outline of what a critical mass of influential MDs need to know,
before the above, crucial, steps can be taken to end the COVID-19
Above are the essential steps
to suppressing the COVID-19 pandemic so we can regain
our prior freedoms
and restore travel, social contact, concerts, dance
parties and sporting events
- the full range of economic and social
activities on which our health and happiness depends.
These steps will only be taken once enough doctors really understand vitamin D and the immune system.
I am working with a small team of MDs, most of whom are long-time
vitamin D researchers. We will be writing directly to MDs who
treat patients with COVID-19, Kawasaki disease and MIS-C to raise their
awareness of vitamin D. We will also be writing to
immunologists, virologists, epidemiologists and public health
officials. To this end we will be writing a
peer-reviewed journal article citing and discussing the most important
research. Until we have this article available, the best single
source of links to the pertinent research is: https://vitamindstopscovid.info/05-mds/
Here is an outline of what all MDs need to know about vitamin D, the
immune system, early treatment for COVID-19 and long-term
supplementation to suppress the pandemic and tackle numerous health
- The immune system depends on good 50ng/ml 125nmol/L
25-hydroxyvitamin D levels (as measured in blood tests) in order to
combat viral and bacterial pathogens and to properly regulate
inflammatory responses to avoid the cytokine storm self-destructive
inflammation which causes severe COVID-19, sepsis, Kawasaki disease in
babies and children and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children,
adolescents and young adults.
- Doctors have been told that daily D3 intakes of 0.02mg 800IU a day or so are sufficient for adults, and that 20ng/ml 50nmol/L or perhaps 30ng/ml 75nmol/L
25-hydroxyvitamin D levels are sufficient for good health - but these
standards were developed for the needs of the kidney in regulating
Since 2008, MDs and researchers have been calling for vitamin D repletion standards to be set at the 40ng/ml to 60ng/ml
needed for immune system health. They were ignored in the 2011
Institute of Medicine report which is still used in most countries as
the reference for vitamin D standards.
There's very little D3 in food and multivitamins. Ultraviolet B
light on fair skin can produce plenty of D3, but is not always
available and damages DNA, raising the risk of skin cancer. So D3
supplementation is the only way most people can be healthy.
- Ordinary healthy quantities of D3 supplementation - such as 0.125mg 5000IU / day
(70kg bodyweight) takes months to achieve these good
25-hydroxyvitamin D levels, and so does not help in medical
emergencies. Bolus D3 is much more effective, such as a single
10mg 400,000IU dose. However, it still takes time for D3 to be
converted in the liver to the circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D all
immune cells need.
- A single oral dose of 1mg (for 70kg bodyweight) of calcifediol (the pharmaceutical name for 25-hydroxyvitamin D) will raise circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels safely over 50ng/ml in 4 hours. Regular D3 in the following days and weeks will sustain these healthy levels.
This safe, immediate, restoration of proper 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels
is urgently needed for most people, since without supplementation their
levels are usually in the 5ng/ml to 25ng/ml range.
This treatment, alone, will enable most people to rapidly and
effectively combat the SARS-CoV-2 virus and will strongly protect them
from the hyper-inflammatory dysregulated immune responses which cause
severe COVID-19 and the other diseases mentioned above.
- This early treatment should be combined with zinc, vitamin C, B
vitamins. magnesium and especially the anti-viral, anti-inflammatory,
drug ivermectin: https://covid19criticalcare.com/ivermectin-in-covid-19/ and https://ivmmeta.com.
Ivermectin, on its own, even with typical low 25-hydroxyvitamin D
levels, is highly effective at preventing or reducing symptoms and
shortening the course of COVID-19 disease.
- The combination of these treatments: calcifediol (4hr vitamin D repletion), ivermectin and the other nutrients should be given to everyone who is diagnosed with COVID-19,
or who is likely to contract it via close contact with someone who is
already infected, ASAP. Those few who have been robustly
supplementing D3 for months don't need the calcifediol, but it won't
cause them any harm - so there is no need for 25-hydroxyvitamin D blood tests.
This will reduce disease intensity and duration, and so greatly reduce the total number of viruses shed. This will reduce overall transmission rates, all year round, and so reduce the number of people being infected. The combination will very strongly protect against lasting harm, the need for hospital treatment, and death.
- Ivermectin can be used for short periods to protect against
infection, and to reduce disease intensity if infected. However,
it is not practical or desirable for everyone to use
indefinitely. Calcifediol is the best way of repleting
25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in a few hours, but there is no need for it
in the long term since it is more expensive and harder to obtain than
For dozens of health reasons - one of which is COVID-19 - everyone
needs to supplement with vitamin D3, all year round,- except perhaps
those who get plenty of UV-B skin exposure in summer. (However,
this is not recommended, since this raises skin cancer risks.) There is very little D3 in food or multivitamins. A "balanced diet" is no help at all for attaining the 50ng/ml circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels we need to be healthy.
In order to have good health, with fully functioning immune systems,
everyone apart from babies breast-fed from vitamin D replete mothers
needs to supplement vitamin D3 at levels higher than many doctors
currently consider necessary or desirable.
Quraishi et al. 2014: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamasurgery/fullarticle/1782085
discussed at: https://vitamindstopscovid.info/05-mds/
The situation is bad enough for UK Caucasians in winter and spring: 92% of people have 30ng/ml
circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D or less, and 18% have just 10ng/ml
or less. The levels of people with melanin-rich skin are
disastrously low, all year round - especially for those of Bangladeshi,
Pakistani and Indian (Asian) ancestry.
Until and unless MDs learn about vitamin D and the immune system -
and ivermectin for early treatment - the pandemic and the devastating
lockdown attempts to contain it will continue indefinitely along these
- Most people will continue with their zero or far too low vitamin D3 supplementation levels to attain 50ng/ml 125 nmol/L levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (as measured in vitamin D blood tests).
- Current (Delta especially) and likely future still more
transmissible and virulent variants will continue to infect people -
especially as they evolve to escape the very narrow immunity acquired
from adenovirus vector and mRNA vaccines, which program our cells to
produce a particular design of viral spike protein. So there is
no acquired immunity to the less likely to evolve viral nucleocapsid
protein - for which antibodies are naturally created in response
to actual infection.
July 2021 research
in Israel indicates that infection-acquired immunity is 6.7 times more
protective against Delta infection than (mainly Pfizer)
vaccine-acquired immunity. This is not surprising, since these
mRNA and adenovirus vector vaccines program our cells to produce just
a particular design of spike protein, and the immune system develops
antibodies to multiple epitopes [WP]
on this. COVID-19 infection raises such antibodies too, but also
raises them to epitopes on the viral nucleocapsid protein - which the
shell of the virus is made from - and this does not mutate as rapidly
as the spike protein.
This calls into question frequent claims by the vaccine manufacturers
that the vaccines provide stronger immunity than natural
infection. It also calls into question the common notions that
infected people need to be vaccinated and that being vaccinated,
rather than having been infected, should be the only criteria for having
permission to travel or participate close to other people in group
- The seasonality of COVID-19 infection is well known, particularly
in countries far from the equator such as the UK. The primary
reason for this is lower average 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in winter
and spring leading to weaker innate and adaptive immune
responses. This marginally increases the chance of infection from
a given viral insult. Far more important for the whole population
is that with these lower levels, infected people, on average, have
longer and more severe illnesses, which increases the total number of
viruses they shed. This greatly increases transmission, and so
more and more people become infected.
This could be avoided, all year round, with proper vitamin D3 supplementation.
Two other seasonal mechanisms probably play roles which cannot be
replicated by D3 supplementation. Firstly UV light from high
elevation sunlight in summer inactivates viruses, by damaging their
DNA, when those viruses are in aerosols or on surfaces (fomites).
However, this is only outdoors (not through glass) and only in the
daytime - and most transmission occurs in buildings and vehicles.
Secondly, in winter, the air in buildings and vehicles is typically
recirculated, heated and so dry. This low relative humidity
enables small virus carrying, exhaled, droplets to dry into bare virus
particles which stay aloft in the air much longer than the droplets
- With continuing disastrously low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in
many people, especially in winter (or monsoon with its clouds and need to stay indoors), in the absence of early treatment
with calcifediol and ivermectin, all that is left to control the virus
- Infection acquired immunity - at great cost to those who are
harmed or killed by such infections, and with tremendous medical costs.
- Immunity (less effective, as noted above) acquired from
vaccination. Both kinds will fade over time, at rates which are
currently unknown, and will become increasingly less protective as new
variants evolve to evade detection by the antibodies raised by
infection with prior variants and/or raised in response to vaccines
patterned on those older variants.
- Masks - which are probably only of marginal effectiveness.
- Social distancing = isolation, loneliness, depression and loss of active, in-person, natural expressions of friendship.
- Travel restrictions, vaccine passports for travel, access to restaurants etc.
- High levels of forced isolation due to government orders
resulting from contact tracing of people who visited a site where an
infectious person was thought to be present.
the inability of vaccines to suppress transmission, at least in winter
- due to both their less than 100% effectiveness and the inability to
vaccinate all adults and children, the calls for more and more
vaccination will surely continue - since this is seen as a lesser evil
in comparison to lockdowns or increased infections without vaccines'
general protection against severe symptoms.
Note (for brevity, stating my opinion as if it were fact):
In the current situation where most people have terribly low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels, the widely used COVID-19 vaccines, despite being experimental with some risk of harm and death, should be used,
at least by adults. Old-age, obesity, diabetes and other comorbidities
greatly increase the risk of harm and death from COVID019 for people
who have typically low (5 to 25ng.ml) 25-hydroxyvitamin D. For these
people, the risks of harm from the vaccines are dwarfed by the risks of
harm from COVID-19.
In the current environment of most people having very low vitamin D levels, such adults in general should be vaccinated.
How far this principle should be extended to younger adults, pregnant
women and children, is a difficult question. (For heaven's sake
give pregnant women proper D3 supplementation!)
If everyone had good, 50ng/ml, 25-hydroxyvitamin D
levels, then the need for vaccination would be much reduced - so only
the elderly and those with co-morbidities would need it.
Alternatively, even with low vitamin D levels at the time of infection, if everyone who was newly infected was treated with calcifediol and ivermectin,
then the rate of harm and death would be drastically reduced. This too
would weaken the arguments for most people vaccination, and for
lockdowns and social distancing.
- Originally the public was sold the solution of "flatten the curve until the vaccine saves us all from the
virus. However, there are multiple vaccines - all of them experimental - significant reasons for
avoiding them, and a growing number of increasingly transmissible and
virulent viral variants.
This was always going to be a cat-and-mouse game, but by early 2021, it was whack-a-mole, as was admitted on 2021-05-20 https://www.abc.net.au/.../covid-surging-in-seychelles-worlds-most-vaccinated-country
by Raina MacIntyre, professor of global biosecurity at the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.
- As I write this (2021-07-19) it is Freedom Day in the UK, when
the one month delayed end of lockdown was finally enacted. Delta
known case numbers are rocketing towards the highs of the winter peak
in December/January, despite high levels of full vaccination and only
marginal prospects for this improving in the months to come. This
precipitous rise is in stark contrast to the mid-2020 variants dying
out rapidly this time last year. See the graphs for yourself at known-cases and hospitalisation-and-deaths.
There would be national riots if this lockdown was not ended today, but experts warn that ending it will be disastrous: https://www.theguardian.com/..cases-could-hit-200000-a-day
A similar relaxing of restrictions in the Netherlands lead to known cases jumping 500% in a week.
See the latest version of these graphs here. The recent, extraordinary, decline in Delta prevalence in India seems
to have been at least partly due to widespread use of ivermectin: thedesertreview.com/.../ivermectin-saves-india/ and https://covid19criticalcare.com/ivermectin-in-covid-19/epidemiologic-analyses-on-covid19-and-ivermectin/ .
These ramp-ups are occurring as peak 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels
approach. By the time 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels fall to their
winter nadir around the end of December, there's every reason to
believe that infections, harm and death will be at very high
levels. According to the Biobank curves in the graph below (source), 25OHD levels rise slowly until April, and then faster.
Here is the vaccination situation in major countries as at
2021-07-19. To see the current situation, you can customise your
own graph here.
- COVID-19 avoidniks claim that Delta is not such a serious problem as prior variants, pointing to rocketing case numbers
in the UK, but not so much movement in hospitalisations and
deaths. This is mistaken, because:
1- Hospitalisations and deaths lag initial diagnoses by a month or more.
- With higher vaccination levels in older people, a greater
proportion of younger people are being infected now, and generally
younger people are less affected than older people. (However, in early
August 2021, Delta is widely recognised as being more virulent =
harmful and deadly. It is also widely recognised as causing more
infections, more symptoms, more harm and more deaths in younger adults,
adolescents and children than previous variants - but this is still
less than the harm and death the earlier variants caused people over
3 - Delta is more transmissible primarily because it is a more
effective virus. A small part of its advantage over Alpha and
previous variants is that it to some extent evades the immune responses
acquired from infection with those older variants, or from current
vaccines. A more effective virus causes a more intense infection
with a greater number of viruses shed.
4 - "Breakthrough infections" AKA "vaccine escape" - see below regarding Israel.
Nonetheless, COVID-19 - or the Kawasaki disease (Google Scholar) or Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (Google Scholar) triggered by even mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 infection - does harm and kill babies, toddlers, children,
adolescents and young adults.
None of this is OK. All of it
is avoidable. There are numerous articles you can read via these
Google Scholar links. I looked at quite a few of them and found
no mention at all of vitamin D. Pediatricians are disastrously
ill-informed about the primary cause of these extreme immune
dysregulation diseases. See https://aminotheory.com/cv19/#2015-Stagi
for 2015 research which showed KD children have very low
25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. A fraction of a milligram of
calcifediol would stop this cytokine storm very rapidly.
Delta has displaced other variants very rapidly in most countries. The
top graph is from 2021-04-05 and the bottom is from 2021-07-12,
14 weeks later.
(Current graph.) This also shows how much countries are all in this together, even with limited international travel.
See also #zahradnik below regarding
researchers evolving (in yeast) mutations which current variants use
already, and others which future variants will probably use, to
increase the affinity of the viral spike protein for the ACE-2
receptor, which it binds to in order to gain entry to our cells.
- In Israel, where the Pfizer vaccine has been very widely used, it
is recognised that its lower (64% by some measure) effectiveness
against Delta means that many vaccinated people will be infected with
Delta. From a 2021-07-19 Washington Post article, which criticises possible misinterpretation of this July 2021 data:
The Delta variant means the virus will probably continue to spread, even
among vaccinated people and even in a strongly vaccinated country such
as Israel, because the vaccines don't protect from transmission or
symptomatic cases nearly as well. But that doesn't mean the vaccines
don’t work, especially when it comes to preventing the worst of the
- In principle, vaccines can be tweaked to generate immune
responses to particular variants. However, such vaccines can't be
administered to a majority of people in all countries fast enough to
keep up with likely future viral evolution. See the whack-a-mole quote above.
Even if this were possible, such vaccines would need to raise immune responses
to a growing number of spike proteins from the multiple variants. This would involve either a much
stronger overall response to each vaccination, or weaker responses to
each of the sets of epitopes (distinctive amino-acid structures
recognised by antibodies) for each such variant.
Furthermore, regular doses of such omnibus vaccines will surely lead to
more adverse reactions as subsequent vaccines cause the person's cells to produce large numbers of
spike proteins to which they already have very strong immunity
from prior infections and/or vaccinations.
- Delta is a much more efficient virus than what we were tackling a year ago.
How is this not going to be disastrous in the UK and other countries
this winter? Vaccines won't help decisively, though individually
they are very protective against serious symptoms. Increasing
levels of vaccination will work down through the age groups and will
constrain Delta to some extent, with younger adults and children being
the most affected. There are good reasons to resist using
experimental mRNA and adenovirus vector vaccines on children and
High vitamin D levels in all these people would reduce severity, harm and transmission, and so tend to suppress the pandemic.
The graph three above shows how the mid-2020 variants in the UK would
have died out if summer high vitamin D levels (still only ~24ng/ml for
Caucasians, though perhaps higher now due to some vitamin D awareness
in a growing number of people) had remained in place AND if new
variants had not arrived. Alpha took off in late 2020 winter and
then Delta overtook it, as Alpha declined, in June 2021.
- Most people have been assuming that this pandemic would end soon
- since they assume the authorities wouldn't allow a genuine disaster
to occur. But this has happened.
Many people expect things like this to be over in a reasonable amount
of time, just as a book has a finite number of pages, and a
movie ties up its plot lines and comes to an end in time for people to
get some sleep.
However, the government is not in control.
Delta prevalence is growing rapidly in the UK and other countries in summer.
Please urge all the health professionals you know to learn about vitamin
D and the immune system, and about the need for all COVID-19 patients
(and children and adolescents suffering from Kawasaki disease or MIS-C)
to be treated very promptly with 0.014mg calcifediol per kg bodyweight
(single oral dose) AND ivermectin for a few weeks.
Be sure to read the Disclaimer: about/ .
Please see https://vitamindwiki.com and Over 200 Scientists, Doctors, & Leading Authorities Call For Increased Vitamin D Use To Combat COVID-19: https://vitamindforall.org/letter.html Also, an anonymous meta-analysis of recent vitamin D COVID-19 observational and intervention trials: https://vdmeta.com .
The introductory page for doctors, nurses, other healthcare
professionals and healthcare administrators, as well as for virologists
and immunologists, is:
05-mds/ What every MD should know about vitamin D and the immune system
Most MDs are not aware of important research which shows that vitamin D is the key to solving the COVID-19 crisis.
My suggestions for how much vitamin D3 to supplement with, as a ratio of bodyweight is at 01-supp/ .
contact and copyright details. The Nutrition for Immune System
Health email discussion list. The Open Letter Google Groups discussion
list of Karl Pfleger and Gareth Davies. Disclaimer - I am not a doctor etc.
possible, current and likely future mutations to the spike protein
receptor binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus have been evolved in
yeast. These mutations, in various combinations, provide much
stronger binding affinity than older COVID-19 variants. It is
reasonable to expect SARS-CoV-2 variants to evolve some or all of these
mutations with the likely result that such variants will be still more
transmissible, cause still more serious disease, and somewhat evade
immune responses which arose from vaccination or prior infection than
the Delta variant and others which are now most prevalent.
|My suggestions for how to calculate vitamin D supplementation quantities as a ratio of bodyweight, rather than using the traditional approach of age groups, where age is a proxy for weight.
The story behind the US Institute of Medicine, in 2011, calculating
the RDA for vitamin D3 to attain at least 20ng/ml 25OHD in 97.5% of the
population as 600 IU, when the real figure is closer to 7000 IU.
Most doctors and D3 recommended intake committees are working as if the
600IU figure was true.
My proposed 25plusD3 dual 25OHD and bolus D3 suggestion for treating
severe or potentially severe COVID-19 and influenza, and sepsis.
(Sepsis is always potentially deadly within hours.)
||How I derived these ratios from the work of Ekwaru et al. 2014.
|Analysis of the
results of the GrassRootsHealth vitamin D supplementation calculator,
which works internally on ratio of bodyweight.
|An illustrated explanation of autocrine and paracrine signaling, with two examples from peer-reviewed articles.
Almost all of the functions of the vitamin D compounds involve
autocrine signaling (inside a cell) and paracrine signaling (to nearby
cells). Yet few people understand this, and mistakenly think "vitamin
D is a hormone" or some other mixed up idea such as circulating 1,25OHD
(the hormonal function, for calcium-bone metabolism) somehow
"regulating" immune responses.
Read this page and understand! Then you will be able to understand the highly significant McGregor et al. article which describes exactly how
lack of 25OHD in the lungs of patients with severe COVID-19 causes
autocrine signaling in Th1 lymphocytes to fail - leaving them in the
hyper-inflammatory state which causes severe COVID-19/
|In April 2021 the BMJ published
an article which described both Ivermectin and vitamin D as "orphan
treatments" - as if they were useless, or at least not proven yet to be
useful, and that some MDs used them despite all the evidence of them
Nothing could be further from the truth! So I wrote an introduction to the most pertinent research into vitamin D, the immune system and COVID-19,
as a rapid response (a formal comment) to the BMJ article. Here
is that rapid response, as an easier to read web page, with lots of
infographics illustrating the key findings of the research I cite.
|In April 2021, DSM released a new non-prescription calcifediol product for online sales to customers in the USA and Canada: d.velop. |
This, together with a similar product Fortaro for Australian consumers, is the first widely available, affordable, source of pharma grade calcifediol.
Since these tablets are inexpensive and readily available they should
be used for rapid repletion of blood vitamin D (circulating 25OHD) in
emergency situations such as when a person has sepsis, Kawasaki
Disease, Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome and of course severe or
potentially severe COVID-19.
Around 1 milligram of calcifediol, in a single oral dose, for 55 to 85kg body weight is all it
takes to make a huge difference to outcomes in people suffering from
All doctors should be aware of this, and should understand vitamin D
autocrine / paracrine signaling for immune system cells, which can only
work with good, ~50ng/ml
vitamin D blood levels. 1 milligram of calcifediol can attain
this in a few hours, while even bolus D3 takes days or a week or so.
|What every MD should know about Vitamin D and the Immune System
Likewise all healthcare professionals, virologists, immunologists - and
vitamin D aware people who don't understand autocrine/paracrine
signaling and/or who think hormonal 1,25OHD affects immune cells.
This includes discussion of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant and other related matters.
Also, how we would not be having a COVID-19 pandemic if MDs had been
doing their job regarding vitamin D for the last 15 years. This
involves taking an active interest in the best research, rather than
dreaming up ideas for why vitamin D is not important, or demanding RCTs
before changing their minds about these compounds.
vitamin D topics - some people need much more D3 than normal,
to suppress rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis,
cluster headaches, migraine etc.; newly discovered vitamin D compounds; helminths, the immune system and severe COVID-19
This page is far from complete. It currently lists some articles I plan to discuss.
This page links to a well developed Protocol for higher than normal D3
intakes (with other nutrients) for reducing the incidence and severity
of, or eliminating, cluster headaches and migraine.
#update-2021-01-31 for aminotheory.com/cv19/ and VitaminDStopsCOVID.info
|The domain name, based on Vitamin D Stops COVID
has turned out to be overly-optimistic, considering new variants of the
virus which are significantly more transmissible than those which were
strongly suppressed in the UK summer of 2020. More
worryingly, researchers have evolved further mutations (without
creating viruses with these mutations) which will be very much more
transmissible than even the currently most transmissible variants: the
independently evolved but otherwise identical South African and
Brazilian variants, which are more transmissible than the recent
I will retain the domain name for now, but please read the following
update: Vitamin D is vitally important, but I think vaccination and
some masks and social distancing will play an important role in
suppressing COVID-19 (hopefully not outright lockdowns and travel
restrictions) for the next few years and perhaps
indefinitely. If we could suddenly get everyone, in most or
all countries, up to 50ng/ml
vitamin D blood levels, then this would make a huge difference, but is
probably not enough on its own to render all other control measures
unnecessary. There's no prospect of this occurring in the
next year or so, because the forces of resistance against such
population-scale vitamin D supplementation remain very strong and
because there is not yet sufficient global production capacity to
In mid- to late-2020 my sites https://aminotheory.com/cv19/ and https://VitaminDStopsCovid.info
conveyed arguments including my view that the UK 2020 summer lull in
COVID-19 transmission and severity was due primarily to increased solar
UV-B skin exposure raising vitamin D (25OHD blood levels) of most
people in the country sufficiently to, on average:
1 - Strengthen the direct
immune responses to the virus, which are especially weak, on average,
in winter and spring. Low vitamin D causes autocrine (internal)
signaling in immune and other cells to fail: https://vitamindstopscovid.info/02-autocrine/
. So initial defenses were stronger in summer and autumn.
2 - Reduce the hyperinflammatory immune dysregulation (also caused by
autocrine signaling failure in immune cells due to low blood vitamin D
25OHD levels), which causes some people to have severe, debilitating,
lastingly harmful and sometimes deadly, severe COVID-19. Low
vitamin D is the most common, most important, easily correctable cause
of this. See also https://aminotheory.com/cv19/#helminthsgone
for why, without intestinal parasites, and with considerable individual
genetic variation, almost all humans (and domestic dogs and cats) have
systematically overly-strong, self-destructive, inflammatory immune
3 - Reduce the more thorough spread (with winter-spring low vitamin D
levels) of the virus in the body and so overall symptom severity.
This summer increase in vitamin D levels across the UK population
reduces the total number of viruses shed by each infected person, on
average. I regard this as the most important cause of reduced transmission, with UV-B inactivation of viruses outdoors a second factor.
I surveyed the research on UV-B seasonality (I have not had time to
finalise this on a web page, but if you want a copy of the draft,
please email me) and found strong results showing COVID-19 seasonality
is driven primarily by UV-B radiation changes. There was mixed
research results and unconvincing arguments for the importance of
outdoor high temperatures and/or humidity. (These are of marginal
importance, since in-building and in-vehicle conditions are generally
maintained by heating and air conditioning to be the opposite of summer
and winter extremes - and most close human contact occurs in vehicles
The high UV-B of summer-autumn has two possible mechanisms for
suppressing COVID-19, influenza etc. transmission and severity:
Firstly, high vitamin D levels, which are pervasive, last for months
and profoundly affect immune responses. Secondly, and I am sure
much less importantly, UV-B inactivates viruses on surfaces and in
aerosols, but only outside buildings and vehicles, since glass blocks
Since, as best we know, UK average 25OHD levels were around 25ng/ml in summer, I argued that robust (e.g. 0.125mg 5000 IU D3 / day for 70kg adults: https://vitamindstopscovid.info/01-supp/ ) supplementation, which will raise average 25OHD levels to about 50ng/ml all year round,
and so roughly double the peak summer UK average levels, would suppress
COVID-19 transmission and severity much more substantially than in that
UK summer (as with influenza) to the point of, as I wrote:
. . . there would be no need for lockdowns, social distancing, masks or vaccines.
However, I am no longer confident about this, primarily because of current and likely future mutations in the viral genome which significantly enhance its transmissiblity
- and perhaps (it would not be surprising) the severity of
symptoms. The combination of three mutations in a South
African / Brazilian (the two evolved separately but are the same)
variant is raising most concern in late January 2021:
More detailed, and worrying, molecular-level, details can be found in this French - Israeli preprint (AKA not yet peer reviewed):
Here are some key points - but remember that I am an electronic
technician trying to understand and summarize bleeding edge
- The researchers used yeast rather than viruses to
evolve genetic variations on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein Receptor
Binding Domain (RBD the part of the protein which matches the ACE-2
receptor. This automated process evolves genetic variants far
faster (days weeks and maybe a month or two) than can occur in
SARS-CoV-2 viruses in the wild (months and years).
- They were primarily interested in finding novel
structures which would bind very tightly to the ACE-2 receptor without
upsetting its normal enzymatic function in the body, for the purpose of
introducing such molecules as a drug, in necessarily low
concentrations, to attach to most ACE-2 receptors and so prevent
viruses from attaching to them and so gaining entry into cells.
This is a promising form of antiviral therapy.
- The affinity of a particular RBD for the ACE-2
receptor (here ignoring considerable genetic variation in the ACE-2
structure) is expressed as the concentration required to bind to half
of a population of such receptors. The affinity of the
normal (wild type, before South African / Brazilian mutations) viral
spike protein RBD for the ACE-2 receptor is 1600pM (picomols
concentration). (This is really inverse affinity, since a higher
affinity means a lower concentration of spike proteins with a
particular RBD pattern will bind to 50% of the ACE-2 receptors.)
- The (inverse, to my way of thinking) affinity of the "British" mutation RBD is 455pM, meaning that this RBD has a 1600 / 455 = 3.5 times the affinity of the WT (wild type) original SARS-CoV-2 RBD.
- The South African / Brazilian RBD (with the same, independently evolved, three - Triad, above - mutations) has an (inverse) affinity of 126pM, and so an affinity 1600 / 126 = 12.7 times the affinity
of the WT RBD, which was the main type of SARS-CoV-2 virus present in
the UK in the summer of 2020. The current prevalence of this
strain, and its likely spread throughout the world, is the primary
reason for me thinking that population average 50ng/ml vitamin D levels
may not "stop" COVID-19, meaning very substantially suppress its
transmission and severity, as much as I anticipated in late 2020.
- The researchers' evolutionary system reliably
produced variants with the same three mutations as the South African /
Brazilian variant. It also produced variants with further
mutations which increased the binding affinity a lot more. Their
best mutation "RBD-62" produces and RBD with an (inverse) affinity of
2.5pM. This RBD has an affinity for the ACE-2 receptor of 1600 /
2.5 = 640 times the affinity of the ordinary, wild-type (not counting British, South African or Brazilian variant) SARS-CoV-2 RBD.
If a soluble form of this RBD was made, it would be a good drug to
reduce SARS-CoV-2 infections, since (depending on its concentration,
which could be quite low) such molecules will bind to most ACE-2
receptors and so prevent viruses from binding to them.
- However . . . this
research, which is perfectly legitimate (and does not involve making
viruses with these genetic variations - they are not allowed to) shows
the specific set of mutations which would give a SARS-CoV-2 virus a very much greater affinity RBD than even the South African / Brazilian variant.
This, and other combinations of mutations they discovered show that there is tremendous scope for the various SARS-CoV-2 strains to evolve still higher affinity RBDs, and so become much more transmissible - since each virus has a higher chance of binding to an ACE-2 receptor.
The 12.7 times higher affinity of the South African / Brazilian RBD
does not translate directly into 12.7 times more transmissibility -
however this might be measured - but the increased transmissibility is
obviously significant, since these variants are spreading faster than
the strains which lack this combination of mutations. The
exact effect of some mutations depends on the presence of others
(epistatic), and may be affected by individual and racial genetic
differences in the structure of the ACE-2 receptor.
SARS-CoV-2 is evolving faster than anticipated.
There's no way of predicting how rapidly still higher affinity strains
will evolve, but it is reasonable to assume that they will evolve in
months or years, not decades.
(Of course, with the information in this article, a person with
suitable equipment and the very worst of intentions could produce a
SARS-CoV-2 virus with these exact mutations and release it.)
Blue boxes on these pages denote quotes from the aforementioned article, with my notes in [square brackets].
This suggests that with the spread of the "British", "Brazilian", and "South African" variants, we project that the Q498R mutation will appear in the future, on top of these mutations. The synergism of Q498R with N501Y and E484K increases ACE2 binding by ~50-fold
relative to WT [ordinary SARS-CoV-2 before the British or South African
/ Brazilian mutations, which have affinities 3.5 and 12.7 times that of
If anyone can find a qualified virologist who can attest that the above
scenario is either exceedingly unlikely, or not cause for a very high
level of alarm, please let me know!
It seems reasonable to assume that these
are the early days of SARS-CoV-2 and so the COVID-19 pandemic, with the
viruses likely to evolve to be very much more transmissible, and likely
cause more serious symptoms, due to being able to spread even when at
much lower concentrations in the body than are required with today's
- There are other important characteristics of the RBD
part of the spike protein apart from its affinity for the ACE-2
receptor. One is its stability at higher temperatures. The
mutations mentioned in this summary are all no less stable than the WT
Another is to what extent the changes in the RBD mean that neutralizing antibodies [WP]
produced in the body by various methods are less likely to bind to a
virus with these altered RBD sections of their spike protein. My
understanding of the text at the top of page 14 is that for this (yet
to evolve in viruses) RBD-62 genetic pattern of RBD, over half of the
tested antibodies (raised by infection and/or vaccination, I guess)
were less able to attach to these spike proteins than they do with the
current strains of SARS-CoV-2. So this particular,
exceedingly high binding affinity RBD genetic pattern, if it evolved in
SARS-CoV-2 viruses, would have significant survival advantages by way
of lower chance of being found by antibodies, in addition to the
immense benefit provides the virus by way of its higher binding ACE-2
Resistance to proper, robust, population-wide vitamin D3
supplementation remains very strong, in part because many MDs cannot
imagine, and do not care to research, the profound importance of
vitamin D levels being well above the low, to disastrously low (UK
winter) levels they are accustomed to. This is in part due
to lack of understanding of autocrine signaling, and false ideas of
vitamin D acting primarily or solely as a hormone.
It is also hard for MDs to accept that a lot of the chronic diseases
they battle, with great complexity, effort and skill, would be very
much less prevalent if everyone had proper levels of vitamin D and
other nutrients. (A gram of D3 every 22 years is all a 70kg adult
needs to achieve these healthy levels, and a gram costs USD$2.50
ex-factory in 1kg lots.)
Nothing in this update detracts from the importance of raising everyone's 25OHD levels to, on average, 50ng/ml
(125nmol/L) or so. Its just that I now think the SARS-CoV-2 virus
variants are mutating in ways which mean this disease will be a serious
burden for all people, indefinitely, despite this. However, the
impact of COVID-19 will be very much less if we get the average levels
than if we fail to do so, and leave them as they are, below 20ng/ml in
many countries in winter, rising to the mid-20s or perhaps mid-30s if
we are lucky in summer.
It is all the more important to have good vitamin D levels when being vaccinated for COVID-19.
This is well established with influenza vaccines, where stronger immune
responses are elicited in people with higher vitamin D levels:
Effect of 25-hydroxyvitamin D status
on serological response to influenza vaccine in prostate
Manpreet K Chadha, Marwan Fakih, Josephia Muindi, Lili Tian,
Terry Mashtare, Candace S Johnson, Donald Trump
Baseline Serum Vitamin A and D Levels
Determine Benefit of Oral Vitamin A&D Supplements to
Humoral Immune Responses Following Pediatric Influenza
Nehali Patel et al. Viruses 2019-09-25
Vaccines vary in their effectiveness and risks of serious
ill-effects. It is far too early to tell to what degree any one
vaccine will really protect against COVID-19 infection, for all the
strains of the virus in circulation now or in the future.
We don't know how long vaccine-induced immunity will last, or to what
degree it is specific to particular strains of the virus. There
are concerns about lack of testing in frail older folks, with
potentially poorer immune responses and higher risks of serious
ill-effects, such as Bells Palsy: https://covid.us.org/2020/12/23/is-there-a-risk-of-bells-palsy-with-mrna-covid-19-vaccines/ .
The popular vision, driven by popular hope and the statements of
politicians, is that once most people are vaccinated, life can return
to normal. There is no prospect of this being true, since
the viral strains will continue to mutate, since immunity from vaccines
and prior infections will fade, since vaccine effectiveness will vary
with numerous personal characteristics - including especially age,
obesity and low vitamin D levels.
Close to the equator, some countries are doing pretty well. But
people there tend to have dark skin and, wisely, avoid direct sunlight
- so vitamin D levels can still be lower than required for proper
Far from the equator, seasonal variation in UV-B skin exposure will
drive very strong seasonal patterns in COVID-19 transmission and
Even if more than half the population of many countries are vaccinated
by the end of 2021, the virus will still be transmitted, with
increasing likelihood of variants which infect people with immunity to
prior forms of the virus, either through prior infection or
vaccine-induced immunity. The vaccination programs put the virus
under selection pressure to evolve in ways which avoid being detected
by the immunity raised by current vaccines. So this will be a
global cat and mouse game between the virus variants and the vaccine
Moderate or severe COVID-19 can cause very long lasting problems -
probably permanent loss of capacity - for quite a high proportion of
people. It is a serious disease, and people who minimise
its importance, such as by quoting average ages of those killed by, or
with, COVID-19, are avoiding the impact it has on many people in their
twenties to fifties. They are also avoiding the impact it has on
children by triggering Kawasaki disease or Multisystem Inflammatory
Syndrome: https://aminotheory.com/cv19/#2015-Stagi .
Even if governments decided to have their entire populations supplement
D3 properly tomorrow, world production of pharma grade D3 would soon be
overwhelmed if more than a few tens of millions of people adopted
this. D3 factories take years to build by ordinary means -
and those running now operate 24 hours a day. Governments
should work together globally with an urgency normally only found in
times of war to build new pharma-grade D3 factories. In the
meantime, we should direct some of the much greater animal feed grade
D3 production for humans.
Omega 3 fatty acids should also be recommended to the population for
substantial daily supplementation. There are numerous health
reasons for this, and now must urgently regarding COVID-19: Asher et
The trouble is people need grams of fish or algae oil a day, when they
only need, on average 1/8000 of a gram of D3. I can't imagine
how global production could be ramped up to a few grams per day per
person, which is what everyone needs. B vitamins: the same story
but the quantities are smaller than for omega-3 fatty acids, so
production could be ramped up. But all these are far more
expensive than vitamin D, and vitamin D is surely the most important
nutritional deficiency which needs to be fixed for reasons of general
health and COVID-19 in particular. Zinc - best to take 25mg or so
a day as chelate. Some people are sensitive to excess zinc, so
more than this may be a problem.
In the coming months or years it seems likely that SARS-CoV-2 variants
will become very much more transmissible than they are today.
Then, perhaps, vaccines would not be able to produce the very high
concentrations of antibodies, to the various strains, which would be
required to either prevent infection or seriously reduce the risk of
This would leave us with the following options for avoiding severe symptoms, and reducing transmission to some extent:
In short, very much increased SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility may make
vitamin D and other nutrients the only long-term sustainable way we can
cope with these viruses. All the above nutritional
supplements have broad, profound, health benefits, and are worth doing
anyway even if there was no COVID-19 pandemic.
- High, continual, doses of antiviral drugs for a
substantial fraction, or most, of the population. This would be
extraordinarily expensive, difficult to ramp up to this massive scale,
and would surely cause significant ill-effects.
There are quite a number of possible antiviral drugs and combinations
of nutrient which directly reduce viral replication, so these should
not be ruled out for vulnerable people, but this is not a solution to
the whole problem.
- More mask, social distancing and lockdowns - we are
already at our limit with these and the costs are extraordinarily
high. This is no way to live into the indefinite future.
- Nutritional supplements to boost direct antiviral
immune function and, most importantly, to greatly reduce the tendency
of many or most people to having dysregulated, hyper-inflammatory,
immune responses to SARS-CoV-2, influenza etc.
First and foremost this means population-scale vitamin D supplementation to attain average 25OHD levels of around 50ng/ml .
The costs and practicalities of other supplements are more challenging
than D3 supplementation. Boron is likely to be helpful, but
it needs to be taken every day and many people do not recognise it as a
nutrient. Borax is banned in the EU, for no good
reason. Vitamin C is also a daily intake
nutrient. Various B vitamins are surely important.
Zinc needs to be taken once a day, and some people are sensitive to
higher levels - but as far as I know 25mg a day is OK for adults.
(Zinc and other minerals have some interactions at the time of
ingestion, so it can be complex to schedule when to have such
nutrients. Also, zinc as oxide is not as bioavailable as
Selenium may help too.
Omega 3 fatty acids are surely beneficial but these are bulky and
expensive, and it takes months, as far as I know, to alter the omega-3
to omega-6 ratio in the body's overall circulating, stored and
in-membrane fatty acid makeup.
Some older infographics:
This is UK-USA-Australia-deaths.png . OurWorldInData graph.
This is VitaminDStopsCOVID.png .
Links and other items regarding the infographic
Orthomolecular is an awkward term for a field in which
nutrition is given greater prominence for disease prevention and
perhaps cure than is common in Western medicine.
An older introduction and elaboration upon the infographics
are only serious problems due to many people having weak and/or dysregulated immune responses
- overly-inflammatory, cytokine storm
responses which kill healthy cells and damage organs.
Sepsis is a condition in which a variety of infections - and sometimes
burns - trigger extreme immune system dysregulation which damages
The biggest single cause
of these weak and dysregulated immune responses is also the one which is most easily corrected: vitamin D deficiency
also drives COVID-19 severe symptoms. 25mg zinc, as chelate, every
day is safe and will guard against deficiency in this important
mineral, which is part of approximately 2000 enzymes and 750
gene-controlling transcription factors [Read et al. 2019
] and which which reduces the ability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to replicate its RNA. [See these graphs
of zinc and COVID-19 from Vogel-Gonzalez et al. 2020
fatty acids, vitamin C
and several of the vitamin B
family are also important to good immune health, are frequently deficient, and can be easily and safely supplemented.
refers primarily to three compounds which are essential for human health:
which is produced from 7-dehydrocholesterol when the skin is exposed to
short-wavelength 297 nanometre UVB light. This can occur
naturally with high elevation sunlight and bare skin - no sunscreen or
glass. There is very little D3 in food or multivitamins, so
people who do not have substantial all-year-round UVB sun exposure need
to take vitamin D3 supplements regularly.
D3 itself helps stabilize endothelial cells, which line our blood vessels. [Gibson et al. 2015
COVID-19 and immune system destruction of these cells, particularly in
the lungs, restricts the ability to breathe and causes the blood to
become hypercoagulative. This hypercoagulative state causes
microembolisms and larger blood clots in all organs, damage to
the lungs, heart, brain, kidneys and liver and to death due to stroke
and heart failure.
25 hydroxyvitaminD3 AKA 25(OH)D, 25OHD
is produced in the liver, over several days, by an enzyme which
attaches an oxygen-hydrogen hydroxyl group at the 25 position of
25OHD circulating in the bloodstream has a half-life of a month or
two. Higher 25OHD levels have a shorter half-life as a
self-limiting degradation process kicks in. Vitamin D blood tests
report 25OHD levels as, for instance, 50ng/ml
which is one part in 20 million. Circulating 25OHD supplies all
cells in the body. Many cell types consume 25OHD for their
autocrine (internal) and paracrine (nearby cells) signaling systems.
Another enzyme can add a hydroxyl group to the 1 position of 25OHD, which converts it into 1,25dihydroxyvitaminD3, AKA 1,25OHD
] which has a half-life of a few hours.
A small fraction of the circulating 25OHD is converted by this enzyme
in the kidneys to a much lower level - around one part in 30 billion -
of 1,25OHD which also circulates in the blood. The exact blood
level of 1,25OHD is tightly regulated by parathyroid hormone.
This is the only hormonal (long range signaling, via the bloodstream)
function of vitamin D: to regulate calcium and bone metabolism.
All other known functions of vitamin D are in the autocrine and paracrine signaling systems
of a large number of cell types, including especially those of the immune system
Each type of cell responds to particular circumstances by converting
25OHD to 1,25OHD which activates vitamin D receptors [WP
inside the cell (autocrine) and which may diffuse to other nearby cells
(paracrine) to alter their behaviour too. In both cases, the
activated receptor migrates to the nucleus and turns up the replication
of multiple genes into messenger RNAs [WP
], with each cell type upregulating different sets of genes. These mRNAs instruct ribosomes [WP
] to make particular proteins which cause the cell to respond properly to its conditions. [Fuller explanation
of autocrine and paracrine signaling.]
Researchers recently found that Th1 lymphocytes from the lungs of
hospitalised COVID-19 patients failed to respond to their
circumstances. They are supposed to turn off their inflammatory
production and instead produce an anti-inflammatory cytokine. The
sole reason their autocrine signaling systems were not working was that they did not have enough 25OHD
. [McGregor et al. 2020
The critical role circulating 25OHD levels play in COVID-19 was further illustrated by the Cordoba trial [Castillo et al. 2020
], in which just 0.532mg oral 25OHD calcifediol, raised circulating 250HD to over 100ng/ml
(one part in 10 million) within a few hours [graph
]. These Spanish-made Hidroferol capsules
cost only one or two Euros each. The supplementation group
received another capsule on days 3, 7, 14, 21 etc. Half the 26
patients in the control group needed intensive care and two of them
(8%) died. Of the 50 patients in the supplementation group, only
one required intensive care and none died.
If all people with serious COVID-19 were treated as soon as possible,
Cordoba-style, with 0.5mg calcifediol plus a 7.5mg or so loading dose
of D3 (300,000IU), they would get better very much faster than most
patients do today with conventional treatment, and probably with less
need for corticosteroids.
Vitamin D is not strictly-speaking a vitamin, since we can make it
ourselves if short wavelength ultraviolet UVB light strikes our
skin. However, this UVB light also damages DNA, and most people
do not have access to sufficient UVB light all year round.
So for almost all people, vitamin D is an essential nutrient - not a
mineral, but a vitamin.
Vitamin D's one hormonal role regulating calcium and bone metabolism is
well known and it seems that many doctors still think of vitamin D as a
hormone - or at least of 25OHD as the pro-hormone to the 1,25OHD
hormone. In recent decades researchers have discovered more about
vitamin D's role in autocrine and paracrine signaling of many cell
types. Researchers have found that 25OHD levels of 40ng/ml
) or more are required so that these autocrine and paracrine signaling systems function properly. [Fabbri et al. 2020
Traditionally living Maasai pastoralists and Hadzabe hunter gatherers in Africa average 46ng/ml
[Luxwolda et al. 2012
]. This is the best indication we have of the 25OHD levels of our African
ancestors during the time when our present-day immune systems evolved.
Since 2008 [Call to D*Action
] researchers and MDs have been advocating that everyone supplement sufficient D3 to aim for 40 to 60ng/ml
(100 to 150nmol/L
) 25OHD. A recent article confirms this:
Immunologic Effects of Vitamin D on Human Health and Disease
Nipith Charoenngam, Michael F. Holick 2020-07-15
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2097
You can see in the four wavy lines of the infographic above how the
average 25HOD levels of white and Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority
people in the UK vary throughout the year. These averages are far
lower then the 40 to 60ng/ml
range researchers have known since 2008 is healthy. Up to 100ng/ml
is normal and healthy too. Toxicity may become a concern for some people if their 25OHD levels exceed 150ng/ml
(375ng/ml) - but this can only occur with far greater D3 intakes than
is necessary to achieve healthy levels, as you can see from the way the
25OHD levels fail to rise so much for higher D3 intakes:
The above graph is adapted from Ekwaru et al. 2014
This chart from Weishaar et al. 2013
indicates how low many people's vitamin D levels are today, compared to the healthy 40 to 60ng/ml
range. The right curve represents the distribution of 25OHD levels in the Luxwolda et al. African study.
There are various definitions of vitamin D deficiency, insufficiency
etc. A recent analysis of all available research by Karl
Pfleger arrived at an estimate of 53% of the world's population having
25OHD levels below 20ng/ml
(50nmol/L) and 83% below 30ng/ml
(75nmol/L). These two thresholds are still widely used to define
deficiency, but the research of the last decade or so indicates we
should be aiming for higher levels than to ensure the autocrine
signaling systems of many cell types work properly. This enables
the cells to respond rapidly and fully to their changing conditions.
Another way of viewing the variation in 25OHD levels between
individuals is this scatter plot of the levels of individual white
women in the USA with no supplementary vitamin D3, and with 0.01mg
(400IU), 0.02mg (800IU), 0.04mg (1600) and 0.06mg (2400IU) D3 a day:
Supplementing 0.125mg (5000IU) D3 a day
will, after several months, raise the 25OHD vitamin D levels of 70kg (154lb) adults to, on average 50ng/ml (125nmol/L)
. [Ekwaru et al. 2014
and their graph, above.] It is fine to take D3 in larger amounts, once a week or so.
This is only 45 milligrams of vitamin D3 a year
To give some idea of this, 0.045 grams is the mass of a piece of office
paper 42mm (1.65") square. Pharmaceutical grade D3 costs about
USD$2.50 a gram ex-factory, so this is 13 US cents per
year. 0.125mg is the mass of a 2.2mm square piece of office
means International Unit, 1/40,000,000th of a gram of D3
. One IU of D3 is sufficient for a 10 gram mouse for a day, and for a 70kg human to maintain about 50ng/ml
25OHD for 17 seconds. IU (International Units) is a silly
unit of measurement. The large numbers involved make some people
concerned they are taking excessive amounts of D3.
If all, or almost all, people supplement with sufficient D3 to raise the average blood levels to 50ng/ml
all year round, this will greatly reduce or eliminate the weakened and
dysregulated (overly-aggressive, hyper-inflammatory, self-destructive)
immune responses which cause severe symptoms and high rates of viral
shedding of influenza
. Likewise, the incidence of the gross immune dysregulatory disorder, sepsis
], will be greatly reduced. Numerous other health benefits will result from ending the Vitamin D Deficiency Pandemic
Further explanation, including regarding reduced viral shedding, is on the 01-supp/
The causes of weak and/or deregulated immune system responses
Here are some important points about
the common human proclivity for weak and/or dysregulated immune
responses in humans. These may also apply to companion and
agricultural animals who lack proper nutrition and/or UVB exposure
and/or who no longer have the helminths which infested the digestive
tracts of their wild ancestors.
- SARS-CoV-2 (the virus which causes the COVID-19 disease) and
influenza are only a significant problem for humanity because a large
fraction of the population have weak and dysregulated immune responses,
at least in winter.
- By far the most important, easily correctable, cause of these
weak and dysregulated immune responses is inadequate vitamin D - due to
inadequate supplementation if the person has not had sufficient UVB
light exposure to synthesize sufficient D3 in their skin.
- Another major reason for our immune systems being poorly regulated, is that we now lack the intestinal worms (helmlinths [WP])
which infested our human and pre-human ancestors over the past tens of
millions of years during which our immune systems evolved. These
helminths downmodulated some immune responses for their own protection,
and our ancestors' immune systems evolved to be overly inflammatory (
overly-destructive) to counter this expected downmodulation which no
longer exists for most humans today. This is a tough problem to
solve, but for most people these problems will not be significant once
they have healthy vitamin D levels of 40ng/ml or more. See my explanation https://aminotheory.com/cv19/#helminthsgone and https://helminthictherapywiki.org/wiki/index.php/Helminthic_Therapy_Wiki .
- Other nutritional deficiencies drive weak and/or dysregulated
immune responses. One which is particularly important for
COVID-19 is zinc, as previously mentioned. Inadequate omega 3
fatty acids, B vitamins, magnesium and vitamin C are also widely
recognised as common causes of immune system weakness and/or
dysregulation. Low boron intakes are also a likely cause of
this, but most doctors have never heard of this as a nutrient and are
unaware of the research which shows its importance in limiting chronic
inflammation to reduce osteoporosis and arthritis. See https://aminotheory.com/cv19/#08-boron .
- There are reasons to believe that excessive fructose lowers
vitamin D levels, so this a nutritional excess which upsets the immune
- Fever is a healthy, early, response to viral infection and
lowering it with drugs is widely regarded as a bad idea. See the
research I cite at: https://aminotheory.com/cv19/fever/
If this sounds too good to be true - 13 cents worth of vitamin D3 a
year protecting an average weight adult from COVID-19 - then please
read on and learn more about the immune system, COVID-19 and how low
vitamin D levels drive the seasonal (winter and spring) spread of
influenza and now COVID-19, with severe symptoms and high rates of
viral shedding causing more people to become infected.
I am one of many people with no medical or nutritional training who
are raising awareness of we must do to end the Vitamin D Deficiency
Ordinarily electronic technicians
wouldn't be meddling with the work of nutritionists and doctors - and
these healthcare professionals wouldn't be messing with the work of
electronic technicians. Indeed they don't mess with our
work, because electronic technicians are generally doing a good job.
Doctors have a huge range of responsibilities and must amass and
maintain a vast body of knowledge and skills.
Unfortunately, for a number of reasons - including shortage of time and
constant schmoozing by drug and vaccine companies - many doctors'
understanding of nutrition has not kept pace with the best
research. The conventional approach of most members of the
medical profession to vitamin D has for some decades been disastrously
out of touch with reality.
If nutritionists and doctors had been doing this part of their work
well, then the populations of all countries would be supplementing D3
and, on average, have vitamin D levels (as measured by 25
hydroxyvitmainD3 - 25OHD) in the healthy 40 to 60ng/ml
range, and sometimes higher - all year round
Then, influenza would cause little trouble and there would be no need for vaccines.
Then, there would be little sepsis, which according to
researchers from the Global Burden of Disease project, accounts for 20% of deaths worldwide.
Then. SARS-CoV-2 would hardly spread and only very rarely harm or kill
anyone. So there would be no COVID-19 pandemic or the
approximately equally harmful and deadly lockdowns, social distancing
and economic and social devastation which has, so far, been
governments' only response.
I am one of an increasing number of people, including doctors, nurses
and a surprising number of physicists, electronic
engineers/technicians, computer programmers etc. who have been working
assiduously for years, and sometimes decades, researching and raising
awareness of nutrition in general and of vitamin D in
particular. I figured out the critical role vitamin D
deficiency plays in the COVID19 pandemic in late March - just by
reading research articles.
People trust their doctors to advise them, and doctors trust panels of
experts to advise them - because they generally cannot navigate the
vast volumes of research to decide which articles are the most
important. Doctors also rely on government guidelines, in part so
they can work without unreasonable risk of being sued for
Yet many of these official guidelines are based on the work of the US
Institute of Medicine, who in 2011 calculated an RDA (Recommended Daily
Allowance) of vitamin D of 0.015mg (600 IU). The real RDA
(for the low 25OHD level of 20ng/ml) is about 0.175mg (7000 IU).
The IOM made a simple, but crucial, statistical error. It
seems likely that if they had not made this error, many people would
now be supplementing with adequate quantities of vitamin D and there
would be little trouble from influenza or COVID-19, all year
round. The IOM's error was identified in peer reviewed journal
articles in 2014 and 2015. No critiques of these articles have
surfaced and it is reasonable to conclude that the IOM really did make
this enormous mistake. Yet the
impact of this mistaken calculation continues with government
recommended vitamin D supplemental intakes of 0.01mg (400 IU) and
0.015mg (600 IU) in many countries, which are less than a tenth of what
is really needed
. (See the 01-supp/
page for links to these articles.)
If these advisory committees and the doctors who rely on them had been
doing their work properly, we wouldn't be in the current disastrous
predicament, and we physicists, IT people, technicians, engineers and
lots of other non-medical people would not be working outside our
fields, attempting to fix the disastrous failings in particular aspects
of nutrition and medicine.
One such retired electronics engineer is Henry Lahore, in Washington
State, who now collaborates on articles with leading vitamin D
researchers and works tirelessly to document research into vitamin D
and several other nutrients at:
Another person taking a keen interest in this field is AI PhD Karl Pfleger, with his Low Vitamin D Worsens COVID-19 Risk
article, listing recent research:
Gordon Shotwell, who trained in law and works as a data scientist, maintains a page of recent COVID-19 and vitamin D research:
Here is my adaptation of graphs from some recent observational research
showing how low vitamin D levels are strongly associated with, and
surely largely the cause of (rather than caused by) COVID-19 severe
symptoms and death: https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092757
© 2021 Robin Whittle Daylesford, Victoria, Australia