'Experts angry about still no vitamin D advice'
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On Dec. 25, 2020 the Dutch newspaper AD published a striking article with claims about a simple preventive treatment against viral infections including COVID-19. The web version of that article is enriched with many useful links and, upon verification, I could find nothing wrong or biased about it. It relates to an open letter by over 100 doctors and scientists. The contained information is again not just interesting but potentially life saving, notably in the Northern hemisphere, and so I prepared an English translation of that article for this website as a blog post - Admin.
Translated with the help of Google Translate, with some corrections.
From AD's article of two months earlier: In the Netherlands, about one-third to half of people have a vitamin D deficiency in the winter. Even the majority of the elderly and immigrants have a (serious) shortage. Between October and March, this part of the world simply does not have the right UV light to produce enough vitamin D through sunlight. The darker the skin, the longer it takes to absorb enough vitamin D. The elderly spend less time outside, which means they produce less vitamin D. Overweight people are also often deficient, because this vitamin D is lost in the fat tissue.
Experts angry about still no vitamin D advice: "As if it’s of no concern that people die"
A large group of renowned experts is angry about the government's wait-and-see attitude about vitamin D. They want people to take vitamin D as a precaution against corona. According to them, more and more studies show that vitamin D can ensure that the chance that you will get corona is smaller and that the infection is milder. "As if it’s of no concern that people die"
Marcia Nieuwenhuis 25-12-20, 20:01 Last update: 15:25
Almost two months ago, experts in this newspaper called on everyone to take vitamin D against corona [Note: that article also with many links to English sources]. This group of experts received a lot of support from GPs, pulmonologists and other professors, among others. For example, the leading professor of nutrition and health Jaap Seidell of the Free University says: "Waiting for absolute proof on vitamin D seems unwise given the large number of people with low vitamin D levels and the important role vitamin D plays in the immune system." He is - in line with, among other things, this scientific article from The Lancet - for taking vitamin D as a precaution.
Moreover, since the call of the experts, more studies appeared that indicate the usefulness of vitamin D with corona. Professor of Healthy Aging Manfred Eggersdorfer of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) points to a study by the leading German cancer researcher Herman Brenner: "It states that vitamin D deficiencies may be responsible for almost nine out of ten corona deaths. That's a tremendous number!" From an overview of all kinds of scientific articles about the effect of vitamin D on corona, increasingly positive results appear.
Small research The study is based on a group of 118 people with vitamin D deficiencies who were admitted to a German hospital, sixteen of whom died. The 11.3 percent mortality rate was much higher among patients with a vitamin D deficiency than among other patients. The scientists argue that this is a small study, but write that it "may well be unethical to wait for the results of longer-term studies before taking action for public health."
"There is a growing consensus in the scientific world about the important role of vitamin D", Eggersdorfer explains. "It may reduce the chance that you will get corona and the infection may last shorter." Eggersdorfer, who was associated with chemical company DSM in the past, but no longer has any financial ties with it, because he is retired, works together with two other scientists on an argument in favor of vitamin D.
The wait-and-see attitude of governments goes down the wrong way with scientists. It "frustrates", for example, professor of immunology at Wageningen University Huub Savelkoul. “There are more and more studies showing the benefit of vitamin D. I think it is a kind of arrogance that the government wants to wait for a meta-study first. It seems as if we don't care that people enter in the hospital and die in the meantime. You have to be careful with that comment, but that's where my frustration is. "
Overdose The risk of overdose with vitamin D is small, according to Savelkoul. “Then you’d have to swallow one to one and a half a jar in one go. Anyone with common sense understands that this is not wise."
He is supported by Harry Wichers, professor of biochemistry and food sciences at Wageningen University. “I think the directions for vitamin D are just as good as for keeping your distance. Let us not wait until it is too late! " According to Onno van Schayck, professor of Preventive Medicine at Maastricht University, "there is every reason to take enough vitamin D, especially in winter."
There is now also a worldwide call to governments to draw more attention to vitamin D in the fight against corona, signed by one hundred and fifty scientists, including more than sixty professors. Professor of Medicine Michael Holick of Boston University: "People are waiting for a magic miracle pill or for a vaccine, but they overlook something as simple as vitamin D."
‘’The advisory panel does not see any reason yet
to set guidelines for vitamin supplementation.
- Spokesman for the Ministry of Health
The Ministry of Health believes that the time is not yet ripe for a new vitamin D advice. “In order to properly understand all corona-related studies* in the Netherlands - and worldwide - Minister De Jonge has set up an Advisory Panel with independent experts to advise on promising, innovative treatments. This panel has also been asked to advise on Vitamin C and Vitamin D ", said the minister's spokesperson. “We look forward to the results of those studies. The advisory panel does not yet see any reason to set guidelines for vitamin supplementation. "
In October we already spoke with professor of immunology Huub Savelkoul. (video on page in Dutch)
- Footnote by Admin: As referred to in the article, a handy overview of worldwide vitamin D studies is given here. Compare with for example Remdesivir, which was approved for COVID-19 in the EU and the Netherlands.
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