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If black people are more likely to die from Covid-19, we should be talking about Vitamin D and Sunshine.
We read in the media that black people are more likely to die from Covid-19, but the reasons why are unclear. This gives rise to a lot of fear and speculation which is often very negative. This article takes a look at the issue from a different angle: looking at skin pigmentation, Vitamin D, and immunity.
We live in the age of information. But the information that comes to us from mainstream channels, such as the media and educational establishments, tends to be the type that benefits the most powerful in society and not the ordinary people. Big corporations have shaped our reality to suit themselves, so it is difficult to learn the truth about the world we live in.
For example, natural cures of disease tend to be downplayed or dismissed as unscientific or even dangerous, despite thousands of years of evidence for their effectiveness. This benefits the drug companies who want us to feel dependent on them for our health and wellness. If people were to realise the healing power of nature, it would be bad for business! This may explain why the immune-boosting effect of sunlight is largely overlooked by the media, who have people praying for a vaccine rather than taking action to boost their immunity naturally.
The Media Narrative
We are hearing a lot in the media about how black people are more likely to die from Coronavirus. But we are not told why this is. This is creating a lot of negativity. Firstly, racist individuals are using it to reinforce negative views of black people, accusing them of not taking care of themselves or not obeying the lockdown rules. To fight against this negative reporting, an online petition has recently been created: “Negative news about ‘black people’ regarding COVID-19 being reported on Sky and BBC News”
There are many – perhaps well-meaning – people saying that the system does not care about black people, and this explains the extra deaths. This is putting black people firmly in the victim role. The message is: you can easily die from this, and nobody cares. Of course, real victimisation does take place, there is plenty of evidence of institutional racism in our medical and other establishments, but explaining the extra deaths based only on this suggests that people are dependent on the system for their health and wellbeing. Where is the information about what people can do to help themselves? The media is very good at creating stories that make us feel helpless and dependent on the system. They are experts at using words to cause division, hopelessness, and fear. This suits the most powerful people in our society who pocket the money while we fight amongst ourselves.
Instead, we want to create stories that bring hope and insight, we want information that actually serves us, that we can use to make us healthier, happier, and stronger. Instead of being told what to be afraid of and who to blame, we need to know what can we do to empower ourselves. This article will provide a different perspective on what is happening and looking at the possibility that Vitamin D plays a role.
The Sun & Vitamin D
Ancient people worshipped the sun. These days, this is often dismissed as a primitive superstition. But who is primitive? The people who understood that the sun was the source of all life, and thus gave it due respect, or the modern humans who have separated themselves from nature so much that they have become physically and mentally sick. Plants derive their energy from the sun, but it is vital for humans too. We use it to create one of the most fundamental nutrients for health: vitamin D.
Our skin contains a substance called 7-DHC which is converted by the sun into pre-vitamin D3, which in turn is processed by the liver and kidneys to produce the vitamin D our body uses. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient which plays many roles including supporting the immune system. People with darker skin need more sun to obtain adequate levels of vitamin D.
Before we say any more about vitamin D and skin pigmentation, we would like to say something about the concept of “race”, which many articles about the Covid-19 deaths bring up.
It has been pointed out by many that the concept of “race” has no scientific validity (there are no genetic or other markers that can scientifically categories people into different “races”). It is a way of artificially dividing human beings, normally to justify oppression. The concept was actually created by a 19th Century doctor who believed he could divide humans into separate races arranged in a hierarchy of superiority. Of course, his “white” race happened to be at the top of the hierarchy!
On this basis, we do not believe in categorising people into different races, and many famous thinkers over the years agree with this position, e.g.
"I must say that black and white, as forms of speech, and as a means of judging mankind, should be eliminated from human society. Human beings are precisely the same whatever colour, race, creed or national origin they may be."
-Haile Selassie I.
If instead of talking about “race”, we talk about skin pigmentation, we may get a very different understanding of what is happening. Based on the research we present in this article, we believe there is an urgent need to study vitamin D and skin pigmentation in relation to Covid-19 mortality.
Darker-skinned humans are protected from the potentially harmful effects of the sun by a pigment known as melanin which absorbs the UVB rays. With less UVB reaching the 7-DHC in the skin, it means more time in the sun is needed to produce adequate levels of vitamin D. This is not a problem for people living in hot climates, but there is evidence that dark-skinned people living in cooler countries are deficient in vitamin D. For example, research by Tufts University in Boston has shown that African Americans are more likely to suffer from vitamin D than the general population of the country, primarily due to skin pigmentation.
Vitamin D and Immunity Studies
There have been numerous scientific studies that show vitamin D plays a role in the immune system. In fact, a recent review of the literature stated , “There is indisputable relation between vitamin D and the immune system” when looking at the role played by vitamin D and other nutrients in fighting off viruses. This study, of over 19,000 people, by Massachusetts General Hospital, found an association between low vitamin D levels, and respiratory tract infections such as cold and flu. Based on this they are now planning studies to test Vitamin D as an immunity booster. Vitamin D deficiency from lack of sunlight in winter is considered to be one of the reasons for the winter flu season.
Recent studies have looked at Vitamin D in relation to Covid-19. Researches from Trinity College in Dublin have recently suggested that Vitamin D deficiency plays a role in the severity of Covid-19 infections, stating “the evidence supporting a protective effect of vitamin D against severe Covid-19 disease is very suggestive.”.
A new study by Anglia Ruskin University has found a relationship between low levels of vitamin D and Covid-19 mortality in 20 European countries. The study drew on previous research which has shown that low levels of vitamin D increase susceptibility to respiratory tract infections. It appears that Vitamin D modulates white blood cells (which are responsible for fighting disease) by preventing them from releasing inflammatory cytokines. Since these are known to be elevated in Covid-19 patients, the researches thought it made sense to look at vitamin D levels in various European countries and Covid-19 cases and mortality. They found a correlation and suggested that it could explain why there were more deaths in Spain and Italy where vitamin D levels are known to be lower as people (as many of the older people avoid the sun). Northern Europe has the highest vitamin D levels due to people taking supplements, and the authors suggest this is why there were fewer deaths in Scandinavian countries. We know that the virus has hit old people especially hard, and the researches point out that people in care homes are deficient in Vitamin D. Angilia Ruskin University also points out that the sun plays a role.
Even the BBC, the most mainstream of mainstream media sources has a page relating to Vitamin D and the Covid-19 virus, recommending to take vitamin D supplements if you are not getting much time outdoors. Interestingly, they are keen to point out, “but there is no agreement on whether vitamin D might boost the immune system - study evidence is inconsistent.”. This appears to contradict the studies which show Vitamin D does boost the immune system such as the one above. Also, we know that Vitamin D boosts our resilience to colds and flu (as cited on the BBC article) so how does it do this except by boosting the immune system? All medicines and supplements are only effective because they work with the body’s natural defence system which is 1000 times more sophisticated than any drug.
Based on all this evidence, we recommend getting as much sunlight as possible (while of course avoiding sunburn if you are vulnerable to it). It is also important not to shower too soon after being in the sun, otherwise, the necessary substances will be washed away before the liver and kidneys can transform them into the vitamin D your body needs.
There is so much evidence that Vitamin D supports the immune system, and while supplements can help, they have been shown to be inferior to the Vitamin D naturally produced by the sun interacting with the skin. There are various types of Vitamin D supplements, and we recommend you use a liquid form if possible because this is much easier for the body to absorb. Some vitamin D tablets are useless due to the coating preventing them from being properly absorbed.
The Demonisation of Natural Treatments
The BBC playing down the role of Vitamin D is typical of what we talked about concerning the media’s disregard for natural cures. Unfortunately, the way the world is structured means that the narrative that suits big business – in this case the pharmaceutical industry- is the one we get. So, journalists are afraid to say something like “Vitamin D boosts immunity” because of potential legal repercussions. There is a lot of money to be made from drugs and vaccines, but Vitamin D is a natural substance that cannot be patented and sold at a high cost, so there is little incentive to do any research. This is why whenever you look at a natural substance you often read, “There is no scientific evidence that it cures X”. Because there is no money to be made, the research has not been done. In many cases though, there actually is plenty of scientific research that is conveniently ignored by mainstream sources of information. What can be more of a natural healer than the sun, the source of all the energy needed for life on earth? But nobody can patent and sell sunlight, so this explains the lack of studies about its healing potential.
It is also interesting that webmd.com, the site that often appears at the top of Google when you search a medicine or nutrient, has an article attacking Vitamin D (titled, “Is Vitamin D Hype ‘Wishful Thinking?’”). Webmd.com was recently sold for 2.8 billion dollars and makes its money from advertising, mostly from the pharmaceutical industry. We believe this explains why they are always so negative about natural treatments: they want to support the narrative that benefits the people who pay them.
Right now, in Indonesia, people are lying in the blazing sun en-masse since they have been told the sun can help prevent Covid-19. Western media either ignores or mocks this, but based on what we have discussed in this article, they may be on to something.
Any type of natural cure of Covid-19 is relentlessly attacked by the media and medical establishment. A doctor was even arrested for treating Covid-19 using vitamin C, even though in China and the US, it is being investigated as a treatment. Madagascar is treating the virus with a herbal mixture, which the World Health Organisation says is dangerous since there has not been enough testing (even though they are pushing for a vaccine in record time, bypassing the years of testing that are required to ensure they are safe). Natural cures are mocked, demonised, and ignored. To see why this is happening, all we must do is follow the money.
What Do We Know?
So, we know that Vitamin D is important for the immune system. There is evidence it fights off viral infections, and recent research suggesting Covid-19 severity could be related to low vitamin D levels. We also know that darker-skinned people can be vitamin D deficient in cooler countries. Surely this is something that should be discussed and studied urgently since black people are more likely to die from Covid-19? People are being told what to fear and who to blame, instead of being given information that could save their lives. If it is true that Vitamin D deficiency increases Covid-19 severity, then the lockdown could have potentially made things worse
What Do We Do?
The current reporting in the media regarding excess Covid-19 deaths is leading to black people being portrayed either the disobedient “bad-guys” who are sick because they do not follow the rules or helpless victims of an uncaring system that they depend on for survival. Both of these interpretations are negative and disempowering. All of this reinforces racial inferiority and creates division and fear.
If instead, we look at skin pigmentation, Vitamin D, and the healing power of the sun, we may solutions for helping people stay healthy. Whatever your skin pigmentation, we recommend you get as much natural light as you can. If you are dark-skinned, the evidence suggests it is even more important to spend time in the sun. As we have said, avoid showering straight after being in the sun to allow vitamin D to be created by your body. In some cases, we recommend Vitamin D supplements, ideally in liquid form. The evidence suggests that Vitamin D plays an important role in the immune system.
The traditional way to be blessed by the sun is to make sure you get plenty on your back and chest. The torso was seen as a sacred region that would spread energy to the rest of the body. From a modern perspective, this makes sense as the back and chest have a large surface area, which means more vitamin D can be produced by your skin.
We urgently need to learn about what heals us, because we are not getting it from the mainstream sources which divide and confuse us while making us feel dependent on governments, and drug companies for our health and wellbeing. Many of the health problems we face are a direct result from our disconnection from the natural world, and many solutions can be found by reconnecting with it. For example, spending more time under the healing light of the sun. The famed African holistic healer Dr Sebi put it best when he said:
"Healing has to be consistent with life itself. If it isn't, then it's not healing. The components have to be from life!"
At a time like this, it is important not to give in to fear. The sun keeps on shining on us, and nature is always here to support us, no matter what you read in the news.
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Anglia Ruskin University. "Vitamin D linked to low virus death rate, study finds: New COVID-19 research finds relationship in data from 20 European countries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 May 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/05/200507131012.htm>.
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Carr, A.C. A new clinical trial to test high-dose vitamin C in patients with COVID-19. Crit Care 24, 133 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13054-020-02851-4
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Rhodes, J.M., Subramanian, S., Laird, E. and Kenny, R.A. (2020), Editorial: low population mortality from COVID‐19 in countries south of latitude 35 degrees North supports vitamin D as a factor determining severity. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. doi:10.1111/apt.15777