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Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, March 16, 2023

Millions of Avoidable Deaths from COVID-19

by Max Langen

OMNS (March 16, 2023) In the recent pandemic, a common reason many people died is the failure to use widely available, highly effective, safe, and inexpensive treatments that have proven to drastically reduce morbidity and mortality from this disease. Over the last several centuries and especially within the last decades, we have gained a huge amount of medical knowledge about biochemistry and nutrition -- and how important this is for maintaining a strong, resilient body and immune system. For example, cardiologist Dr. Thomas Levy wrote entire books that describe how extremely high dose vitamin C can treat or cure a wide spectrum of infectious diseases. [1] He cites more than 1,000 studies and reports from doctors and scientists who published lifesaving results from the use of nutrition supplements.

Too many people know nothing about these results. The problem is that those in the medical establishment who have the most power have interests other than health and welfare. They are interested in money and profits. Additional problems that may be responsible for the fact that millions of people have died unnecessarily from the pandemic include: ideologies, ignorance, a desire of control, unknowingness due to failure or unwillingness to consult other medical experts such as orthomolecular practitioners.

During the COVID-19-pandemic, those patients who got very sick from the viral illness and were thus hospitalized on average had a 13% (95% confidence interval: 9 to 17%) fatality rate. [2] However, a valuable successful early treatment protocol with synergistic combinations of cheap repurposed drugs and vitamins like the one from Dr. Fareed and Dr. Tyson (from California) proved to be safe in keeping almost all patients from being hospitalized. [3] Yet their protocol has been ignored, even though a study had confirmed that the thousands of patients who were treated early by those doctors had a 99.8% lower risk of death from COVID-19 than a control group comprising other patients from the same county. [3] They were ignored even after they informed the governments and health agencies about their excellent success rate. In addition to early treatment, they have also developed late treatment protocols. Those protocols have drastically reduced the risk of death of patients who were hospitalized (due to the failure to administer early treatment).

For example, in a blind random-controlled trial (RCT) that included 80 hospitalized COVID-patients, those who received, in addition to the standard treatment, a protocol consisting of vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, selenium, magnesium, omega-3, l-arginine, l-glutamine, resveratrol, spirulina maxima, vegetable protein, folic acid, an intramuscular B-complex including: B1, B6 and B12 and probiotics (Saccharomyces boulardii) had a 57% lower risk of requiring mechanical ventilation and a 86% lower risk of death, compared with the patients who only received the standard treatment. [4] The control group had a mortality rate of 17.5%, consistent with the global C-19 hospital fatality rate, while the intervention group that received micronutrients, polyphenols, algae and probiotics had a mortality rate of only 2.5%.

Very likely, if the doses of vitamin C and vitamin D had been higher (and had vitamin D been given as calcifediol [5]), the mortality rate might have been even lower. Interestingly, a follow-up of all patients who survived found that those in the intervention group also had a 37% lower risk of Post-COVID-Syndrome than those who did not receive the nutritional support system. [4] Dozens of additional studies have also confirmed the high efficacy of many of these treatments (in isolated form) against COVID-19. [6-13]

One might imagine, after publication of studies showing a substantial drop in mortality from a nutritional support protocol, that a high dose combination of all these immune-relevant treatments would have been added to the standard of care in all countries, as early in their disease course as possible. Unfortunately, this was not widely done and people continued to die.

It was already clear from previous clinical studies with other infections, sepsis and other critical illnesses that these treatments are effective, have antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, cardioprotective effects, support the immune system, reduce the risk of infections and infectious complications, accelerate recovery and reduce mortality. Therefore, one might also imagine that COVID-19-patients would receive treatment with such synergistic protocols.

Examples of studies, most prior to 2020, showing the benefits of essential nutrients and other natural products in treatment of viral disease, pneumonia, and sepsis:

  • Zinc: Meta-analyses of RCTs had shown that zinc supplementation accelerates the recovery of respiratory infections and reduces the risk of dying from severe pneumonia by 57%. [14,15]
  • Vitamin D: A meta-analysis of RCTs had shown that daily or weekly vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of respiratory infections, proving that it has direct or indirect antiviral/antibacterial effects and may thus also be effective for (early) treatment of infections. [16] Supplementation with vitamin D was shown in a placebo-controlled RCT to reduce the risk of dying from ventilator-associated pneumonia by 58%. [17] Also, vitamin D supplementation reduces the mortality rate of critically ill patients, as has been shown in a meta-analysis of seven RCTs and was later confirmed in a larger meta-analysis of sixteen RCTs, with parenteral administration showing higher efficacy than enteral. [18,19]
  • Vitamin C: Meta-analyses of RCTs showed that vitamin C treatment reduces the length of stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) and the mortality rate of sepsis patients. [20,21] Many previous studies had shown that vitamin C (in higher than typical doses) shortens the duration of colds, helps overcome pneumonia, and reduces the mortality rate of tetanus patients. [22] The book Curing the Incurable from Dr. Levy summarizes more than 1,000 studies, showing how high dose vitamin C has been used successfully to cure many more infectious diseases and save patients' lives. [1]
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: A meta-analysis of RCTs showed that omega-3 supplementation reduces the length of stay in the ICU and the duration of mechanical ventilation among septic patients. A clear trend towards reduced mortality was visible as well. [23] Another meta-analysis confirmed that omega-3 reduces the risk of death of patients with sepsis. [24] In addition to that, several RCTs had already shown that supplementation of omega-3 among hospitalized patients significantly reduces the risk of infections. [18] A meta-analysis of all these RCTs confirmed that omega-3 reduces the risk of hospital infections by 40%. [25]

    Also, some RCTs had already shown that treatment with omega-3 fatty acid supplements in the hospital setting significantly reduces the risk of developing sepsis, while several additional RCTs showed a reduced risk of developing sepsis. A meta-analysis that included all these studies showed that omega-3 reduces the risk of developing sepsis by 56%. [18] Further, a meta-analysis of RCTs showed that treatment with omega-3 also strongly improves the clinical outcomes of patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), including a lower ICU length of stay and shorter mechanical ventilation. [26]
  • Spirulina: A interesting study showed that supplementation of the microalgae spirulina leads to a remarkable reduction of the viral load of HIV patients, improved immune health, and stopped infections like malaria. [27] Other studies confirmed that this algae has strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and non-specific antiviral effects. [28-30]
  • L-Arginine: A meta-analysis of RCTs showed that supplementation of L-Arginine reduces the risk of infectious complications by 60%. [31]
  • L-Glutamine: Meta-analyses of RCTs showed that treatment of critically ill patients with l-glutamine reduces the risk of infectious complications. [32,33] Interestingly, parenteral (IV) administration of l-glutamine was significantly effective, while enteral (stomach tube) administration only non-significantly reduced infectious complications. [32,34] Parenteral administration also reduced hospital mortality of critically ill patients. As a subgroup analysis of different dosages (unfortunately without distinguishing between parenteral or enteral) suggested, overall a dose between 300-500 mg per kg per day might be best. Higher doses (>0.5g per kg) might have negative effects. [33]
  • Magnesium: Low magnesium levels promote inflammation, oxidative stress, coagulation, endothelial dysfunction, suppresses the immune system, and promotes the development of hypertension and diabetes. [35] Also, magnesium is required for the activation of vitamin D. Supplementation of magnesium improves endothelial function [35] and reduces the inflammatory biochemical C-reactive protein (CRP) among patients with elevated CRP, suggesting that it helps overcome chronic low-grade inflammation, one of the most important risk factors for severe COVID-outcomes. [36] Adequate magnesium levels can help to prevent high pressure [37], and can lower blood sugar and improve insulin-sensitivity in diabetics. [38]

    Other RCTs have shown that magnesium treatment may reduce coagulation and the risk of developing thrombosis. [39,40] In addition, magnesium is a very strong bronchodilator that helps to prevent dyspnea (shortness of breath, i.e. asthma). Chronic obstructive lung disease or asthma can be treated effectively with nebulized magnesium (spray), which improved the lung function and oxygen saturation and reduced the risk of hospitalization. [41,43] Given its mechanisms of action, magnesium is an important antidote to the COVID-19 disease. And given the fact that 90% of people in the US may have a magnesium deficiency, [35] this may have contributed to many deaths.
  • Probiotics: Meta-analysis of RCTs has shown that supplementation of probiotics reduces the risk of developing pneumonia (among hospitalized patients) and upper respiratory infections. [43-45] Many different probiotic strains are available and in order to prevent or treat infections, specific effective strains or combinations of strains should be used. For the treatment of COVID-19, several different probiotic combinations have proven to be successful. [46] For example, a combination of Streptococcus thermophilus, L.acidophilus, L. helveticus, L. paracasei, L. plantarum, L. brevis, B. lactis, B. lactis has shown to be highly effective in studies, showing a 89% lower risk of respiratory failure with this probiotic treatment. [47]
  • Resveratrol: Even though pre COVID-19, with regard to infections, only preclinical studies had been available for resveratrol, these studies showed very strong anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects. Based on these studies, it is likely effective against various infections including influenza, Epstein-Barr, herpes simplex, HIV, virulent pseudorabies, human metapneumovirus virus or enterovirus or poxviruses. [48-50] Also resveratrol has shown to inhibit infections with middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-Cov) infection. [51]
  • Selenium: The fundamental role of selenium has also been known for a long time, because the immune system depends on it. It has antioxidant, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects and promotes the production of antibodies. It supports the function of immune cells like natural killer cells. A deficiency of selenium exacerbates virulence and increases the risk of severe outcomes in case of viral infections, including a more serious lung pathology. [52] Selenium has shown to be effective against many different viral diseases, including HIV, influenza, hantavirus, and coxsackie virus. [53] Supplementation of selenium + zinc can reduce infections in older people who live in geriatric centers. [54]

A synergistic protocol like this could have been administered to all or most hospitalized patients (or better: to all outpatients, to prevent hospitalization) worldwide, since the beginning of the pandemic. Such a multi-micronutrient + plant extracts + algae + probiotic approach should have been part of the standard of care because it was known that the immune system can be supported by these measures. Given the knowledge provided by studies of supplementation of essential nutrients, isn't this obvious?

As of February 2023, globally, more than 7 million COVID-deaths had been reported. [55] How many millions of them would have survived, had a logical scientific approach, based on supplementation to empower the immune defense, been implemented worldwide from the outset?

Many authors, journalists, researchers, doctors and therapists, despite severe censorship, tried everything to reach the public and inform as many people as possible about effective treatments and about how to improve the immune system. Thanks to the work of all the platforms where this knowledge has been shared, many people were informed and lives saved. But many more still need to be reached. They also have the right to learn about these treatments, about how to improve and maintain (immune) health in reasonable, holistic ways, to be fit for future threats like infectious diseases. Given what we've learned from the study of essential nutrients empowering the immune system, we can do better.

Our health does not depend on the severely corrupted medical system that is focused on making huge profits from sick or frightened people rather than establishing and protecting health. The fact that the number of informed people is growing encourages me to be cautiously optimistic about the future of mankind.

(Max Langen has found that his own health problems were greatly alleviated by orthomolecular medicine. He is currently working on a book about it, and has plans to qualify as a therapist.)


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40. Shechter M, Merz CN, Paul-Labrador M, Meisel SR, et al. (1999) Oral magnesium supplementation inhibits platelet-dependent thrombosis in patients with coronary artery disease. Am J Cardiol. 84:152-156.

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49. Zhao X, Tong W, Song X, et al. (2018) Antiviral Effect of Resveratrol in Piglets Infected with Virulent Pseudorabies Virus. Viruses. 10:457.

50. Cao S, Realegeno S, Pant A, et al. (2017) Suppression of Poxvirus Replication by Resveratrol. Front Microbiol. 8:2196.

51. Lin SC, Ho CT, Chuo WH, et al. (2017) Effective inhibition of MERS-CoV infection by resveratrol. BMC Infect Dis. 17:144.

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53. Martinez SS, Huang Y, Acuna L, et al. (2021) Role of Selenium in Viral Infections with a Major Focus on SARS-CoV-2. Int J Mol Sci. 23:280.

54. Girodon F, Lombard M, Galan P, et al. (1997) Effect of micronutrient supplementation on infection in institutionalized elderly subjects: a controlled trial. Ann Nutr Metab. 41:98-107.

55. IHME COVID-19 Projections (2023) 7,727,905 reported COVID-19 deaths.

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