If you had severe covid 19 would you want the best treatment available?
Imagine you developed severe Covid 19.
Imagine you are taken to a hospital and ended up in an ITU.
Would you expect to be given the best treatment and what would it be?
Most likely you would be given 2 drugs: dexamethasone and tocilizumab.
But how well do they work?
Well, dexamethasone is a powerful steroid drug and it definitely does work.
In the RECOVERY trial 6mg of dexamethasone reduced mortality by 34%. However this is a big dose of steroids and these drugs have a long list of adverse effects, notably in diabetics. But it would be worth it, given its ability to save lives.
As for tocilizumab, The British Medical Journal put it this way: “Among patients with severe or critical covid-19, tocilizumab plus standard care was not superior to standard care alone in improving clinical status at 15 days and might increase mortality”. In other words, it’s more likely to kill you than cure you.
But few people know that there are other options that work far better. In fact, if we used these methods, we could reduce the death rate by half.
In the Hospital del Mar, Barcelona 930 patients were given activated Vitamin D (calcifediol) or placebo. Adjusted results found it reduced mortality by 60%. Of those given it 5.4% ended in ITU and 6.5% died as against 21.1%. Of those not given it 21.1% ended up in ITU and 15% died. There are few, if any, adverse effects.
Patients admitted to hospitals in Newcastle have had their Vitamin D levels tested. A staggering 81% of those admitted to ITU had low levels (<50nmol/l). After supplementing with high dose Vitamin D they now have one of the lowest deaths rates from Covid 19 in the UK.
So Vitamin D here was superior to standard treatment. However it is not the best option, at least on its own. The best option is high-dose Vitamin C.
In Wuhan patients with covid 19 were given high-dose Vitamin C (24 grams daily). It reduced mortality by a massive 80%. https://annalsofintensivecare.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s13613-020-00792-3.
Dr Paul Malik at East Virginia Medical School has also been using high-dose Vitamin C in his ITU. Mortality is 83% lower than the standard mortality (5% as against 30%). Like Vitamin D it has virtually no adverse effects.
In Chelsea and Westminster Hospital those given Vitamin C (but a surprisingly low dose of 3 to 6 grams daily). Even with this minimal dose they had a 30% lower mortality (29% as against 41%).
Now my question to you is which treatment would you prefer.
Would you prefer standard treatment with its high rate of adverse effects and limited benefits?
In my opinion, Vitamin C is now the treatment of choice for severe covid infections and the evidence shows it is superior to all current treatments. If it was a patented drug we can be sure it would be used for covid patients in every hospital in the world. Sadly its status as a vitamin is blocking its use.
The data on Vitamin D is less strong. It is excellent for prevention (see previous blog) and may have a place in treatment.
I have no doubt about the treatment I would want if I had severe covid – it would be high-dose Vitamin C, every time.
Unfortunately, you are likely to be only offered the standard treatment.