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Supplements to Reduce the Risk of Covid-19
Part Two: Commentary
By Gary F. Zeolla
This two-part article is a continued from Supplements to Reduce the Risk of Covid-19: Part One: The Research.
At nearly every turn in the outbreak, the virus has exploited and worsened inequalities in the United States. CDC figures, when adjusted for age and population, show that Black, Latino and Native American people are two to three times more likely than whites to die of covid-19.
Also, an Associated Press analysis found that Latinos are dying at much younger ages than other groups. Hispanic people between 30 and 39 have died at five times the rate of white people in the same age group.
Overall, Black and Hispanic Americans have less access to medical care and are in poorer health, with higher rates of conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. They are also more likely to have jobs deemed essential, less able to work from home and more likely to live in crowded, multigenerational households (Trib Live/ AP. U.S. covid-19).
Because Blacks and Hispanics are younger on average than whites, it would stand to reason that they would be less likely to die from a disease that has been brutal to the elderly. But that’s not what is happening.
Instead, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adjusting for population age differences, estimates that Native Americans, Latinos and Blacks are two to three times more likely than white people to die of covid-19….
Public health experts see these disparities as a loud message that the nation needs to address deep-rooted inequities (Trib Live/ AP. As).
I mentioned about blacks having “higher rates of conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure” in an article I published back on May 2, 2020 (see My Multi-Group Plan for Overcoming the Coronavirus Crisis: Part Three). That difference is due to higher rates of obesity. It has nothing to do with systematic racism, as the media and leftists have been trying to push. It is purely due to higher rates of comorbidities, though we can debate why that is so.
However, there is another issue I did not think of back then but which the research presented in Part One of this two-part article about vitamin D indicates is a factor. But it also has nothing to do with racism but with pure biology.
Vitamin D deficiency is disproportionate among different races and ethnicity. The melanin content of the skin is a determining factor for how well people absorb the sun’s rays, leading to varying levels of vitamin D production within the skin. Vitamin D deficiency affects roughly 47 percent of Caucasians, 70 percent of Latinos, 72 percent of Native Americans and 83 percent of African Americans. Covid-19 has adversely affected African Americans because their skin is not adept to assimilate vitamin D efficiently. This is not a social disparity, as the media advertises. This is a biological issue, one that should prompt every health authority to encourage the African American community to get more sunlight and supplement with vitamin D during the winter months (News Target).
In addition, vitamin D deficiency is common in the United States, particularly among Hispanic and Black people. These groups have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Vitamin D deficiency is also more common in people who are older, people who have a body mass index of 30 or higher (obesity), and people who have high blood pressure (hypertension). These factors also increase the risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms (Mayo).
It would seem that vitamin D deficiency is such an important factor in one’s risk of Covid infection, hospitalization, death that it is even behind the more obvious risk factors of obesity and high blood pressure. That could be simply due to those who are overweight being less likely to spend time outdoors or at least to having les exposed skin than those who are of normal weight when outdoors, and thus they create less vitamin D from sunshine.
The point is, rather than screaming “Racism!”, the authorities should have been encouraging getting more sunshine and handing out vitamin D supplements in communities of color with disproportionately high rates of Covid, and that would have leveled out the disproportions.
A Friend's Story on Zinc
A female friend of mine was infected with Covid in early December 2020. Her primary care physician (PCP) did little for her, much to my friend’s aggravation. My friend has significant comorbidities, and in my opinion should have been hospitalized. She initially went to the hospital when she felt sick, tested positive for Covid, but then strangely was sent home, with just a prescription for nausea.
She got as quite sick at home, with night sweats waking her up several times at night, was fatigued, felt like she had a fever, though her temperature varied from normal to just a bit high, and she lost her sense of taste and smell. Since her PCP was not doing anything for her, and she was already taking vitamins C and D, but not zinc, I sent her a bottle of zinc.
She reported back later that after two days of taking the zinc, she regained her sense of taste and smell. But it had no effect on her other symptoms. That is when I strongly encouraged her to contact one of her specialists, since her PCP was still doing nothing for her. She did that, and her “lung doctor” (as she called him) prescribed a steroid medication. And that helped her turn the corner and begin to recover. But it was a still a long rode back, and it was not until early March 2021 that she was fully recovered, a full three months after first being infected.
She told me that she later recommended zinc to a friend who also had Covid and had lost her sense of taste and smell, and it helped her overcome those symptoms as well. This effect makes sense, since zinc is involved in the sense of taste and smell, and a deficiency of zinc can lead to these symptoms. But again, that is all it helped with, so the effect was moderate at best.
The specific product I sent to her was Jarrow Formulas’s Zinc Balance. I had it sent directly to her from Amazon. I like this product, as it also contains copper. That’s important, as taking a large dose of zinc as I recommend to her can cause a copper deficiency, as zinc and copper utilize the same receptors. This product contains 15 mg of zinc, the Daily Value (DV). I recommend she take 2-3 capsules per day for at least a few days, then reduce to the normal one per day as she recovered.
“The best things you can to do keep your immune system in good shape are exercising (at least 30 minutes five days a week at moderate intensity), eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, getting a good night’s sleep (eight hours, ideally), not smoking, drinking in moderation, and minimizing stress,” Dr. Michelle Lin, an emergency room doctor and professor of emergency medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, told Fox News….
“In general, there’s not great evidence that supplements or vitamins outside of a varied, healthy diet do much to ‘boost’ immunity,” she said (Fox News. Strengthen).
The first paragraph here I totally agree with. That is why I wrote my books Creationist Diet: Second Edition and God-Given Foods Eating Plan, to help people in these regards. But this two-part article has shown there is strong evidence for supplemental vitamin D being helpful, maybe also omega 3s and a basic multi, though not as much for vitamin C and zinc, unless the latter is taken with hydroxychloroquine in the early stages of a Covid infection.
I Thought It Would be Over by Now
I published my four-part article Why I Decided to Get Vaccinated on May 20, 2021. I was going to include this discussion about supplements in it. But once I started the research, I realized it would extend that already too long article excessively. As such, I put it on hold for the next issue of my FitTips for One and All newsletter.
However, that issue was set to be published the first week of August. But by then, I feared this discussion would be meaningless, as I was hopeful the pandemic would be over by now. But sadly, that has not proven to be the case. The reason is the very reason I wrote that four-part article—misinformation about the Covid vaccines is causing tens of millions of Americans to refuse to get the vaccine.
That stubbornness shows no signs on alleviating. CBS Evening News, on its July 23, 2021 newscast, reported that 80% of Americans who had yet to be vaccinated said they “Definitely” or “Most likely” would not get the vaccine. That means just 20% of the unvaccinated are even opened to getting vaccinated. That means this pandemic will not be brought to an end by the vaccines.
I actually predicted such would be the case my two-part article Revised Coronavirus Numbers, written back on May 30, 2020. In it, I assumed only 50% of Americans would get the vaccine, as that is how many normally get the seasonal flu shot. The percentage for the Covid vaccine at this writing is a bit better than that, but not much.
But where I erred was in predicting the Covid vaccines would be only as effective as the flu vaccine, which is to say about 50%. But surprisingly, and thankfully, they are far more effective than that, as much as 95%. That is much greater protection than you will get from any supplement or cocktail of supplements, even vitamin D. But despite that much greater efficacy rate, almost as many Americans are refusing the Covid shot as refuse the seasonal flu shot. But their reasons for doing so are not sound, as I detail in my four-part article and are summarized in the following extended quote:
The excuses range from the merely false to the absurd. The shots don’t work. They impair fertility. They’ll alter your DNA. They’ll magnetize you. They actually spread the virus.
Unvaccinated Americans cite a litany of myths to explain their hesitance to get shots, confounding local health officials battling yet another surge of coronavirus cases fueled by the more transmissible delta variant. Inside the White House, the concern is so acute that President Joe Biden has publicly lashed out at Facebook Inc. for helping to spread disinformation.
“Everything from Bill Gates putting a microchip in it — I’ve heard everything. It’s ridiculous,” said Tom Keller, chief executive officer of Ozarks Health Care in southern Missouri, a region with low vaccination rates that’s an epicenter of the U.S. delta outbreak.
“People are listening to social media instead of listening to their docs,” he said. “Somebody who has a million followers all of the sudden becomes the expert on not getting the vaccine.”
Just as the Biden administration appeared at the verge of snuffing out covid-19 in the U.S., a shadow pandemic of disinformation threatens to prolong the crisis. Promulgated virus-like itself through social media platforms, a miasma of uncertainties, anecdotes and outright lies has seized the imaginations of Americans hesitant to be vaccinated, slowing the U.S. campaign to inoculate its population (Trib Live. ‘Ridiculous’).
I am still hopeful this misinformation can be overcome, and more Americans will get the Covid vaccine, bringing us to herd immunity. Either that, or the new Delta (Indian) variant will continue to surge among the unvaccinated, and we will be brought to herd immunity by the unvaccinated attaining natural immunity from a Covid infection. But sadly, many of them will suffer greatly and needlessly before recovering, and more sadly, some will die, also needlessly.
I say needlessly, as 97% to 99% or more of Covid hospitalizations and deaths are now among the unvaccinated. That means, the unvaccinated can reduce their risk of suffering and of dying by 97-99% by getting vaccinated. Again, that is a far greater reduction of risk than you will get from any supplement.
Nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. now are in people who weren’t vaccinated, a staggering demonstration of how effective the shots have been and an indication that deaths per day — now down to under 300 [as of June 24, 2021] — could be practically zero if everyone eligible got the vaccine.
An Associated Press analysis of available government data from May shows that “breakthrough” infections in fully vaccinated people accounted for fewer than 1,200 of more than 853,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations. That’s about 0.1%.
And only about 150 of the more than 18,000 COVID-19 deaths in May were in fully vaccinated people. That translates to about 0.8%, or five deaths per day on average. (PBS).
“This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” [Dr. Rochelle] Walensky, [director of the CDC] said at a Covid-19 briefing Friday [7/16/21].
More than 97% of people getting hospitalized with Covid-19 now are unvaccinated, Walensky said.
And 99.5% of deaths are among the unvaccinated, US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said Sunday.
Getting people vaccinated as quickly as possible “is our fastest, most effective way out of this pandemic,” Murthy said (CNN).
Nearly all of the covid-related
hospitalizations and deaths in Pennsylvania are among the unvaccinated, state
health officials said Thursday [7/29/21]. Of those hospitalized across the
state, 97% are unvaccinated, said Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam. Of
deaths happening now, she said, 99% are of unvaccinated people.
“At this stage, these deaths are preventable,” Beam said during a news conference…
“The disappointing part of all of that is that these hospitalizations, cases and deaths could have been prevented,” Johnson said. “We know that getting vaccinated significantly decreases your risk of getting sick with covid and being hospitalized” (Trib Live. Pa.).
The data is clear: According to the CDC, as of July 19, a grand total of 4,072 vaccinated Americans had been hospitalized with symptomatic breakthrough infections, out of more than 161 million who have been fully vaccinated. That is a breakthrough hospitalization rate of less than 0.003 percent. Better still, of those hospitalized, only 849 have died of covid-19. That means the death rate from those breakthrough infections is 0.0005 percent.
To put that in perspective, your chance of dying from a lightning strike is .0007 percent, and your chance of dying from a seasonal flu is 0.1 percent. If you’re vaccinated, you have a much greater chance of dying from a hornet, wasp or bee string, a dog attack, a car crash, drowning, sunstroke, or choking on food than you do of dying from covid-19.
The vast majority of those who do become seriously ill from breakthrough infections are older or have underlying conditions….
What this means is that for otherwise healthy vaccinated people — and those who have natural immunity from previous infection — the chance of dying of covid-19 is close to zero (Washington Post).
Whether by getting vaccinated or attaining natural immunity by getting infected, in the near future, all of the currently unvaccinated will be protected or they will tragically be out of the picture by dying, and that will bring us to herd immunity.
Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb described the future of the unvaccinated in starker terms. Gottlieb told CBS News that we will eventually achieve herd immunity, but it will come at a high cost to the unvaccinated, “given how transmissible this variant is.”
With the unvaccinated composing 97% of recent hospitalizations, Gottlieb’s point is this: Herd immunity will be reached through a combination of those who are vaccinated and the infected unvaccinated, many of whom will either be hospitalized or die. It is that simple and horrible (Trib Live. Joseph).
This is why I did not want to wait two months to publish this Part Two of this article to fit the normal publication schedule of my FitTips for One and All newsletter, as that would not be published until the first week of October 2021. I am hoping this pandemic will be over by then, so I sent out this Part Two in a special issue the first week of August 2021.
Mistakes by the Authorities
I used the same subtitle as above for a section at the end of my four-part vaccine article to highlight mistakes the authorities made based on the research that went into that article. Here I want to do the same with the research that went into this two-part article.
First, last spring (2020) I railed against the lockdowns, especially the closures of gyms. I did so, as I knew that closing gyms would lead to people getting out of shape and gaining weight. And sure enough, that happened. The “Quarantine 15” became a shorthand way to refer to the weight Americans were gaining due to the lockdowns.
I also railed against the closures of beaches, swimming pools, golf courses, parks, playgrounds, and lawn & garden shops for the same reason. Those were all places people exercise or enable them to exercise. But what I failed to note was that these were also places or enabled means by which people got sunshine. That sunshine would in turn be turned into vitamin D by those exercisers, further reducing their Covid risk.
But with such places being closed, not only did millions of Americans experience weight gain, but they also experienced drops in their vitamin D levels. That represented a double-whammy in terms of Covid risk. As a result, untold number of Americans got infected with Covid and/ or had a much harder time with a Covid infection than they would have had if it were not for those idiotic lockdowns.
Simply put, along with causing much economic and mental health hardship, the lockdowns caused much unnecessary physical suffering and death.
Contributing to unnecessary suffering and death was the disparagement of hydroxychlotoquine. If there had been routine prescription of hydroxychlotoquine plus zinc for those who tested positive for Covid, or at least for those at high risk who tested positive, again, much unnecessary suffering and death would have been avoided.
Take my female friend for instance. The zinc I sent her obviously helped her, but only minimally. But if it had been coupled with hydroxychlotoquine, she probably would have recovered within a matter of days, not months, and much suffering on her part would have been avoided. That story could be multiplied by the multitudes of high-risk individuals across the country.
On more recent developments, it is a big mistake for the CDC to now recommend even the vaccinated need to wear masks. If the vaccines are highly effective (which they are), then why do those of us who are vaccinated need to wear masks? The confused messaging of your CDC is increasing vaccine hesitancy, not decreasing it.
The CDC is saying the vaccinated need to wear masks to protect the unvaccinated. Sorry, but now that any American who wants a vaccine, can get a vaccine, then it is on those who refuse to do so if they get sick, suffer, and die. It is not on the vaccinated to look out for them.
Along those lines, the CDC and the media is not making it clear that breakthrough infections are very rare, and that breakthrough infections do not mean breakthrough hospitalizations and deaths. The latter are even rarer.
But during say the Olympics, the media would report every time an athlete got infected, and be sure to say he or she was fully vaccinated. But they failed to follow-up and say that they were all asymptomatic, meaning there were no hospitalizations and deaths among those infected at the Olympics. The same is almost always the case at all other times there are breakthrough infections. The vaccinated almost never suffer and die due to a breakthrough infection, and that includes with the Delta variant.
Finally, the method of dealing with the vaccine hesitant by the authorities is to disparage anyone who questions the safety or efficacy of the Covid vaccines. Yes, they are safe and effective, but just screaming such is the case will not convince anyone. And saying those who believe the misinformation circulating on the Internet or being broadcast across conservative talk radio “conspiracy theorists” is not helpful either.
What needs to be done is what I have done in this article and in my four-part vaccine article—to respond to those objections in a rational and logical manner based on available evidence. The authorities seem to think it is beneath them to actually take the time to understand the concerns of the vaccine hesitant and to respond to them. That only makes the vaccine hesitant more distrustful of the vaccines, not less, engraining them in their decision to not get the vaccines. As a result, once again, much needless suffering and death is occurring.
As stated at the beginning of this two-part article, taking supplements should never be looked at as a substitute for following a healthy diet. At best, they can supplement or add a little extra to an already healthy diet.
A similar attitude should be the case in regard to supplements and Covid-19. Supplements should not be looked at as a substitute for getting a Covid vaccine. At best, they supplement or add a little extra to the protection the vaccine provides against infection or serious consequences of a Covid infection.
The bottom line is, get vaccinated, and take supplemental vitamin D (or be sure to get plenty of sunshine), maybe take an omega 3 supplement (or better, eat more fish) and a basic multivitamin/ mineral supplement (which should provide adequate amounts of vitamin C and zinc), and follow a healthy lifestyle. That will give you the best all-around protection against Covid.
However, masks would not be warranted for those taking all of these steps. The slight added protection they might provide would not justify the hassles and oxygen deprivation of masks. And any further lockdowns would be totally unwarranted. They never were necessary, but in fact were counter-productive, as already explained.
References for Part Two:
Trib Live. 1 year later: The coronavirus response, missteps and what we have learned.
Trib Live/ AP. As U.S. covid-19 death toll nears 600,000, racial gaps persist.
Trib Live/ AP. U.S. covid-19 deaths hit 600,000, equal to yearly cancer toll.
U Chicago Medicine. Study suggests high vitamin D levels may protect against COVID-19, especially for Black people.
A Friend's Story on Zinc:
Healthline. 7 Signs and Symptoms of Zinc Overdose.
Lex 1 Health. COVID-19: Can Zinc Restore Your Lost Sense of Smell?
Livestrong. Does Zinc Deficiency Affect Our Taste Buds?
I Thought It Would Be Over by Now:
CNN. Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths are increasing, and the vast majority were not vaccinated.
Trib Live. Joseph Sabino Mistick: Vaccines give us choice to prevent more sickness, death.
Trib Live. Pa. health officials: Nearly all covid hospitalizations, deaths among unvaccinated.
Trib Live. ‘Ridiculous’: Vaccine myths cripple U.S. uptake as delta surges
PBS. Nearly all COVID deaths in U.S. are now among unvaccinated.
Washington Post. Opinion: Vaccinated Americans are more likely to die from a lightning strike than covid. Don’t bring back restrictions.
Mistakes by the Authorities:
CNBC. CDC reverses indoor mask policy, saying fully vaccinated people and kids should wear them indoors.
Trib Live/ AP. CDC team: 'War has changed' as delta variant dangers emerge.
Trib Live. Experts: Here is what to expect as delta variant surges.
Trib Live. Jonah Goldberg: New mask requirement would be a bridge too far.
Washington Post. Opinion: Vaccinated Americans are more likely to die from a lightning strike than covid. Don’t bring back restrictions.
The links to supplement products on Amazon are advertising links, for which I receive a commission if an item is purchased through one of them.
Supplements to Reduce the Risk of Covid-19: Part Two: Commentary. Copyright © 2021 by Gary F. Zeolla (www.Zeolla.org).
A Comprehensive Guide to Bible and Science Based Nutrition
The above article was posted on this website July 30, 2021.
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