In February 2020, I was feeling a little drowsy. As a person who takes an extremely keen interest in keeping healthy – I’ll illustrate why in a bit – I could not believe that the message that we do not get enough sunlight to make vitamin D, which we need to make calcium, over the winter half of the year in the UK had not reached me.
If the fact we are vitamin D deficient in the UK every winter has not reached a 49 year old with a computer and smart phone, who is health conscious and constantly researches about natural health, who does it reach? You? Did you know the UK was deficient in vitamin D every year?
Profit before Public Health
Pharmaceutical companies fund health research. They use selective trials to prove whatever they want to say. After 2005, the science press have shown, it became increasingly difficult to get funding to research new coronaviruses emerging from demand for wild game from wet markets in China, which had insufficient biosecurity.
Research on micronutrients has been skewed by pharmaceutical industry research and the results have ended up being unwittingly quoted and repeated by scientists who seem to have integrity. The question about whether a vitamin D3 supplement, taken with appropriate fatty acids for absorption, as part of a nutritious diet would protect someone against severe disease, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19 gets a spun response:
“In terms of Vitamin D there is no actual evidence to suggest that this helps prevent or cure Covid.” – Cherilyn Mackory MP for Falmouth and Truro. However, this has become the standard response to any questions about whether the UK had the most deaths from COVID-19: because we were deficient in Vitamin D. To me, this is lazy, biased towards industry interest and a result of pharmaceutical investment in research to protect their interests.
Spot the agenda
Micronutrients have been incorrectly tested in isolation, instead of together with other vitamins and minerals with the water and fat they need to be absorbed. Earlier in 2020, trials were set up to test vitamin D to protect people against COVID-19, but if these were funded by pharmaceuticals, they could have resulted in the uninformed, misunderstandings conveyed by my local MP. Vitamin D is not and has never been a treatment or cure. This article shows how pharmaceuticals used testing vitamins as cures to discredit them and smear them as “expensive piss”. Spot the hidden agenda:
This July the UK press, the BBC and CNN were full of the results of a new study conducted by Oxford University’s Clinical Trial Services Unit, led by Dr. Rory Collins, who conducted a five-year US$32 million survey known as the Heart Protection Study. The study was paid paid for by the pharmaceutical companies Merck and Roche, makers of two of the best selling cholesterol-lowering statin drugs on the market, Mevacor and Zocor.Big Pharma Says “Vitamins a Waste of Money” But the World doesn’t buy it……..Bali Advertiser.
Diet and nutrition are essential for healthy immunity. However, a group of micronutrients plays a dominant role in immunomodulation. The deficiency of most nutrients increases the individual susceptibility to virus infection with a tendency for severe clinical presentation. Despite a shred of evidence, the supplementation of a single nutrient is not promising in the general population. Individuals at high-risk for specific nutrient deficiencies likely benefit from supplementation. The individual dietary and nutritional status assessments are critical for determining the comprehensive actions in COVID-19.Micronutrients as Immunomodulatory Tools for COVID-19 Management.
What is the correct angle on this?
If we do not get enough sunlight to make vitamin D in the UK between October and March each year and are recommended to take a 10mcg (400 iu) D3 or D2 dietary supplement, that means, simply we are vitamin D deficient during the winter. Surely below optimal health makes us more vulnerable to disease? A supplement on its own doesn’t help everyone.
There are factors to this we must regard. In the UK, where the sunlight is too weak for us to make vitamin D in the winter or all year long for darker skin tones and those who do not go outside, taking a supplement for a fat soluble vitamin requires the supplement being absorbed with fat in the diet. That means omega 3, omega 6, DHA, EHA etc. In food terms that is: olives, avocado, nuts, seeds, fish, dairy and meat. Fat soluble vitamins A, E, D and K all require dietary fats for absorption.
There are two opposite angles on micronutrients. The correct one is prevention: Having a nutriitous diet, eating the nutrients you genetic type prefers from 4 types of fat, protein from 9 amino acids and 3 types of carbohydrate. We all need to know which are for us. A person with roots from near the equator living an outdoor life will metabolise sugar from fruit and dietary fat in a completely different way from people living in Scandinavia or the United Kingdom. However, the person with African ancestry living in London will need to find a way to supplement vitamin D for someone with a nut and fish allergy would be to take it with omega 3 or cod liver oil tablets to absorb the fat soluble vitamin.
We need more micronutrients as we get older
As children, we can absorb plenty of nutrition from most foods, but of course children would be healthier on real rather than “entertainment” foods. However, as we get older and women go through their menopause or losing blood each month, we need a nutrient rich diet. Ideally, for optimal health, it is best to aim to get all the essential vitamins from food and can add variety to the plate by ensuring we are getting essential minerals too.
Food cultures from around the world hint at assortment and variety as a great way to eat for optimal health. Think of meze, thali and tapas. Foods such as cucumber, courgette, olives, avocados, chickpeas, asparagus, artichoke and steamed greens provide vitamins and minerals and make a plate of food satisfying and tasty along with some fish, eggs, meat and cheese.
Therefore, in conclusion, a good nutritious diet would benefit us if we caught covid-19 as we would equip our immune systems with all the tools to fight the virus. Symptoms are our defences in action. We get symptoms when we eat food our bodies do not like. Pregnant women are the group most likely to listen to their bodies’ messages when it comes to what they consume. Think of cravings and nausea during pregnancy. Understanding pains, symptoms and cravings can benefit a pregnancy, as could a diet of optimised nutrition.
“This commentary explores the influence of industry funding and offers suggestions for overcoming some of the problems. First, it is difficult to obtain funding from some sources for research with limited commercial value. Second, lack of communication among researchers can impede scientific progress. Stopping research before meaningful results are available is another area of concern. Next, suppressed or delayed publication of data may bias the results of meta-analyses, resulting in incorrect risk-benefit profiles for drugs. Finally, commercially funded clinical research is more likely to yield positive results than when funding comes from other sources. Possible solutions are explored.”Implications of pharmaceutical industry funding on clinical research by Ann Pharmacother. 2005 Jan;39(1):194-7. doi: 10.1345/aph.1E224. Epub 2004 Nov 23.
Funding for Coronavirus Research from 2005
Strangely, in 2016, there was no interest in funding trials and research for a vaccine against SARS-COV-1. There have also been reports that funding was very hard to find to research the potential threat from coronaviruses from 2005. This Health Affairs article from 2005 reveals that pharmaceutical companies were moving away from vaccines due to the costs of producing them and the much lower take up compared to other drugs. Are these things related?
The New Scientists quotes a researcher on funding after 2005:
After 2003, there was a burst of research, but it was short-lived. “From 2005, it became really difficult to get funding for work on SARS coronavirus,” says Rolf Hilgenfeld at the University of Lübeck, Germany.
This was partly because, when SARS disappeared, there was no obvious market waiting for drugs or vaccines to treat it, says David Heymann at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Only big drug companies have the money and expertise to get drugs or vaccines through human trials, and without a market they can’t invest. But Hilgenfeld says agencies that fund research also lost interest, because “prominent virologists believed that SARS coronavirus was a one-time only thing”.
We Were Warned – So Why Couldn’t We Prevent the Latest Coronavirus Outbreak by Debora Mackenzie
We heard this at the very beginning of 2020. This has been widely reported in the medical and science press. See this article from October 2007.
“The findings that horseshoe bats are the natural reservoir for SARS-CoV-like virus and that civets are the amplification host highlight the importance of wildlife and biosecurity in farms and wet markets, which can serve as the source and amplification centers for emerging infections.”Vincent C. C. Cheng, Susanna K. P. Lau, Patrick C. Y. Woo, and Kwok Yung Yuen* Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus as an Agent of Emerging and Reemerging Infection
“The rapid economic growth in southern China has led to an increasing demand for animal proteins including those from exotic game food animals such as civets. Large numbers and varieties of these wild game mammals in overcrowded cages and the lack of biosecurity measures in wet markets allowed the jumping of this novel virus from animals to human.”Vincent C. C. Cheng, Susanna K. P. Lau, Patrick C. Y. Woo, and Kwok Yung Yuen* Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus as an Agent of Emerging and Reemerging Infection
The same article cited above also reveals that:
“The small reemergence of SARS in late 2003 after the resumption of the wildlife market in southern China and the recent discovery of a very similar virus in horseshoe bats, bat SARS-CoV, suggested that SARS can return if conditions are fit for the introduction, mutation, amplification, and transmission of this dangerous virus”Cheng, V. C., Lau, S. K., Woo, P. C., & Yuen, K. Y. (2007). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus as an agent of emerging and reemerging infection. Clinical microbiology reviews, 20(4), 660–694.
Perhaps the following article, updated in February 2021, reveals something with hindsight: The importance of providing factual information through the press to the public and transparency would have reduced the amount of division and social breakdown we have experienced in the UK. Intelligent people have been left clutching at straws and filling gaps in information with speculation, which has earned them unfair labels such as “Conspiracy theorist”, “Anti-vaxxer”, “COVIDIOT” and “Anti-masker” just for questioning the official narrative. Alongside censorship, this shaming and gas-lighting by a all-fines-toting, lazy, industry-pleasing, hypocritical government has led to widespread cognitive dissonance.
The evidence hints towards many things, which have been obscured by Google and, the press and social media, which is already under scrutiny for the Brexit and Donald Trump votes. Perhaps the Salisbury Poisonings, blamed on Russia, were all part of our stupid politicians colluding with Vladimir Putin for their own nest feathering, instead of protecting us against the relabelling of facts and information as “fake news”, causing a verbal civil war level social division.
“Health care facilities were affected greatly and played a large role in amplifying transmission. Health care workers accounted for 21% of cases. By July of 2003, no new cases were reported worldwide, leading the WHO to lift a travel advisory it had placed and to declare the end of the pandemic. Since the middle of 2004, no cases of SARS have been reported. Of note, there was a brief reemergence of the virus at the end of 2003 into the beginning of 2004 from accidental lab exposure.”Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, 6 Feb 2021. Alexander Hodgens; Vikas Gupta.
The conclusion to all of this is to find out what you can and take care of yourself. If someone tries to get you to do something you are not happy with then dig around and find out what you can and keep asking questions.