Nutritional Advice in These Corona Times
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 30 Mar 2020
25 Mar 2020 – Information about Corona virus and measures taken to prevent the spreading of this virus dominate the media. We hear about the number of deaths, how many are infected and about the spread of the virus worldwide. However, we do not receive any information on measures each of us might take to prevent or mitigate the course of the disease if one is already ill.
Some Reasons Why We Are Not Told What to Do
As discussed in an earlier article on structural violence and health, mainstream media contribute to confusion, not to clarity. In Norway, as in many other countries, the government has instituted draconian measures: shutting down public activities where many people congregate (sports arenas, schools, concerts), besides encouraging strict hygienic measures. Many municipals deny visitors in order to protect their inhabitants from contracting the virus, even banning the use of cottages and cabins – for Norwegians sanctuaries in which they may be close to nature, often in isolation with families.
The argument it is the structure of liberal societies itself which lies behind the quick global spread of the Corona virus (as well as other microorganisms). The virus has been spread to all corners of the world because of international trade with goods and services and the extensive international travels by plane for touristic purposes or family reunions, plus travels abroad for business meetings and international conferences. A strategy to limit worldwide trade and travel by promoting local self-reliance, combined with more use of video conferences, would have prevented or at least slowed down the global spreading of pathogens. Public advice from the government and media could have protected the population, in particular the most vulnerable, from serious consequences of new microorganisms spreading from remote corners of the world, including the Corona virus.
Medical advice should be based on how to find underlying causes of disease. Unfortunately, our medical system is based on actors having much to gain from treating symptoms with patented drugs, instead of treating root causes. The benefactors are the large medical supply and drug industry (C, capital), the established medical elite treating symptoms (R, researchers) and a bureaucracy (B) administering it all. Politicians do not interfere, but wash their hands – as Pontius Pilate supposedly did when he sentenced Jesus to death instead of Barrabas, the robber. In a similar manner, the politicians leave main decisions on how to react to the Corona virus to the B-C-R complex.
Below are some suggestions of what people may do to avoid getting seriously ill from the Corona virus, and to avoid unnecessary deaths.
Probably the most important and easiest preventive measure against viruses and other infections would be to reduce the intake of carbohydrate-rich foods because they cause a sharp rise with subsequent drop in blood sugar. Government nutrition advice is in direct conflict with this, arguing for high-carbohydrate diets and frequent meals. A number of experiments have shown that an important part of our viral defense, the white blood cells, is “paralyzed” if the blood sugar concentration deviates significantly from an optimal fasting level of 4.5–5.5 mmol/L. The blood sugar level may be kept at an optimal level by eating less bread, potatoes, sweet fruits, spaghetti, rice and other starchy foods, as well as avoiding sweet drinks, cakes and sweets. At the same time, one can increase the intake of natural fats, which do not contribute to overweight, cancer or cardiovascular disease.
A high blood sugar level inhibits the uptake of vitamin C, including in white blood cells, which are an important part of our immune system.
A diet with little carbohydrate and more fat has been used in the treatment of tuberculosis ever since the German sanitation doctor Herrmann Brehmer (1826–1889) started a sanatorium for lung disease in Görbersdorf in 1859. His philosophy was continued by the American physician Benjamin Sandler, (1904–1979), who used low carb diets to treat both viruses (polio) and bacteria (tuberculosis). Recent research has shown that our cell-based immune system depends on a steady level of glucose in the blood. Too much or little glucose in the blood (as diabetics may have) may paralyze the immune system’s white blood cells so that they are unable to fight virus or bacteria.
Recent research has confirmed that a ketogenic diet is optimal for the immune system, i.e. a diet with little carbohydrate (sugar) and lots of natural fat.
The Significance of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is the major antioxidant in plasma and is the cofactor for a variety of enzymes that regulate key cellular functions and genes. The vitamin protects the intestinal mucosa and promotes oxidative processes in the skin, accumulates in “eating cells” (phagocytes) and stimulates their ability to neutralize bacteria and viruses. Vitamin C is also needed to form interferon-gamma, a group of proteins that stimulate “eating cells” to destroy, engulf and neutralize virus-infected cells.:696–712
An effective antidote against virus has for decades been to take large doses of vitamin C by mouth and/or to administer vitamin C intravenously. China is now focusing on vitamin C, among other things,, and has initiated controlled studies in which Corona patients are given large doses of vitamin C (up to 42 g/d) intravenously with control groups given saline. A province has imported 50 tons of powdered vitamin C! The Shanghai Medical Association recommends including vitamin C in the protocol used for hospitalized patients in relatively moderate doses (4–16 g/d). Nearly 25 million people live in Shanghai, and in my opinion it is a bit arrogant to assume that neither the authorities nor doctors in China know what they are doing.
I am member of an international editorial board for a newsletter published by orthomolecular doctors and scientists (OMNS). The council counts about 50 people from more than 20 countries worldwide, and the newsletter reaches thousands of doctors and others worldwide. One of the newsletters10 recommends taking 3 g of vitamin C, preferably more, divided into several doses each day, in addition to about 50 micrograms of vitamin D, 400 mg of magnesium, 20 mg of zinc and 100 micrograms of selenium. All the above nutrients have been shown to be necessary for the immune system to fight off viruses. As of March 5, OMNS has published 12 articles discussing protocols for hospitals and individuals with vitamin C and other measures, including summaries of initiated trials in China. None of this is reported in Norwegian media, and a video posted by Andrew W. Saul placed on YouTube informing about the Chinese studies and the use of vitamin C in China, was removed after a very brief appearance.
The general advice is to ingest 3 g/d of vitamin C. Experience from decades ago has shown that it is safe to administer more than 100 grams of vitamin C intravenously. Vitamin C has a half-life in the blood of 30 minutes, which means that most are excreted or used up after three hours, maintaining the blood level by taking oral doses several times a day. High oral doses will also counteract viral infections and prevent deaths from blood poisoning.. Therefore, clinicians recommend administering vitamin C by mouth as well as intravenously.
The American physician Robert F. Cathcart (1932–2007) treated nearly 15,000 patients with high doses of vitamin C against viral infections and other diseases. He developed a protocol to titrate the amount of vitamin C upwards until you get a loose stomach with the intake of gram dosages many times a day. If you start with large doses of vitamin C as soon as you notice symptoms of a cold or other viral infection, you can at best stop the progression of disease within a few hours, at worst drastically dampen the symptoms and shorten the duration. Vitamin C stimulates the cell-mediated immune system, which “eats” viruses and bacteria, which work effectively as long as blood sugar is stable.
Vitamin D and the Immune System
Research has shown that the annual flu epidemics hit people in northern areas in late autumn and winter, that is, at times when many people have very little vitamin D3 in their blood. Seasonal flu never occurs in summer, which has a good explanation: Controlled studies clearly show that vitamin D3 has an important role in our immune system. Vitamin D may be formed in the skin when exposed to sun. However, the UV radiation is too weak at northern latitudes about half the year, and at southern latitudes the other half of the year, so a good advice is therefore to take enough vitamin D3 in the late fall and into the spring to keep the blood concentration above 30 ng/ml (75 nmol/l). It can mean an intake of at least 50 micrograms/d until a level well above this is reached. Norwegian authorities recommend only 20 micrograms/d, which is too small for many to provide optimal blood concentration.
Besides vitamin C and D, many nutrients are needed for a healthy immune system, including vitamin A, zinc, copper, selenium, iodine and magnesium, vitamin E, B6 and B12. A number of essential oils counteract various microbes, including viruses and bacteria. Some essential oils, for instance oregano oil, have strong antibacterial effects on both salmonella and staphylococci; many such oils have been found to kill bacteria and viruses. Active agents that counteract viruses and bacteria are found in a variety of plants and can help counteract infections where there are no effective drugs – such as for example, Corona virus.
The arguments raised above reflect the thinking of one of the greatest medical doctors of all times, Pierre Jacques Antoine Béchamp (1816–1908), who had a life-long dispute with the far better known French microbiologist and chemist Louis Pasteur (1822–1895). The latter became world famous for his development of vaccination and pasteurization, while few are familiar with Béchamp, who also was a brilliant researcher and scholar. In 1833, at the age of 17, he obtained a diploma in pharmacy. After having completed a Bachelor of Science, he became Doctor of medicine and was nominated professor in Strasbourg at the School of Pharmacy.
According to Ethel Douglas Hume, the thinking of these scientists followed two very distinctly different paths: Béchamp argued that infection was a consequence of le milieu intérieur (the inner environment of the body) being unbalanced, while Pasteur focused on the intrusion of bacteria from the outside. Pasteur´s thinking lead to vaccinations and sterilization, or a concept of treating disease outside and in, eagerly embraced by the medical industry. If Béchamp´s thinking had reigned, we would have focused on strengthening the systems from the inside and out. This approach would to a large extent have had to rely on nutrition.
Had Béchamp won the debate at the time, the definition of health would probably have been different today, and the campaign to lessen the effects of the Corona virus epidemic likewise. Few people remember that Pasteur admitted that Béchamp had been correct all the time: The best strategy was to “treat the patient, not the infection”, admitting on his death bed that “le microbe n´est rien, le terrain est tout” (the microbe is nothing, the terrain is everything).
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Dag Viljen Poleszynski is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. He has a Master´s Degree in nutritional physiology at the University of Oslo, and a Ph.D. on medical sociology at the University of Tromsø. Since 1987 he has worked as an independent research and lecturer after having worked as a research assistant to Johan Galtung at The International Peace Research Institute of Oslo (1974–1978) and as a research in the Tokyo-based United Nations University project “Goals, Processes and Indicators of Development” led by Galtung in 1979–1982, where he coordinated working groups on energy and nutrition. Poleszynski has authored/co-authored 49 books in four languages and published about 1400 popular science articles and 80 research articles, and been on the editorial board of several journals.
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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 30 Mar 2020.
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