COVID-19 deaths can be stopped with vitamin D3 - but we must act
potentally deadly sepsis - including Acute Respiratory Distress
Syndrome (ARDS) - which COVID-19 causes in some people can be
prevented by ensuring everyone has adequate vitamin D3, such as by
taking 5000IU a day.
6th April: I am
working on some updates. Please check back around 8 April for an
improved version. Please also note the following article:
It is recommended that people at risk of influenza and/or COVID-19 consider taking 10,000 IU/d of vitamin D3
for a few weeks to rapidly raise 25(OH)D concentrations, followed by
5000 IU/d. The goal should be to raise 25(OH)D concentrations above
40–60 ng/mL (100–150 nmol/L).
This is an introduction to the material in the aminotheory.com/cv19/
page and others which branch from it. I am an electronic technician and computer programmer with no medical training. What counts here is the research articles I link to, including:
This and other research convinces me that:
- In 2015 research thorax.bmj.com/content/70/7/617 , the only people who got ARDS were those with very low vitamin D3.
- The title of this 2014 study de Haan et al. 2014 is self explanatory: Vitamin
D deficiency as a risk factor for infection, sepsis and mortality in
the critically ill: systematic review and meta-analysis
Several doctors recommend that all adults take 5000IU vitamin D3 a
day. Professor Paul Marik MD, intravenous vitamin C pioneer from
- Sepsis - including ARDS - is the only reason people are
seriously harmed or killed by COVID-19 or influenza.
- While it is possible that some people dying from
COVID-19-induced sepsis made the infection much worse by
lowering their fever with antipyretic
drugs (see #fever below), none of these people would need breathing support or be
at risk of dying if they had good vitamin D levels.
- If every adult took 5000IU vitamin D3 a day (perhaps some
children need supplements too), no-one would be dying from
Robin Whittle firstname.lastname@example.org . 2020-04-02 Last
update 2020-04-03 14:30 AEDT
(WP) is a link to a relevant Wikipedia page.
Beyond the current plan of hunkering down and fearing the worst -
as if we can do nothing more than slow the progression of the disease
We should do all we can to flatten
the curve of COVID-19 infections, build hospital capacity and use
antiviral drugs. However, if this is all we do the
outcome will still be disastrous: some mix of terrible suffering,
disability and death AND massive economic and social
We could handle most people getting the virus in the next few months - and so get back to business and living - if
we could eliminate the most serious symptoms and most or all of the
deaths. First the background to how we can do it.
Then The Plan!
Vitamin D and sepsis
All the serious consequences of COVID-19 arise from the immune system,
of some people, being triggered by the virus into a state of sepsis
This is a disregulated, haywire, overly-aggressive, pro-inflammatory
attack on the body's cells - not just those infected by the virus.
)refers to an excessive level of pro-inflammatory compounds which drive
this destructive inflammation and attacks on the body's healthy cells.
Interleukin 6 (WP
), Tumor Necrosis Factor (WP
and some other interleukins are
the primary horsemen of this apocalypse. All this is complex and
subject to ongoing research. For instance IL-6 can be
anti-inflammatory if produced in muscles without TNF.
From an article from Wuhan (see the main page ../
for all the details) we see patients with stable IL-6 levels survived, but if IL-6 kept rising, the patients eventually died.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a particularly strong trigger for sepsis, since
it reduces the number of ACE2 enzymes, which disturbs the
renin-angiotensin system which controls blood pressure and local
functions of many organs. Still, the sepsis itself is the
At first it fills the lungs with fluid. If the
sepsis continues, this leads to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
). Without medical care, the person dies. With acute
medical care and a ventilator, the patient will die within hours or
days unless the sepsis is stopped, since it damages the heart, liver
and/or kidneys - and ventilators mechanically damage the weakened
lungs. Ventilated patients who survive will probably have lasting
2015 research thorax.bmj.com/content/70/7/617
shows that patients with ARDS
, triggered by various types of infection
and illness, had one striking thing in common: they all had very low
levels of vitamin D: 8ng/ml or less.
Such low levels are
common, especially among the elderly. Any adult who gets little
sun, has no vitamin D3 supplements, and eats little oily fish, is
especially at risk. Dark skinned people who rarely get direct sunlight
are especially at risk. There's not enough sun in winter
anyway. In Scotland, for instance, 33% of the population have
less than 10ng/ml and 12% less than 6ng/ml. www.bmj.com/content/368/bmj.m810/rr-9
This makes them very high risk for ARDS and other forms of sepsis if and when they get COVID-19.
5,000IU of vitamin D3 a day will raise an average weight person's blood
level to 50ng/ml, which means their chance of suffering from numerous
chronic and acute diseases is greatly reduced. This sounds like a
lot, but it is 1/8000 of a gram. At this rate, 4.5 grams would
last 100 years.
A 2016 trial www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214623716300084
give us some idea of how important low vitamin D levels are to people
getting sick enough to go to hospital, and to how quickly they
ICU patients who were given 100,000IU a day for five days got out of
hospital, on average, after 18
days, while patients with similar initial
conditions who had none got out, on average, 36
Another group of patients took 50,000IU a day for five days, and got
out of hospital, on average, after 25
days. Vitamin D3 takes a few
days or weeks to be converted by the liver into its active form, and it
makes sense to start with an initial high dose like this if a deficiency must be corrected urgently.
This 500,000IU dose may seem scarily large, but it is 12.5
milligrams. A kilogram of USP grade cholecalciferol (vitamin D3)
costs USD$2,500 from factories in China. It is also made in
India. Cholesterol, I think from wool fat, is exposed to UVB
light and the resulting mixture is refining it to extract the D3. 1kg
would provide 500,000IU for 80,000 people.
The Vitamin D3 Plan
This plan is for Western countries, but
in principle it could apply to any country. I present it as if it
is coordinated by government authorities, but it could also be an
ad-hoc development. There's a special place in HELL for hoarders
and profiteers. Ideally they would do prison time first.
The first step is for all healthcare workers and other essential
services people to use current stocks of vitamin D capsules to get a
good dose such as 100,000IU to 500,000IU. This includes everyone who produces,
transports and sells food and groceries. Likewise those who
maintain roads, electricity, gas, water and telecommunications
infrastructure. Public transport workers are essential too. This
armed forces and emergency services workers. Everyone who is in
hospital, aged care facilities and prisons should also get a big dose
Meanwhile, we need, for a country the size of the USA, 4,000kg of
vitamin D ASAP, to be made into capsules each containing 12.5mg.
Every adult gets one of these and so will have far less chance of
needing acute hospital care, or of suffering lasting disability and
Then, we won't have to attempt the impossible: shutting everything down
for 6 months or more - while dealing with millions of people getting seriously ill and dying.
While the capsules are being made and distributed, everyone needs to
get as much sun as they can, eat oily fish, and take vitamin D capsules
if they are available. Tanning beds will be hip again! Hang the skin cancer risk for now.
This plan would have its challenges, but is vastly easier and less
disruptive than the current plan for strangling restrictions for months
on end, with the hospitals still being overloaded with some fraction of the population -
maybe 20% - needing acute medical care.
Why we are prone to sepsis
The enemy is not COVID-19 - it is our
immune system. Other viruses such as HIV and smallpox
really are deadly enemies - but influenza, SARS and the SARS-CoV-2
virus which causes COVID-19 are only deadly because they trigger a
fundamental flaw in the immune systems of humans who no longer live a
two reasons why this immune system can be triggered into an overly-aggressive
pro-inflammatory state. The first is that the digestive systems
of our ancestors - going back tens of millions of years into mammalian
history, and until the last century or so - were almost always
infested by intestinal worms
also known as helminths
secrete substances which downmodulate some aspects of our immune
response to them. I recall reading that Helicobacter pylori (WP
)does the same thing. So our immune system evolved to be much more
aggressive than is optimal.
In the last one or two hundred years, most
humans have gotten rid of these helminths - for good reason, since many
of them are extremely pernicious. The trouble is that now our
immune systems can attack us, leading to a plethora of auto-immune,
inflammatory and degenerative diseases.
This is tricky to fix with drugs, but research into these is
continuing. In the meantime, some people infect themselves with
the relatively benign pig whipworm (WP
) in order to downregulate their
immune system. This can save their life when it puts their
Crohn's disease (WP
)or asthma into partial or complete remission. See
The second reason is that modern diets are deficient in a number of
nutrients which are vital for immune system regulation. Vitamin D
are the most important. They work together to some
extent, but one can't replace the other.
Even those with the
lowest levels of vitamin D have about 20% of what they need to be
replete. With boron, the situation is more extreme. Most
people get only 1mg a day, when 10 to 12mg is needed for full health,
including avoiding osteoporosis, periodontal disease and the same long
list of diseases caused by excessive inflammation which vitamin D helps
Please read this review article Nothing Boring about Boron
if you doubt this: PMC4712861/
. Please also take a look at NIH's fact
, decades of research
by the US Department of Agriculture's Forrest Nielsen and a Google
Scholar search for boron
Next, try the word inflammation
with each of these: "vitamin D", Alzheimers, Parkinsons, "Lewy bodies",
neurodegeneration, arthritis, osteoporosis, gingivitis, periodontal,
asthma, "type 2 diabetes", autoimmune, chronic, cancer, influenza and
so on. There's a correlation between periodontal disease and
Alzheimer's disease. No-one seems to know why, yet inappropriate
inflammation, which I think can be largely or entirely fixed with
adequate vitamin D and boron, is the obvious common factor.
The Boron Plan
Boron supplementation is easy, cheap,
safe and will probably protect
people from sepsis faster than vitamin D3. "Probably" is my
opinion. I have several hundred boron nutrition articles printed
out, partly read over the past few years - so I have read more
about this than most doctors and medical researchers.
Everything we need is
sitting on supermarket shelves, in the laundry department.
Borax is mined primarily in California and Turkey. It is
crystals and sold for a plethora of industrial purposes, not least as a
water softener for laundry. Borax is used in supplements for
arthritis and other conditions. The laundry variety is pure
enough for human consumption in the small quantities required.
100mg a day in water solution
provides a perfectly healthy 11.4mg boron. My wife Tina and I
take this every day. The feline equivalent of 6mg a day (0.6mg =
one part boron per 10,000,000 body weight) seems to have cured our
cat's feline tooth resorption - gingivitis with crumbling teeth which
need to be extracted.
Even a few mg of boron a day is likely to help our immune system
regulate itself properly. This would also reduce the likelihood
of COVID-19 leading to sepsis. But first, we have to have a
little talk about boron
sounds like boring
and rhymes with moron
is a great name for a bossy
1950s-style household cleaning agent. Borax
was overused as a meat preservative until the early 20th century and
has spent the last century standing at the back of the class wearing a
dunce's cap. Borax
and boric acid
good for poisoning ants and cockroaches. (Vitamin D3, in huge
quantities - tactfully labeled as cholecalciferol - is widely used as
rat poison. It would poison us too if we ate the same amount in
proportion to body weight that rats eat.) Despite decades of
research on the boron's
role in human health (Forrest
exact role in human biology is only partly understood. Boron
is not officially regarded as an essential nutrient for humans or other
animals. Its reputation as a poison is still alive in the minds
of the public, but, as borax
, the tolerable upper intake levels for
adults was set in 2001 to 20mg, which is 175mg of borax
. If I had mentioned boron
in the title of this piece,
many people would have run screaming in the opposite direction.
The above notes are of psychological interest, but do not alter the fact
that laundry borax
is (see aminotheory.com/cv19/#08-boron
regarding purity) is a perfectly good source of boron, which will improve bone health and immune system regulation.
IF I am right to assume that COVID-19 is not deadly or seriously
harmful as long as our body fights it properly, without falling into
sepsis, then with significant extra vitamin D3 and/or boron, we won't
have to worry much about COVID-19 harming or killing us or our loved
ones. See the above chart. The only people who died from it
in this Wuhan study were those whose sepsis cytokine storm kept getting
There are no randomised controlled trial which show beyond
reasonable doubht that boron supplements reduce sepsis, but if you read
fraction of the material on boron and inflammation, you will see that
it this is a likely outcome.
The beauty of borax is that there's plenty of it around and all we need
to do is this:
don't have milligram scales, a heaped teaspoon of borax is 6 to 8
grams. Divide this visually into four, and use each quarter for 2
litres of water. Now drink 100ml of this a day - 50ml in the
morning and 50ml at night if you like, since its half-life in the body
is quite short. 100ml is 1/20 of the 2 grams you added to the 2
litres: 100mg. Multiply by 0.114 and you have 11.4mg of boron.
After a few days or weeks, you will be
Maybe 6mg would be sufficient. 12mg is nowhere near actual levels of toxicity, which are well beyond 20mg a day.
Even if your vitamin D3 levels are not ideal, your
immune system will be far better regulated than those of the vitamin D3
depleted (common) AND boron-very-depleted (almost everyone) people who
suffer badly when COVID-19 triggers their immune system into sepsis.
Many farm animals get better dietary care than most humans do now. If
pigs' bones develop wrongly farmers don't drug them - they fix the
nutritional deficiency which causes it, by adding borax
to their feed. Boron Supplementation Prevents Osteochondrosis in Growing Swine
While I have no concerns about bringing people's vitamin D3 levels up
to a healthy state, there are two probably minor gotchas with boron
that I am aware of. Firstly, some people in health discussion
forums report a "Herxheimer" reaction when they first use it. They
attribute this to dead bacteria, candida toxins or whatnot. This may
not be valid or common - but it should be researched. The other
is that Iranian researchers report that giving
10mg of boron a day to a bunch of subjects with ultrasound-confirmed
kidney stones caused all the stones to disintegrate and come out in the
days and weeks which followed. This is an excellent outcome, and
not surprising considering the involvement of excessive
inflammation in all sorts of diseases. However, fragments of
kidney stones can be very painful and trigger urinary tract
infections. This is a particular concern for the elderly.
Please see the boron section of the main page for references: aminotheory.com/cv19/#08-boron
How could it be so simple?
At this point, doctors
, ICU nurses
and some researchers
will be questioning how something so complex as sepsis, and the dozens
of diseases caused by excessive inflammation, could have such a simple
cause and so such a simple fix. I guess they are thinking:
"How could the cause of something so complex - something we spend years learning about and wrestling with . . . how could it be so simple?"
See the discussion emcrit.org/pulmcrit/metabolic-sepsis-resuscitation/
of Paul E. Marik MD's intravenous vitamin C and B1 protocol for
treating sepsis. Vitamin C is severely depleted in sepsis but is
vital for dozens of processes throughout the body. The B1 is to
reduce the rate at which is converted into harmful oxalates. This
is very simple compared to the barrage of drugs, ventilation etc. and
the storm of dysfunction which is wracking these people's bodies.
They get results - more patients who live than before.
In the second video, Kathi Hudgkins, ICU Team Coordinator at Sentara
Norfolk General Hospital said of the time when the vitamin C therapy
was first introduced:
"This had to be some sort of fallacy. It just seemed too simple."
An over-zealous immune system, unconstrained by helminths, plus serious
deficiencies in both vitamin D and boron. This is a lot simpler
than all these disease processes. But it makes perfect sense.
Carry on . . .
There's nothing in this plan which should make anyone
complacent. We need social distancing now and for a while yet to
get this accepted by doctors and reasonably well accepted by the public - though the boron plan could be running for
entire countries in a few days.
Adults not yet infected should consider taking vitamin C, zinc and
other items (including 5,000IU vitamin D3) as listed in the prophylaxis
section of Paul Marik's Protocol EVMS Critical Care COVID-19 Management Protocol, also known
as the Marik Protocol, from the Eastern Virginia Medical School:
The 31st March version recommended these supplements for all adults
before they contract COVID-19, but is primarily intended for those over
60 and those with diabetes, lung conditions, heart disease etc.
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 500 mg twice a
- Zinc 75 to 100 mg/day (sulphate or
gluconate is fine).
- Quercetin 500 to 1000 mg/day.
- Melatonin (slow release): Begin with
0.3mg and increase as tolerated to 1-2 mg at night
D3 5000IU per day.
We still need to avoid excessive salt. See the articles at ../#salt
. Smoking, vaping and excessive
alcohol are out too.
Adequate supplemental vitamin D3 and/or boron will enable us to handle this
virus without major disruption, serious injury or death.
Fever is our friend
Most people want to know whether or not to quell COVID-19 fever, such
as with aspirin, ibuprofen or paracetamol (AKA acetaminophen =
Tylenol). This is a vexed question among doctors and the medical
establishment has so far failed to provide the clear guidance the
I reviewed the research and found that it was clearly against quelling
fever - from bacterial or viral infections - with drugs or other means
except in cases of stroke, neurological injury, heart disease or
perhaps temperatures over 40C. Some doctors say paracetamol is
fine to use - but I think they haven't read the research.
The best research I found was this widely cited article from 2015: PMC4786079/
. I found nothing which superseded or contradicted it. If
you want to see highlights from it, and links to other such research
articles, please see my page http://aminotheory.com/cv19/fever/
Don't take my word for this - follow the links, read the research I
found, look for more research and let me know if you find something
contrary to what I wrote above.
Beyond the coronavirus
that the value of vitamin D3 and boron supplementation becomes widely
accepted there are further nutrients which deserve our attention.
The most important one is potassium. By avoiding the saltiest
foods and adding 2.4 grams of supplemental potassium, we can
approximately double our potassium intake and increase our potassium to
sodium ratio by a factor of about 3. This will solve most of the
problems with high blood pressure, so few people will need drugs for
this. This will greatly reduce the risk of stroke, and provide a
plethora of other subtle and pervasive health benefits, since it
improves the electrical and ionic balance of every cell in our
Most people think potassium supplementation can't be done. The quantities are too big
for pills or capsules, and most people think that we can't do it with
water solutions since potassium salts have too strong a taste.
It is not widely known, but potassium gluconate solution has a very mild taste. Please see ../kna
If everyone took these supplements: vitamin D3, boron and potassium (as
gluconate solution) in suitable quantities, then there would be less
trouble with auto-immune diseases. However, there may still be
work to do in order to tone down aspects of our immune system to
optimal, not so self-destructive, levels, as our ancestors' intestinal
With this, and proper attention to many other better known nutrients
(and perhaps a few ones we don't currently recognise) the whole of
humanity would be much healthier, happier and more productive.
../ to the main COVID-19 page of this site.
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© 2020 Robin Whittle Daylesford, Victoria, Australia