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Will COVID Change Doctor's View on Supplements?

covid supplements

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#1 Dorian Grey

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 06:24 PM


Doctors & supplements have always had a thorny relationship, and a couple years back I recall an "Enough is Enough" campaign where things got really ugly.  The supplement crowd was finally dealt a "Final Solution" blow, when google banished ALL alternative medicine sites from cyberspace with their "MEDIC" algorithm update.  Dr Mercola's site saw a 90% decline in traffic almost overnight, & a forum I used to haunt (MD-Junction) gave up and quit this January.  

 

Enter the COVID pandemic, and millions of hands reaching for help from Big Pharma, the CDC & FDA.  "We'll make a vaccine!" came the answer.  "It might only take a year".  When reports started coming out of China on repurposed medications, zinc, and even Vitamin-C as showing promise treating COVID, the FDA, CDC, NIH were unanimous and quite firm.  "Oh no, that's not the way we do things here in America".  "We might be able to do some small scale trials, but it will be many months before these could be peer reviewed for consideration by the FDA".  

 

As boffins ran their computer models pondering a new pharmaceutical that might help, they discovered a mechanism that might explain why some doctors outside the US were reporting success with repurposed chloroquine.  The chloroquine was acting as an ionophore, transporting zinc across cell membranes that was inhibiting viral replication.  The puzzling fatality rate, with geriatric populations doing poorly while the young & middle aged were not only surviving, but having remarkably mild symptoms still has everyone scratching their heads.  

 

Hypertension & Diabetes are the most common ominous comorbities, but why?  Looking at medications used to treat hypertension, it is well known that ACE Inhibitors, as well as ARB's and thiazide diuretics ALL notoriously deplete zinc.  Diabetics have a similar problem due to polyuria.  Widely prescribed PPI (acid blocking) meds are also known to induce zinc deficiency.  Acid dissolves minerals; block the acid and there is no absorption.  Geriatric populations are also known to have lower stomach acid and poor mineral absorption (including zinc).  

 

Chloroquine & Hydroxychloroquine have produced promising results in China & Europe, but these countries don't have a polypharmacy population anywhere near what we have in the US.  Will chloroquine medications transport zinc across cell membranes if there is no available zinc to transport? 

 

Well, it does appear hydroxychloroquine isn't working for everyone: "Malaria drug touted by Trump for treating coronavirus patients was NO better for them than fluid, oxygen and bed rest, Chinese study suggests".  How could this be?  

 

I've only seen one report of a doctor in New York who added zinc to his hydroxychloroquine protocol, and he is reporting not only zero deaths, but zero hospitalizations in around 500 patients he has treated. Will anyone notice this?  

 

Now we're starting to see potassium deficiency as another possible issue: Covid-19 Research Updates: Chinese Study Reveals That Hypokalemia Present In Almost All Covid-19 Patients

 

And Vitamin-C: Vitamin C Infusion for the Treatment of Severe 2019-nCoV Infected Pneumonia.  In New York, where desperate times call for desperate measures, doctors at Northwell Health are reporting IV infusions of Vitamin-C as being "widely used" throughout their entire hospital system.  Desperate times indeed!  Doctors ordering vitamin drips?  

 

As hospitals become overwhelmed with many patients being sent home to do the best they can until they become critical, will any of this vital information be shared with them?  When all is said & done, will doctors finally admit "essential nutrients" just might be essential after all?  Time will tell.  


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#2 pamojja

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 08:13 PM

I think it will remain as it is. Micronutrient therapy needs education most MDs wont get overnight, nor in a year. To busy with their own protocol and standard of care. A very few might get drawn to it.

 

With enough money to pay out of your own pocket you always will have functional medicine practitioners in the states, and for example here in my small state with a population of 400,000, we have at least 3 MDs who also practice Orthomolecular medicine. Too expensive on a ongoing basis with my many health issues.

 

Repeatedly with a self-paid whole magnesium test to show how severe, I was told by MDs and hospitals: Sorry, we don't treat magnesium deficiency'. They really only know serum tests, don't trust anything they don't know, or that Mg is so tightly regulated in serum a deficiency would rarely show. After years I finally found a simple GP, who did. But she had to charge the insurance an 'anti-spasmotic' IV to be able to charge insurance at all.



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#3 lancebr

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 01:28 AM

There was a doctor on the national news tonight and she said that the preliminary study results that she has seen has

not been that impressive for the use of Hydroxychloroquine.

 

I wonder if the drug Hydroxychloroquine is not strong enough against  this virus.  It seem when China first

started using the regular Chloroquine that they were having good results,

 

 


Edited by lancebr, 26 March 2020 - 01:50 AM.

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#4 Dorian Grey

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 02:35 AM

It is puzzling how different studies can have such different results.  The French study was small, but remarkably impressive.  Perhaps one study started patients as soon as they were diagnosed while another may have had only critically ill patients eligible for their study?  It may be once you reach a certain point with the disease there is little hope for salvage, or the Hydroxy-C's primary benefit is in preventing progression from mild to severe disease.  The French study was also a combination therapy and not a simple trial of an individual agent.  

 

I'm hoping doctors will start trying combination therapies like the French study & Zenloko in NY.  Most clinical trials do not allow combinations, but only the single agent being trialed as the variable.  If doctors using combination therapies (including zinc, potassium, azithromycin & C) keep getting good results, while doc's trialing single agents continue to flounder, sooner or later someone is going to say "let's just focus on the pandemic for now; we can trial individual agents later".  


Edited by Dorian Grey, 26 March 2020 - 02:52 AM.

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#5 orion22

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 08:26 AM

don t underestimate stupidity they had a 1000 chances so stop this pandemic they will have 1000 chance to stop the next they will be stupid until the end and they will be proud of it in the end 



#6 DanCG

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 02:31 PM

The medical establishment will probably come around regarding zinc. The use of zinc to treat viral infections is not some crazy new idea, there is plenty of science behind it. As for a general change of attitude regarding supplements, I don’t see it.

This forum has discussed many natural products for which there is good reason to expect they can inhibit coronavirus infection or replication. Off the top of my head I recall quercetin, luteolin, vitC, and lactoferrin. There are others. A paper published in Science Reports on 16 Mar shows evidence for gingkolic acid as an inhibitor (I’m new, I can’t post links. Look it up).

We have also seen good ideas for agents to calm the cytokine storm. Who would have expected melatonin? Actually, if the NLRP3 infammasome is the culprit, then many well-known supplements should help: resveratrol, berberine, quercetin.

Do you think your average MD knows about any of this? Do you think the average MD would act upon the evidence even if you could get them to read the basic science? I doubt it. MD’s are scared to do anything without approval, and they are generally incurious.

This is why forums like Longecity are so important.

 


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#7 Dorian Grey

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 03:29 PM

don t underestimate stupidity they had a 1000 chances so stop this pandemic they will have 1000 chance to stop the next they will be stupid until the end and they will be proud of it in the end 

 

I worked in healthcare for 35 years (Surgical Technologist) and a lot of doctors, particularly the specialists are pretty queer birds.  I believe there is a lot of Asperger's Syndrome in the specialties, and although these nutty professor types can be quite brilliant, they do have very ridged thought patterns and hubris runs rampant.  

 

I saw Dr Fauci being asked about Hydroxychloroquine the other day.  He was defending his stance about the med not being used in America until clinical trials had been done, with peer review and approval by the FDA.  When asked if he would refuse Hydroxychloroquine if he got sick and his doctor offered to prescribe it, he said he would probably seek out a clinical trial and attempt to enroll in it in order to receive the drug properly.  This is just how these guys are.

 

I expect we'll see the same kind of resistance to adding supplemental zinc, potassium, or Vitamin-C into the mix, despite the fact these innocuous nutraceuticals may be critical factors in preventing early stage COVID patients progressing to advanced disease.  I'm hoping some countries will embrace combination therapies, and the disparity in case fatality rates will become so obvious the boffins will have to give way.  

 

The case fatality rates in Germany vs Italy are certainly intriguing.  I know the Germans are fairly open minded about supplements, & I've been watching to see if they might be treating their COVID patients slightly differently.  If it turns out COVID can be easily managed by combining meds with correction of deficiencies created by the disease, this could end the war against supplements in the age of Big Pharma.  



#8 Dorian Grey

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 03:36 PM

The medical establishment will probably come around regarding zinc. The use of zinc to treat viral infections is not some crazy new idea, there is plenty of science behind it. As for a general change of attitude regarding supplements, I don’t see it.

This forum has discussed many natural products for which there is good reason to expect they can inhibit coronavirus infection or replication. Off the top of my head I recall quercetin, luteolin, vitC, and lactoferrin. There are others. A paper published in Science Reports on 16 Mar shows evidence for gingkolic acid as an inhibitor (I’m new, I can’t post links. Look it up).

We have also seen good ideas for agents to calm the cytokine storm. Who would have expected melatonin? Actually, if the NLRP3 infammasome is the culprit, then many well-known supplements should help: resveratrol, berberine, quercetin.

Do you think your average MD knows about any of this? Do you think the average MD would act upon the evidence even if you could get them to read the basic science? I doubt it. MD’s are scared to do anything without approval, and they are generally incurious.

This is why forums like Longecity are so important.

 

Welcome to the forum Dan.  I've been researching supplements around 25 years and this site has become my mainstay.  A lot of good people here.  

 

Stay Healthy My Friend!  



#9 Daniel Cooper

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 07:21 PM

Doctors don't have representatives from supplement makers in their office 2 or 3 times a week.  So no.

 

 


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#10 Daniel Cooper

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 07:40 PM

 

 

I saw Dr Fauci being asked about Hydroxychloroquine the other day.  He was defending his stance about the med not being used in America until clinical trials had been done, with peer review and approval by the FDA.  When asked if he would refuse Hydroxychloroquine if he got sick and his doctor offered to prescribe it, he said he would probably seek out a clinical trial and attempt to enroll in it in order to receive the drug properly.  This is just how these guys are.

 

 

Dr. Fauci has a very academic approach.  I appreciate that, but we can figure out whether hydroxychloroquine is useful without spending months on trial design and everything else involved in dotting the i's and crossing the t's with the FDA.  I bet you there are 1,000 Italians right f***ing now that would love to have a chance at taking hydroxychloroquine.  

 

Someone needs to get it through some skulls that all this navel gazing is very expensive ..... in lives.

 

Covid-19 has been a recognized thing since sometime in December.  The Chinese were aware of chloroquine since some time after the SARS outbreak in 2002/2003 and there were published academic papers on it for some time.  They seemed to have started trying it sometime in January.  The time to symptom onset to death in those cases that do end in death is about a\one week.  There's simply no excuse for there being any question today whether chloroquine works or not 2 or 3 months later.

 

We've become so legalistic and rule bound that we simply can't do anything with any urgency. It's almost as if we have a medical system as designed by lawyers (and that not for no reason btw). Doctors had more of an experimental spirit 50 years ago. Occasionally those experiments went badly, but there are the invisible lives lost due to delay that nobody is counting and my argument is that we've reached the point where the invisible lives lost due to delays in keeping good treatments away from patients are greater than the lives saved by keeping bad treatments off the market.


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#11 Dorian Grey

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 02:50 AM

Something jogged my memory regarding doctors & their war on supplements today.  I was wondering if COVID patients might even be allowed to take supplemental potassium, zinc & Vitamin-C if admitted for COVID.  I realize most who are admitted are probably acutely ill and perhaps ready for ventilation & sedation; but anyway...  

 

Recalled reading about Paul Offit BANNING all supplements at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia back in 2013.  

 

https://www.npr.org/...and-supplements

 

Philadelphia Children's Hospital Bars Herbs And Supplements

 

Looks like they had a few token exceptions to the rule, with some hoops to jump through if you wanted to give your kid his Flintstone gummy, yet still strongly discouraged.  

 

The scenario popped into my head of being admitted with worsening COVID and having the hospitalist telling you: "NO, we're not going to give you IV Vitamin-C or supplemental zinc, and NO you can't take them yourself, even if you are able to swallow them!  

 

Haven't been plagued with nightmares since I was a child, but I may have some trouble sleeping tonight.  


Edited by Dorian Grey, 27 March 2020 - 03:05 AM.


#12 Hip

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 03:14 PM

The reason supplements are usually not prescribed by doctors I think is partly the fault of Big Vitamin.

 

Many in the alternative medicine crowd blame Big Pharma for this, but the fault may lie with Big Vitamin.

 

The global supplements industry is worth around 120 billion each year (which is around one tenth of the 1.2 trillion the pharmaceutical industry earns globally each year). Refs: 1 2

 

Yet in spite of that huge amount of money coming in, how many clinical trials do Big Vitamin actually run, to test out their products as a means to treat disease? Without providing scientific evidence of efficacy, doctors will not prescribe supplements. 

 

 

Big Pharma has to spend around $500 million on R&D and clinical trials to bring each new drug to market, before they get a licence to sell them. Whereas Big Vitamin has no such clinical trial expenses, and can introduce new products with little or no R&D or clinical trials cost.

 

Therefore I would imagine that some Big Vitamin executives and shareholders are probably making a fortune, as they don't have the high expenses of Big Pharma, but still have a massive global income.

 

I think Big Vitamin need to get together, with all the various supplement companies chipping in, to pay for clinical trials of supplements.  

 

 

 

Edited by Hip, 27 March 2020 - 03:29 PM.

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#13 Dorian Grey

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 06:45 AM

I'm afraid I have to agree...  I've seen many of the same issues with Big Vitamin as I see with Big Pharm.  

 

I'm a member of Life Extension and get their mag every month.  Always amazed at the dozens of supps that according to them, everyone should be taking.  Doses of everything are usually HUGE, & I always have a terrible time finding low dose supps.  I have a pill cutter and use it frequently.  Life Extension does have PubMed references for most everything they push, but they do push a lot of pills pretty hard.  My daily stack has evolved over the years, and I've been pruning more than adding.  

 

When it comes to true evil, Big Pharm really does take the cake.  My sis had a stent put in a couple years back, & her cardiologist insisted he could only prescribe the new and very expensive Eliquis.  Millions had been doing just fine on Plavix for years, but as soon as the generic became available, all of a sudden there was a new med and Plavix was now "far too dangerous to prescribe".  The Eliquis about bankrupted my sis, & I had to loan her 14K to keep her from going under.  Her doc said he simply couldn't prescribe anything else, as the "studies" had shown Eliquis to be "marginally safer" and if he prescribed a cheaper med and she had a bleed he could be sued.  His hands were tied...  Resistance was futile!  

 

Now Big Pharm is desperately trying to kill approval for off label prescribing of chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine for COVID.  Doesn't matter that lupus & RA patients take it for years at a time with a good safety record.  The FIVE DAYS of this med used in many COVID protocols are "far too dangerous" for widespread off label use.  

 

Pharmageddon: A dystopian scenario wherein medicine and the pharmaceuticals industry have a net detrimental effect on human health and medical progress does more harm than good

 

I'm currently taking NO daily meds, & I hope to heck I never do.  Big Pharm is evil!  They buy 50-70 percent of advertising on TV news and effectively own them.  Big Pharm lobbies in Washington are bigger than about any other.  It's a fine mess.  


Edited by Dorian Grey, 28 March 2020 - 06:53 AM.

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#14 Benko

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 08:15 PM

I was forwarded a text from an ER doctor in small hospital in New Orleans who has taken care of many patients with the virus. In his experience hydroxychloroquine has not been that helpful. However 1. Best I could tell they were giving it alone without azithromycin (or zinc). And 2. Response rates may vary depending on whether the drug was given early or late in the course of the disease (something he didn’t comment on)

#15 Dorian Grey

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 11:45 PM

I was forwarded a text from an ER doctor in small hospital in New Orleans who has taken care of many patients with the virus. In his experience hydroxychloroquine has not been that helpful. However 1. Best I could tell they were giving it alone without azithromycin (or zinc). And 2. Response rates may vary depending on whether the drug was given early or late in the course of the disease (something he didn’t comment on)

 

I'm afraid by the time US patients find and get enrolled in a clinical trial or doc willing to prescribe through FDA compassionate care act they're probably past early stage disease.  

 

A lot of the European doc's getting good results are being criticized for starting therapy too soon.  Critics are saying since a substantial percentage of patients never progress to advanced disease, if you start treating early it may appear to be the med that prevented advanced disease and not just luck.  

 

I'm betting with it now getting widespread use its effectiveness (or lack thereof)  will become obvious quite soon.



#16 Benko

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 03:21 AM

I'm afraid by the time US patients find and get enrolled in a clinical trial or doc willing to prescribe through FDA compassionate care act they're probably past early stage disease. 

 

Docs can and do prescribe any FDA approved drug for any indication they see fit.  THat is routine clinical practice for all drugs. So there is no need to wait for compassionate use/clin trial.  Patients have been prescribed these drugs routinely in many hospitals.


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#17 Dorian Grey

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Posted 31 March 2020 - 03:40 AM

Independent doctors can and do prescribe the chloroquine meds off label, but there are still roadblocks for many.

 

https://www.dailymai...s-using-it.html

 

"US health regulator approves two malaria drugs as a last resort for coronavirus patients in hospital - but the UK will only let doctors use the promising medications in trials"

 

From what I've seen the chloroquine meds work best when prescribed early on, but if you wind up in hospital, the hospitalist may not give you these till you're on a vent. 

 

I'm hoping the dam will break open soon and everyone will have access to these meds, but I fear they are still out of reach for many of us.  



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#18 Charles Thompson

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 08:21 PM

Great thread. Well I definitely think they are applying some of the lessons of supps to treating Covid. Check out this great article I found on supplements and immunity.

https://www.predator...-immune-support

It mentions in the article and includes references how dozens of different supps are being used in clinical settings already. I looked into it and it seems legit. One thing I’d definitely be interested in learning is something they touch on in passing, namely whether insulin resistance could be a hidden risk factor (not diabetes as such, but generalised insulin resistance - it makes sense if you check the research cited in the article).
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