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Sebastian Rushworth MD: 'COVID-19: a New Look at Vitamin D'

re: Sebastian Rushworth MD
re: Vitamin D

Real science is never settled, and anyone who has certainty on such things is not qualified to discuss it.

Because most scientific studies are false, what you want to look for is a viewpoint that takes that into account, and considers competing findings and their relative strengths and weaknesses. As well as a viewpoint that understands that correlation is not causation. As well as admitting when data is weak, or conflicting. Which is what Dr Rushworth regularly does.

You should never accept information about medical studies from the propaganda machinery known as “news”. Because they select the study or talking head that best suits their preferred narrative and ignore all else.

Sebastian Rushworth MD: 'COVID-19: a New Look at Vitamin D

2021-12-03. Emphasis added.

...when I last wrote about Vitamin D, in January, it was still unclear whether it had any role in the treatment of COVID-19 or not. Well, has anything changed since then?

Although the randomized trials of Vitamin D have been few and far between, there has been a massive amount of observational data produced. In recent months, two meta-analyses of cohort studies have been published that look at the relationship between vitamin D levels and death, one in the journal Nutrients, and another in the Nutrition Journal.... the two meta-analyses reach the exact opposite conclusions, with one claiming that if we can just get everyone up to 50 ng/ml of vitamin D in the blood stream, then we can literally prevent all COVID deaths, while the other says that there is no correlation whatsoever between vitamin D levels and covid mortality.  How is this possible?

...the two meta-analyses vary in terms of which particular studies they include... Only two of the seven studies in the Nutrients meta-analysis are included in the Nutrition Journal meta-analysis, and only two of the eleven studies in the Nutrition Journal meta-analysis are included in the Nutrients meta-analysis. No wonder they’re able to reach such divergent results!

This really showcases how easy it is to manipulate meta-analyses so that they show what you want them to show, just by choosing the date on which you extract data and by choosing which specific search terms to use. It’s easy to keep modifying search terms slightly until you get a list that includes the studies you want in, and excludes the studies you want out. Which is why we should always be skeptical of meta-analyses, just as we are with other types of studies.

...So we have one meta-analysis which shows a large benefit, and one which shows a trend towards benefit... Correlation is not causation, and even if a correlation is seen between Vitamin D and death from COVID in observational studies, that doesn’t mean it’s the Vitamin D that’s preventing the deaths.

...Since then, three new randomized trials have been published,... all three were small, with the largest of the three only including 87 patients. Additionally, all three gave regular inactivated vitamin D, not the part-activated form that was found to have an effect in the earlier Spanish study... the new studies don’t add anything on top of the store of knowledge that we already had in January.

So, we’re actually more or less in the same situation that we were in regarding vitamin D back in January. The observational data suggests that there is a benefit to supplementing with regular vitamin D for prophylaxis, which is in line with a systematic review that was published in the British Medical Journal in the pre-covid era, which found that people with low vitamin D levels who supplement daily with vitamin D reduce the frequency of respiratory infections by half. And the limited randomized trial data that exists suggests that the part-activated 25-hydroxyvitamin D formulation can reduce the risk of bad outcomes if given on admission to hospital. But the evidence is still too weak to draw any firm conclusions.

It’s quite shocking that more data isn’t available to answer this question conclusively at this late stage in the pandemic. I do personally think though, based on the evidence that is available, that it makes sense to take a daily vitamin D supplement. 4,000 IU (100 mcg) is a reasonable dose. It’s safe, it’s cheap, it might well help, and it can’t hurt.

WIND: Vitamin D is a no-brainer. You don’t need a study to know that it won’t hurt, and is likely to help, if only to create a stronger immune system overall, COVID or otherwise. But make sure you are not magnesium deficient, because magnesium is required for Vitamin D to be activated, as well as to prevent excess calcium from going where it should not.

As I understand it, the stuff you want via IV infusion at the onset of symptoms is “activated” Vitamin D, specifically 1,25-dihydroxy Vitamin D3. Sadly, and perhaps causing thousands of deaths, Big Pharma and government have studiously avoided doing trials of it. Because it cannot be patented, and therefore it’s not profitable and therefore it is de facto worthless to the moneyed interests. Who the hell cares if thousands are dying who could be saved, if there is not a blockbuster profit to be had? It might work, it might not work, but when there is a strong correlation that no one cares to study properly, the only rational viewpoint is that it’s all about money, not science or health.

Are most scientists intellectual crooks? Which is to say, not scientists at all? These days, science is all about grants (money), and availability of that money means social approbation. As it is inconceivable that scientists are unaffected when their income and status and career are concerned, it follows that systemic viewpoint bias is baked into the system. Follow the money will rarely if ever lead you astray, whether the effects are consciously appreciated or not. Real science that follows the topics and outcomes leads to unwanted intellectual stepchildren. This is why real science is on its deathbed in far too many fields. Science is not about someone in a lab working for years on their own, and has not been so for many generations.

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