A Northern Rivers doctor thinks it’s unfortunate that simple measures for preventing and limiting COVID-19 are not better publicised, as the downside is insignificant compared with potential benefit.
Currently practising as an opthalmologist, Dr John Langford-Smith studied biochemistry and medicine at Sydney University, and worked as an immunochemist at RPA Sydney.
‘The association between vitamin D levels and COVID-19 infection rates and severity has been known since February and should have been promoted and further investigated much earlier,’ said Dr Langford-Smith.
‘Instead, many authorities and government officials have mocked the use of vitamin D despite negligible downside.
‘While criticising the lack of large, randomised studies, officials from agencies including the WHO, the CDC, the NIH, and the Oxford Centre in the UK have acted as gate-keeps, failing to embark on such trials while simultaneously criticising the lack of definitive evidence.’
Dr Langford-Smith says it’s unfortunate that investigation of cheap modalities such as vitamin D has been left to small laboratories and groups with much tighter budgets who can’t undertake large studies.
‘Despite these obstructions, there is now very strong evidence that vitamin D supplementation prospectively reduces risk of catching COVID-19 by more than 40% and highest level evidence that vitamin D, when used in conjunction with optimal baseline therapy, profoundly reduces the requirement for ICU admission and death rates in confirmed COVID-19 patients,’ he said.
‘While vitamin D and vaccines may subserve complementary roles, vitamin D rapidly confers resistance for a matter of cents that is only aspired to by untested vaccines but without downstream risk of antibody dependent enhancement.’
Dr Langford-Smith said ‘an observational population study estimated that low vitamin D levels increase the risk of contracting the virus by 45% and almost doubled the risk of hospitalisation.
‘Another large, prospective population study in Israel demonstrated a profound link between baseline vitamin D level and the subsequent incidence of COVID-19,’ he said. ‘There was a strong protective effect of oral supplementation in the preceding 4 months and those with blood levels above 75 nmol/L.’
Dr Langford-Smith says there are dozens of studies illustrating similar results.
‘A prospective, randomised, double-blind, controlled study in Spain assessed the effects of high dose vitamin D supplementation on confirmed COVID-19 cases receiving optimal care including hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin,’ he said.
‘While the numbers were small in what was described as a “pilot” prospective investigation, the study achieved exceptional confidence rarely achieved by any medical study.
‘Calcifediol, the type of vitamin D used, is readily bioavailable and highly suitable for immediate treatment of patients with existing disease. Astoundingly, there was a 25 fold decrease in the need for ICU admission in the group receiving high dose vitamin D (2% vs 50%) and zero fatalities,’ noted Dr Langford-Smith.
‘If the fall in the need for ICU was 25 fold, the expected fall in death rates would be at least as significant. The study also claimed a reduction in disease sequelae.’
Remdesivir compared to Vitamin D
Dr Langford-Smith said ‘it is of note that Dr Anthony Fauci previously described Remdesivir as the “standard of care” despite two large double blind studies at the time demonstrating no improvement in death rates in treating COVID-19.
‘Yet vitamin D, with a 25 fold reduction in the need for ICU (and presumably commensurate reduction in death rates) has been greeted with virtual silence. Why the difference?’ he wonders.
‘There is also remarkable silence from someone who appears to believe in the merits of vitamin D. I personally take 2000 IU per day but note that the dose should be individualised, especially in the absence of sun exposure and the obese where replenishment of deficiency will take longer’ said Dr Langford-Smith.
‘I do not advocate any dose but suggest consulting your GP and checking blood levels for yourself. Significantly higher levels of vitamin D can be obtained by moderate sun exposure which may confer additional benefits.
‘Around 42% of all Americans, 82% of all black Americans and 69% of Americans of Hispanic origin are considered vitamin D deficient with lower levels of vitamin D associated with darker skin pigmentation.’
Dr Langford-Smith suggests that it’s highly likely that the outbreak of the virus in Victoria could have been avoided or rapidly mitigated by a combination of vitamin D, consistent mask wearing from the outset and rigid enforcement of quarantine.
‘Publicising vitamin D and other supplements and the role of sleep and lifestyle is basic preventative health policy. Now that there is highest level evidence demonstrating the efficacy of vitamin D, it is indefensible for any relevant agency to fail to recommend its use,’ he said.
‘Again, while it has always been clear that masks reduce risk of infection, there is growing evidence that masks also reduce disease severity in the event of infection though reduced inoculum size.
‘It is deeply concerning that the WHO, the CDC, the NIH, Dr Fauci and even Australia’s CMO at the time, all previously downplayed masks. However, the evidence supporting masks has not changed and remains as strong as ever.’
Dr Langford-Smith said, ‘Quercetin is a natural zinc ionophore that may be of benefit in conjunction with zinc supplements. The merits of zinc ionophores, as well as treatments including ivermectin that reduce internalisation of the virus into the nucleus via the importin transport system is highlighted by the bradykinin storm model of the disease.
‘Like vitamin D, zinc ionophores have also been actively downplayed by authorities in favour of expensive alternatives. It is of note that several small studies on treatment of patients with ivermectin, zinc and doxycycline have consistently reported zero fatalities.
‘Ivermectin is both extraordinarily safe and cheap, and it is remiss not to include both calcifediol and ivermectin in current management of the disease (e.g. MATH plus protocol) as the downside is negligible,’ said Dr Langford-Smith.
He said, ‘The role of ivermectin should be further assessed by the large health agencies regardless of its cheap price.
‘Other than age, risk factors associated with a poor outcome from COVID-19 include diabetes, hypertension, obesity and cardiovascular disease. All four factors have insulin resistance as a significant cause. As many as 50% of all Australians and 65% of Americans have detectable insulin resistance,’ he said.
Dr John Langford Smith’s studies into these and other factors are continuing.