Optimizing Your Immune System
For the Sake of Humanity …
Medical science has long known that Vitamin D plays a critical role in bone and calcium metabolism. Vitamin D deficiency is the cause of the bone disease Rickets first described in the 17th Century, but only starting in the early 21st century did medical scientists discover that Vitamin D also plays a critical role in human immune function.
Unfortunately, today most humans are Vitamin D deficient.
Before the invention of clothing and before the creation of smog from a highly industrialized society, we humans were hunter-gatherers that ran around nearly naked under clear skies and our skin was exposed to abundant sunlight. Vitamin D is manufactured by the human body in the presence of abundant sunlight shining on naked skin.
Today physicians know that almost all humans are Vitamin D deficient. But, what they have not understood, is that this deficiency retards our immune system and puts us at great risk for bacterial and viral infections, as well as for most autoimmune disorders.
Vitamin D is not an antibiotic or antivirotic. It won’t cure COVID-19. During the early days of treating COVID-19, doses of up to 50,000 IU of Vitamin D3 were given to patients Intravenously in the ICU without any observable effect.
What was being demonstrated there is that it can take three to four months of daily Vitamin D supplementation to move from Vitamin D deficiency to Vitamin D sufficiency — it can take three to four months to move from poor immune function to optimal immune function.
So Vitamin D doesn’t cure any infection, but it is essential for optimal immune functioning, and then your immune cells can cure your infections. Vitamin D optimizes human immune function, and so is essential in preventing or limiting bacterial or viral infections.
Recently, Dr. John Campbell, a Retired Professor of Nursing in England, interviewed Dr. Michael Cohen, a practicing physician in Israel.
Dr. Cohen argues that by recommending an inexpensive vitamin, Vitamin D3, and a mineral, zinc to all of his ~2,000 patients these two supplements strongly supported his patients’ immune function, during last 2+ years Dr. Cohen has noticed that his patients who are supplementing their Vitamin D and taking extra Zinc when they have symptoms of infection have significantly decreased their rate of COVID infections compared to the general population in Israel, and only one of all of his ~2000 patients required hospitalization for COVID-19.
Dr. Cohen, informed by this anecdotal evidence, has become convinced that taking daily doses of Vitamin D3 of 4000 IU with the addition of zinc 25mg to 50mg twice a day when you are acutely infected with any virus is likely to protect many people from COVID-19, and if one becomes infected with COVID-19, those individuals using these supplements will have much milder cases.
Here are Dr. Cohen’s recommended vitamins and mineral supplements for immune optimization:
— VITAMIN D3 (4000 IU daily, if overweight, take 8000 IU daily, if very overweight, you can take up to 12000 IU daily) … Taken daily to support your immune system.
— VITAMIN K2 (200 mcg) daily, this should be taken anytime you are taking more than 2000 IU of Vitamin D per day … Do NOT take Vitamin K if you are currently on Coumadin (also known generically as warfarin)! It is OK to take Vitamin K if you are one of the three newer blood thinners: dabigatran (Pradaxa), apixaban (Eliquis) and rivaroxaban (Xarelto). However, in addition to promoting immune function, one of vitamin D’s main functions is to ensure adequate levels of calcium in your blood. Vitamin K promotes the calcium in your bones while reducing its accumulation in soft tissues such as blood vessels. Therefore, those on high doses of Vitamin D are encouraged to take Vitamin K daily to help regulate calcium.
— ZINC (25mg to 50mg twice a day when experiencing viral symptoms) … *Zinc should be taken at a dose of 25mg daily to support the immune system when you are well, with no signs of infection, and with no fever. However, it is a good idea to increase your Zinc Dosage any time you are experiencing symptoms of a cold, flu, or an Upper Respiratory Illness — whenever you think you have a viral infection. ** When ill take Zinc 25mg to 50mg twice a day. This increased dosing of Zinc can be curative of viral infections, and it also benefits the treatment of bacterial infections. However, when you again feel well with symptoms resolved and no fever, you should reduce your Zinc dose to the base dosage of 25mg once per day. Also, chelated Zinc is better absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.
As a physician practicing in the Emergency Room, it was my responsibility to take care of each patient and to take care of all of the patients. Today, 50 years later I know that when taking care of an individual patient, there may be times when the risks of vaccination outweigh the benefits for being vaccinated. However, in my role of taking care of all of the patients, I also know that the best way to protect the community as a whole is for the greatest number of individuals in that community to be vaccinated.
So I strongly recommend vaccination for COVID-19, with the proviso that any individual may decide not to be vaccinated based on their personal Risk/Benefit Analysis.
However, this is a personal choice. You can make this choice for yourself and for your younger children, but you can not make it for others. Others have the same right as you to their decision about vaccination based on their personal Risk/Benefit Analysis.
Fortunately, Dr. Cohen’s Vitamin D sufficiency strategy is good for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.
I found Drs. Cohen and Campbell’s 40-minute discussion on the YouTube Video titled Vitamin D in Israel very interesting and persuasive. And, there appears to be little downside in that the Risk/Benefit Analysis shows that there is relatively low-risk for a potentially high benefit by moving to Vitamin D sufficiency. So take a listen to the whole story below, as time and interest direct you.
Timothy Wilken, MD