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Author Topic: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS  (Read 87871 times)

Alan Goldhammer

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1040 on: May 09, 2020, 12:51:43 pm »

It's been mentioned often in these threads on the Covid-19 virus that those most at risk of serious symptoms and fatality are the elderly who usually have other pre-existing medical conditions, or comorbidity.

Another factor which appears to be very significant is Vitamin D deficiency. As I understand, Vitamin D has a very important role in keeping the immune system strong so one can fight off viruses and bacteria that cause illness, especially colds and flu, and also Covid-19 according to recent research.

"Results revealed that majority of the death cases were male and older and had pre-existing condition and below normal Vitamin D serum level. Univariate analysis revealed that older and male cases with pre-existing condition and below normal Vitamin D levels were associated with increasing odds of death. When controlling for age, sex, and comorbidity, Vitamin D status is strongly associated with COVID-19 mortality outcome of cases."
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3585561

"After studying global data from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, researchers have discovered a strong correlation between severe vitamin D deficiency and mortality rates."
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/05/200507121353.htm

According to the following ScientificAmerican article, a high percentage of US citizens are deficient in Vitamin D.

"Three-quarters of U.S. teens and adults are deficient in vitamin D, the so-called "sunshine vitamin" whose deficits are increasingly blamed for everything from cancer and heart disease to diabetes, according to new research."
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/vitamin-d-deficiency-united-states/
Of all the things I've read over the past 8 weeks, the Vitamin D association is one of the weakest.  There is at least one clinical trial going on using it but there are more trials with Vitamin C.  Of course zinc is also popular again.
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1041 on: May 09, 2020, 01:04:19 pm »

Of all the things I've read over the past 8 weeks, the Vitamin D association is one of the weakest.  There is at least one clinical trial going on using it but there are more trials with Vitamin C.  Of course zinc is also popular again.

What worries me more is that there are people who (after hearing about this not extensively peer-reviewed hypothesis) will introduce hypervitaminosis-D, by taking in excessive amounts of vitamin-D. After-all there are even stranger substances that some people administer after hearing it being suggested.

AFAIK, 15-minutes a day of sunshine will let the human body produce ample amounts of vitamin-D, and a healthy diet will provide the rest.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2020, 01:40:22 pm by Bart_van_der_Wolf »
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1042 on: May 09, 2020, 01:42:30 pm »

What worries me more is that there are people who (after hearing about this not extensively peer-reviewed hypothesis) will introduce hypervitaminosis-D, by taking in excessive amounts of vitamin-D. After-all there are even stranger substances that some people administer after hearing it being suggested.

AFAIK, 15-minutes a day of sunshine will let the human body produce ample amounts of vitamin-D, and a healthy diet will provide the rest.

One could also wonder if the Vitamin-D levels were low at contamination time, or after COVID-19 has fully developed?

This needs a lot of peer review.
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LesPalenik

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1043 on: May 09, 2020, 03:05:03 pm »

What worries me more is that there are people who (after hearing about this not extensively peer-reviewed hypothesis) will introduce hypervitaminosis-D, by taking in excessive amounts of vitamin-D. After-all there are even stranger substances that some people administer after hearing it being suggested.

AFAIK, 15-minutes a day of sunshine will let the human body produce ample amounts of vitamin-D, and a healthy diet will provide the rest.

Yes, high dosages of Vitamin D can be toxic. The recommended daily maximum is 4,000 units, but apparently you could take up to 10,000 initially to build it up in your body, and then reduce it 2,000-4,000 per day to maintain the required levels.

For older people, 15 minutes exposure to the sun may not be enough. Especially when living in northern countries.
I recall Slobodan saying last year, that he had to supplement his vitamin D with pills even when he lived in Florida.
 
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John Camp

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1044 on: May 09, 2020, 03:07:56 pm »

One could also wonder if the Vitamin-D levels were low at contamination time, or after COVID-19 has fully developed?

This needs a lot of peer review.

I don't know whether vitamin D would help or not, I just know that my doc said I should take some starting years ago, so I do. And frankly, this doesn't strike me as rocket science, needing any kind of review -- reasonable amounts of vitamin D supplements aren't going to hurt you, and may help you, and are cheap as dirt, so why not? A reputable brand, always.
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1045 on: May 09, 2020, 03:14:12 pm »

I don't know whether vitamin D would help or not, I just know that my doc said I should take some starting years ago, so I do. And frankly, this doesn't strike me as rocket science, needing any kind of review -- reasonable amounts of vitamin D supplements aren't going to hurt you, and may help you, and are cheap as dirt, so why not? A reputable brand, always.

I agree, and that should be part of a normal diet. Especially in wintertime we may need to supplement some, either by using reasonable amounts of supplements or a change in diet. With the upcoming potential shortage of some fresh produce, one should supplement where needed. More is not better. The right amount is right.
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1046 on: May 09, 2020, 05:09:32 pm »

JEREMY ALERT!!!   Take a look at my new picture - proof that I'm ready for COVID-19 at the next business meeting!!
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kers

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1047 on: May 09, 2020, 05:31:54 pm »

you look well preserved...
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Pieter Kers
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Ray

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1048 on: May 09, 2020, 10:59:05 pm »

Of all the things I've read over the past 8 weeks, the Vitamin D association is one of the weakest.  There is at least one clinical trial going on using it but there are more trials with Vitamin C.  Of course zinc is also popular again.

That's a bit puzzling, Alan. Would you also claim that the evidence for the role that Vitamin D plays in strengthening the immune system, is also weak?

It seems logical to me that any vitamin or mineral that strengthens the immune system will likely reduce the risk of serious consequences resulting from any infection, including Covid-19.

However, I admit that 'correlation' is not the same as 'cause', which has been an issue in Climate Change when proxy records have shown that rises in CO2 levels in the past have often followed rises in temperature.  ;)

There is also the issue that, whilst Vitamin D deficiency might increase the risk of infection from Covid-19, Vitamin D supplements administered after a person has contracted the virus might not be an effective cure.

Nevertheless,  the evidence seems to be strong that the elderly in a population have the greatest deficiency of Vitamin D.

From the 'National Center for Biotechnology Information':
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3356951/


"Older adults are at high risk of developing vitamin D insufficiency because of aging. Their skin cannot synthesize vitamin D as efficiently, they are likely to spend more time indoors, and they may have inadequate intakes of the vitamin."

Other significant points made in the article:

"The major source of vitamin D for children and adults is exposure to natural sunlight. Thus, the major cause of VDD (Vitamin D Deficiency) is inadequate exposure to sunlight. Wearing a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 reduces vitamin D synthesis in the skin by more than 95%."

"Obtaining sufficient vitamin D from natural food sources alone is difficult. Consumption of vitamin D-fortified foods and exposure to some sunlight are essential for maintaining a healthy vitamin D status. Dietary supplements might be required to meet the daily need for vitamin D in some group of people."

I believe there are also other benefits in getting one's Vitamin D from sun exposure rather than supplements. These include the production of Nitric Oxide, Serotonin, Endorphin, Brain Derived Meurotropic Factor (BDNF), and Dopamine.

I usually protect myself very well from the sun whenever I go out for a walk, because of the scare about the risk of skin cancer. I protect myself even more when I work in the garden, wearing a long-sleeve shirt, long pants, a hat, and gloves.

However, after reading about the benefits of Vitamin D from sun exposure, I've started taking off my shirt and exposing my upper body to the mid-day sun for about half an hour, on days when the sun shines. We're now approaching winter in Australia. During the next summer I might restrict my exposure to 15 minutes. Too much of anything is bad, by definition.

I'm amazed at the difference in my sense of well-being that has resulted. I usually sleep for 7 hours or more each night and have a snooze in the afternoon. After exposing myself to the mid-day sun on just a few occasions recently, I find I'm sleeping better, need no more than 6 hours sleep, do not need a snooze in the afternoon, have more energy, and generally feel better. I'm 77 by the way.


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Ray

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1049 on: May 09, 2020, 11:08:47 pm »

AFAIK, 15-minutes a day of sunshine will let the human body produce ample amounts of vitamin-D, and a healthy diet will provide the rest.

As long as you don't apply sun screen lotion, and as long as it's 15 minute when the sun is high in the sky, especially in northern latitudes, because it's UVB (a shorter wave length than UVA) which is required for the body to produce Vitamin D3, and UVB is more prevalent when the sun is higher.
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Alan Klein

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1050 on: May 10, 2020, 12:01:25 am »

This doesn't make sense to me. Why would US sponsor virus research in China, something close to military grade if I read between the lines correctly? I'm sure US does it, but not where the info is at the fingertips of the Chinese.
I could never understand why anyone especially America would get involved in creating weapons grade viruses.  It seems immoral.  Plus, it's like spitting into the wind.

Alan Klein

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1051 on: May 10, 2020, 12:14:05 am »

It's not just statistical sampling but going back and testing tissue samples from autopsies.  They did this in Santa Clara county and found the first death was in early February.  Autopsy sample testings are way at the back of the queue these days so we're not going to have a full counting for some time.  The other problem is we still have no clue about the rate of infection and one cannot do an appropriate case report fatality (CRF) without good numbers from either.  I'm still standing pretty firm in my estimate of 0.3 - 0.4%.  That is still higher than the regular flu and in line with major epidemic years.
A recent random study in NYC of 3000 people showed an infection rate of 20%.  Since there are roughly 8 1/2 million people in NYC, considering the almost 20000 people there who died, would give a death rate of (Correction .012).

Alan Klein

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1052 on: May 10, 2020, 12:15:29 am »

Correction .012

Alan Klein

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1053 on: May 10, 2020, 12:20:12 am »

Ray,

thank you for posting those links. As stated in the last article, Institute of Medicine recommends 200-600 International Units of vitamin D daily, but that is clearly insufficient. In Canada, the recommended dosage is 1,000 units, but even that is not enough. I upped it gradually from 1,000 to 3,000 units and that raised my D levels to the acceptable range.  Unfortunately, in Canada testing for vitamin D levels is not free (compared with vitamin B12, cholesterol, etc), and as a result, very few people are aware of their vitamin D deficiency, since they do not get regularly tested for it.

Vitamin D is associated also with significant reduction of cancer-related mortality, rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular diseases.
I showed low Vitamin D a couple of years ago so my doctor has me on 2000 unit a day.  Maybe I should take two pills and double up.  I'm not getting as much sun being cooped up at home.

Alan Klein

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1054 on: May 10, 2020, 12:23:28 am »

JEREMY ALERT!!!   Take a look at my new picture - proof that I'm ready for COVID-19 at the next business meeting!!
Yes Alan, You look very debonair. 

John Camp

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1055 on: May 10, 2020, 02:13:38 am »

One of the things that we sort of simplistically do when we're talking about death rates is to equate one country to another; that is, the US is a country, and so is Spain. The US is a country, and so is France. We all know that those are not equal parts of an equation, but we do it anyway.

I got curious about looking at numbers a different way, because the US is assumed to be suffering so badly compared to other areas. However, if you group several major members of the EU, along with the UK -- that is, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK -- we find these closely associated countries have a total population of about the same as the US, 330 million. They have, together, about 125,000 Covid-19 deaths, compared to about 80,000 in the US.

That's a lot of dead people altogether, and doesn't make me feel any happier to say this, but the US does not look quite so bad (or negligent) in comparison. You may or may not agree. 8-( 
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LesPalenik

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1056 on: May 10, 2020, 07:40:20 am »

One of the things that we sort of simplistically do when we're talking about death rates is to equate one country to another; that is, the US is a country, and so is Spain. The US is a country, and so is France. We all know that those are not equal parts of an equation, but we do it anyway.

I got curious about looking at numbers a different way, because the US is assumed to be suffering so badly compared to other areas. However, if you group several major members of the EU, along with the UK -- that is, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK -- we find these closely associated countries have a total population of about the same as the US, 330 million. They have, together, about 125,000 Covid-19 deaths, compared to about 80,000 in the US.

That's a lot of dead people altogether, and doesn't make me feel any happier to say this, but the US does not look quite so bad (or negligent) in comparison. You may or may not agree. 8-(

Coincidentally, people in Spain, Italy and Greece have lower vitamin D levels than the US and Canadian citizens. The highest average levels of vitamin D are found in northern Europe, due to the consumption of cod liver oil and vitamin D supplements, and possibly due to less sun avoidance. Scandinavian nations are among the countries with the lowest number of COVID-19 cases and mortality rates per head of population in Europe.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/05/200507131012.htm
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1057 on: May 10, 2020, 07:59:51 am »

A recent random study in NYC of 3000 people showed an infection rate of 20%.  Since there are roughly 8 1/2 million people in NYC, considering the almost 20000 people there who died, would give a death rate of (Correction .012).
That's exactly the point!!  If we knew that this was marginally worse than the seasonal flu, people would have more confidence that it is "safe" to go out.  We don't have this data and I blame the government for not doing this kind of large scale field epidemiology.  Now maybe you and I being over 70 would still be very conservative in what we do but lots of others might be relieved.  Regardless of one's political orientation this is a massive failing on the national level.
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1058 on: May 10, 2020, 08:35:27 am »

[...]
That's a lot of dead people altogether, and doesn't make me feel any happier to say this, but the US does not look quite so bad (or negligent) in comparison. You may or may not agree. 8-(

I do not think it is useful to compare absolute numbers, as long as countries are in different stages of the developing pandemic.

In my country, and in several others, the mortality numbers caused by COVID-19 are declining, and the number of new cases and subsequent hospitalizations are also declining. That's why our economies are slowly, but cautiously, opening up in a step by step fashion.

In addition to the vital occupations (medical, food stores, garbage collection, etc.), which have mostly been continuing business (with physical distancing measures in place), tomorrow we are e.g. opening up elementary schools, although with lots of restrictions like for parents who want to drop off their kids. Public transportation is going to ramp up as well, but with a fraction of the capacity per vehicle and with other restrictions.

Last week, our government presented a roadmap that outlines when other businesses will be allowed to open up again, provided that the infection rates do not grow too fast. So it's a cycle of opening up, waiting for 2-4 weeks, and then open up more or stop and lockdown again. The Reproduction number must stay below 1.0, which seems to be the metric, and testing and contact tracing will be increased and available for each and every citizen who develops symptoms. When tested positive, a 14-day quarantine will be imposed on the entire direct family of that person.

I do not think that the USA, in general, is at that point of declining infections yet (New York might be a possible exception). Some places have almost not been affected yet(!). So it seems too soon for opening up, although some sectors could, provided that there is ample testing and contact tracing capability at hand to 'force' people into quarantine in order to contain outbreaks and nip them in the bud.

And there will be outbreaks, all over the world.

Even in Germany, the reproduction rate, which was well below 1.0 (between 0.4 and 0.7), is growing again. I just received a news flash seconds ago, that the reproduction rate in Germany has already risen to 1.1 after they opened up some of their economic activities last week. We'll have to see how well they can turn that situation around, and how they will attempt to do that. We can all learn from each other.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2020, 08:43:00 am by Bart_van_der_Wolf »
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LesPalenik

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1059 on: May 10, 2020, 09:37:55 am »

Alcoholic beverage sales are everywhere on increase. Sadly, the increased drinking can make people more vulnerable to Covid-19.

Quote
“If the cells lining a person’s airway are damaged from alcohol, then viral particles, such as COVID-19, more easily gain access, causing immune cells, which fight off infection, to not work as well, leading to increased overall risks of more severe diseases as well as complications.”

Similarly, alcohol can trigger inflammation in the gut and destroy the microorganisms that live in the intestine and maintain immune system health. “Alcohol intake can kill normal healthy gut bacteria, which help to promote health and reduce risk of infection." When the body is unable to clear a pathogen, an infection can worsen and lead to more severe, life threatening complications.

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/can-alcohol-hurt-your-immune-system-during-covid-19-outbreak
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