Three reasons I want worldwide nutritional supplementation for immune system health - especially vitamin D

1 - I want everyone to be healthy.

2 - Immune system health has always been important, but this is especially so now that most people will probably be exposed to COVID-19 in the coming months and year or so.  COVID-19 severe symptoms only occur due to a weakened and/or dysregulated (overly aggressive, hyper-inflammatory, self-destructive) immune responses.  Low vitamin D levels are the most important, easily correctable, cause of this.

3 - My wife Tina and I - and likewise our family and friends - cannot regain our freedom of movement as long as governments restrict it with lockdowns, travel bans etc.  They will continue to do this until the great majority of their populations are no longer at risk from COVID-19 severe symptoms.

That's it in a nutshell.  Read on for a more detailed exposition.

Robin Whittle .   2020-08-08  Last update 2020-08-08 15:00 UTC

To the main COVID-19 page of this site:, concerning nutritional supplements - especially vitamin D - for all adults and children ASAP,

To the ../d3/ page with vitamin D3 supplementation guidelines according to body weight and the desired blood levels according to the best research.

The updates/ page lists all the significant updates to these cv19 pages.

Links such as [W] are to the relevant Wikipedia page.  Links such as [DW] are to Henry Lahore's remarkable Vitamin D Wiki.

Be sure to read the Disclaimer!  I am not a doctor, and even if I was, I have not examined you.  Doctors can bring vast experience and knowledge to bear on your particular situation.  It is a very high level skill of immense potential value to you.  However many doctors don't know as much as they should about nutrition and immunity.

Reason 1

There's a general reason I am concerned about your health: it would make me happy if everyone was healthy and happy.   Most people are inadequately nourished, even with the best available food - and almost all of us eat too much salt.

The details of these nutritional deficiencies - and a few excesses - are complex and the subject of ongoing research and debate.  Likewise proposals to eliminate these deficiencies at the scale of individual people with access to doctors, pathology labs etc., larger groups of people without such support and ideally all humans. 

However, the principle is simple:  The human body requires certain inputs, similar to the voltage and current capacity of battery or the supply of uncontaminated petrol/gasoline to a motor car engine.   If the supply is too low, we will generally survive, but we need a certain supply level to be really healthy.

As you can read in the other pages from ../cv19/ .  Inadequate vitamin D is the best researched, and most fervently argued, nutritional deficiency in general - especially regarding immune system health.  Despite this, many doctors remain largely ignorant of the benefits of supplementation and how this would greatly reduce the burden of numerous acute and chronic diseases.

The importance of omega 3 fatty acids (fish or algae oil) for general health and especially immune system health is well researched, but less known to doctors and the general public.

Vitamin C supplementation for immune system health is becoming better recognised.  ICU patients suffering from sepsis, lung infections and now COVID-19 severe symptoms are highly deficient in vitamin C (ascorbic acid).  Robust oral and intravenous supplements really help them recover and survive.  ../icu/#Marik-protocol .

Boron is not know by most doctors to be a nutrient for humans.  Its precise mechanisms of action are yet to be determined.  However, research in recent decades shows clearly that easily correctable boron deficiency improves immune system regulation, improves bone strength and reduces the incidence of kidney stones. 

Boron - such as its sodium-oxygen salt, the naturally occurring mineral borax - is widely and incorrectly thought of as poisonous.  (The official standard is that 20mg/a day boron is the level above which toxicity may become a problem.)  Boron supplementation is best known for helping with arthritis and bone density.  1 or more mg of boron, as borax, is now appearing in a some mass-market multivitamins capsules in Australia.   Boron research is substantial but little known to doctors and other researchers.  The boron section of these web pages ../#08-boron is an early start on my large task for the future: making a cohesive, public, constantly updated annotated bibliography of boron nutrition research.

Potassium supplementation in the 2 to 3 gram a day quantities many people require, is possible, but hardly anyone recognises it.  See the ../kna/ page for more information.

Effective, proven safe, COVID-19 vaccines may arrive for most people on Earth late in 2021 at the earliest.  In the months (ideally, or year at most) we have to protect everyone from COVID-19 severe symptoms, here are the practicalities.  These may somewhat reduce the chance of infection, but that is inconsequential.  All that matters is greatly reducing or ideally eliminating the chance of severe symptoms.

Reason 2 - the impact of COVID-19

There are two special reasons why I am concerned about your health and the health of every other human.  Both special reasons arise from the coronavirus pandemic in which we all are at high risk of being infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, leading to the disease condition COVID-19. 

Many people have no symptoms, or very mild symptoms.  If this was the case for everyone, COVID-19 would be just a nuisance.   The reason it is a worldwide health crisis beyond any in living memory, and the reason why whole countries are in lockdown, with social isolation, little or no productive work or education, reduced access to health care, cancellation of all public gatherings etc. is solely due to the fact that some people suffer severe symptoms and lasting harm, and a subset of these people are killed either directly by COVID-19, or in combination with the impact of other illnesses.

The impact of these severe symptoms is disastrous.  So are the lockdown and other measures which are currently the only way governments have of protecting their people from risk of harm and death.

People who think this is just like the flu are avoiding the harsh reality of the lasting harm and deaths of people of all ages.   From babies, to adolescents, to young adults (with COVID-19, anyone under 50 is young) to middle aged adults and especially the elderly, death is a risk and the chance of lasting harm, such as from organ damage due to micro-embolisms (tiny blood clots) is much higher.

Inadequate nutrition (of which inadequate vitamin D is the most important, best researched and easiest to fix) is already the cause of immense and arguably disastrous suffering from a long list of illnesses and chronic conditions most people accept as normal.  These include many cancers (the rates of which would significantly reduced with adequate vitamin D), most neurodegeneration (dementia, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease etc.) and numerous auto-immune diseases (asthma, MS, Crohn's disease etc. - subject to considerable genetic variation).

We are already in a vitamin D pandemic with profound impacts of suffering, harm, disability and early death.  

The first of two COVID-19 specific - reasons why I am concerned about your health and the health of every other human:

Most people have been bumbling along with 25OHD levels of 10 to 20ng/ml, depending on the season, and getting away with it - or so it seems.  Actually, many people's health suffers from this, but we think of it as normal.

Some people might be fine with COVID-19 and these low vitamin D levels.  Others will not be - and so will suffer lasting harm or death - when they would suffer no such problems if their levels were at 40ng/ml or higher

Still other people - those with one or more risk factors - have such problems with weakened and dysregulated immune systems that 40ng/ml is not enough to protect them from harm or death.   There is no evidence of a magic threshold, at least in the 40ng/ml region, above which everyone is safe from COVID-19 severe symptoms.  However, for most people, I believe this would be highly protective.

As an electronic technician, I think that for some people - especially those of advanced age, who are obese and/or who have lung injury, diabetes, kidney damage etc. - it will probably be better to have 60ng/ml rather than 40ng/ml 25OHD blood levels.  Maybe for a few people 80ng/ml would be better than 60ng/ml.   This also applies to people with genetic patterns which predispose them to severe COVID-19 symptoms.  See: ../#haplotypes .  See further discussion in ../d3/

This is all because it would make me happy if no-one was harmed or killed by their body's lousy immune response - to COVID-19, influenza, or various other triggers, as in sepsis, which kills millions of people, horribly and rapidly, the world over.   These people generally have have very low vitamin D.  They probably would never have sepsis, pneumonia from influenza, or COVID-19 severe symptoms if their vitamin D levels were good and high, such as the 46ng/ml average of Maasai pastoralists and Hadzabe hunter gatherers - the best estimate we have of the vitamin D levels of our ancestors, which our immune systems evolved to work from.

Reason 3 - the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown and travel restrictions

Reason 3 is more selfish.   As far as I know, everyone in the world has this reason for wanting robust nutritional supplementation for most or all other people, in order to protect them from COVID-19 severe symptoms - even if they didn't actually care at all about other people being harmed and killed.

As far as I know, no-one in history has ever had reasons such as this - to want everyone else in the world to be healthy, at least in respect of a particular disease.

This reason is simple, and impossible to escape.

Our lives can never return to normal levels of social contact, productivity, travel, group gatherings - even sitting in a cafe, or going to the cinema, listening to live music, dancing (except two people on their own) until COVID-19's threat to the health of the most vulnerable people is very greatly diminished.   It doesn't have to be exactly zero, but it needs to be low enough that governments do not enforce crippling restrictions on our freedoms, as they are now doing.

SARS-CoV-2 is here to stay.  It may mutate to get more virulent (harmful), but this is unlikely, since viruses spread faster if they cause fewer symptoms.  It might mutate to be even more infectious - but it is already (excepting intolerable lockdowns) so infectious that we will all get it in the months or year or so to come. 

Current indications are that immunity either from infections or from vaccines will be short lived.  Maybe it will be months.  Maybe years.  However it seems unlikely that immunity will last decades.  So everyone will be repeatedly infected unless, perhaps there is a safe and reasonably effective vaccine which can be given to everyone (in a country, or the world) every few years.  This seems unlikely, and it leaves people reliant on fading immunity to protect them from a disease which can only harm or kill them due to easily correctable nutritional deficiencies which cause immune system weakness and dysregulation.   So we would still be cowering in fear of infection.

I believe the only way we can live without continuing, disastrous  harm and death is to get everyone's immune system to work much betterthan they do now.  Maybe they worked well when all  humans were all hunter-gatherers living near the equator with little clothing.  Maybe "uncontacted" tribes in Brazil or the Andaman Islands get enough vitamin D from sunlight, and enough vitamin D, omega 3s, boron and potassium that their immune systems are strong and well regulated.  (If, as seems likely, they have helminth infections, that will also protect them from the over-inflammatory immune responses which cause such trouble for helminth-free people  ../#helminthsgone .)

We can't alter people's genes.  We can't fix their lung damage.  We can't suddenly make all the overweight and obese people into normal weight people (though good vitamin D levels will help with this).

What we can do - the only thing we can do - is to fix up our nutritional deficiencies, and try to curtail the excesses (salt), in ways which will profoundly strengthen our immune systems AND enable the system to properly regulate itself (at least within whatever genetic limits there are due to the lack of helminthic downregulation).

In summary, even if I didn't care about anyone else, my wife and I, our family, our friends and our musical instrument customers (and all the people who want to dance in big gatherings to their music) . . . all these people can only have the life we want, and had until early 2020, after everyone in the world is properly nourished so that COVID-19 is not a significant threat to their health.

Only then will governments relax their lockdown restrictions and lift travel restrictions.

../ to the main COVID-19 page of this site.

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