A suggestive set of numbers was published online in April by a medical scientist in the Philippines, Dr Mark Alipio. Of 49 patients with mild symptoms of Covid-19 in three hospitals in southern Asian countries, only two had low levels of vitamin D; of 104 patients with critical or severe symptoms, only four did not have low levels of vitamin D. The more severe the symptoms, the more likely a patient was to be not just low but deficient in the vitamin. Could vitamin D deficiency make the difference between getting very ill or not?Living in a northern clime is one reason why I take Vitamin D supplements starting in late fall and through mid to late spring. I’m outdoors enough the rest of the time that I am not concerned with a Vitamin D deficiency.
There has long been evidence that a sufficiency of vitamin D protects against viruses, especially respiratory ones, including the common cold. Vitamin D increases the production of antiviral proteins and decreases cytokines, the immune molecules that can cause a “storm” of dangerous inflammation. It has long been suspected that most people’s low vitamin D levels in late winter partly explain the seasonal peaking of flu epidemics, and rising vitamin D levels in spring partly explain their sudden ending. Vitamin D is made by ultraviolet light falling on the skin, so many people in northern climates have a deficiency by the end of winter. Eating fish and eggs helps, but it is hard to get enough of it in the diet.
It has also been suggested that those who received MMR vaccinations are also less susceptible to Covid-19. Considering the number of people tested for coronavirus antibodies appears to be up to 85 times higher than the number of people testing positive for Covid-19, one has to wonder about the actual fatality rate of coronavirus. (The “85 times” number comes from a study the San Francisco Bay area.)
If the ratio of positive cases versus those with antibodies holds true, it signals to me two things:
First, the coronavirus has been in the US a lot longer than most have thought.
Second, Covid-19 didn’t really become prevalent until winter when people’s Vitamin D levels fell due to a lack of exposure to sunlight.
To quote Dennis Miller, “It’s just my opinion. I might be wrong.” But somehow I think there’s a strong link between the factors I’ve mentions above.