Monday, May 16, 2022

The dangers of the COVID-19 spike protein

The dangers of the spike protein.

"SARS-CoV-2 Spike Proteins Disrupt the Blood-Brain Barrier, Potentially Raising Risk of Neurological Damage in COVID-19 Patients"



"Recent publications provide new findings that may help decipher the pathogenesis of long-COVID. One paper reported perivascular inflammation in brains of deceased patients with COVID-19, while others showed that the spike protein could damage the endothelium in an animal model, that it could disrupt an in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and that it can cross the BBB resulting in perivascular inflammation. Moreover, the spike protein appears to share antigenic epitopes with human molecular chaperons resulting in autoimmunity and can activate toll-like receptors (TLRs), leading to release of inflammatory cytokines. Moreover, some antibodies produced against the spike protein may not be neutralizing, but may change its conformation rendering it more likely to bind to its receptor. As a result, one wonders whether the spike protein entering the brain or being expressed by brain cells could activate microglia, alone or together with inflammatory cytokines, since protective antibodies could not cross the BBB, leading to neuro-inflammation and contributing to long-COVID. Hence, there is urgent need to better understand the neurotoxic effects of the spike protein."

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12035-021-02696-0

"A lot of people think of it as a respiratory disease, but it's really a vascular disease," says Assistant Research Professor Uri Manor, who is co-senior author of the study. "That could explain why some people have strokes, and why some people have issues in other parts of the body. The commonality between them is that they all have vascular underpinnings."

"If you remove the replicating capabilities of the virus, it still has a major damaging effect on the vascular cells, simply by virtue of its ability to bind to this ACE2 receptor, the S protein receptor, now famous thanks to COVID,"

https://www.salk.edu/news-release/the-novel-coronavirus-spike-protein-plays-additional-key-role-in-illness/

COVID-19 spike proteins may cause neurological issues

"Researchers from the University of Bristol have found that, in cells in a dish in the lab, the spike protein binds to cells called pericytes which line the small vessels of the heart. This binding triggers a cascade of changes which disrupt normal cell function, and can lead to the release of chemicals that cause inflammation. This happened even when the protein was no longer attached to the virus.

There is some previous evidence to suggest that following Covid-19 illness, the spike protein can remain in the bloodstream after the virus has gone and travel far from the site of infection. This research could help explain and ultimately treat some of the effects of severe Covid-19 infection, where levels of the virus are particularly high. "

https://www.bhf.org.uk/what-we-do/news-from-the-bhf/news-archive/2021/august/covid-19-spike-protein-binds-to-and-changes-cells-in-the-heart


 "while other papers showed that the spike protein by itself (without being part of the corona virus) can damage endothelial cells and disrupt the blood-brain barrier. These findings may be even more relevant to the pathogenesis of long-COVID syndrome that may affect as many as 50% of those infected with SARS-CoV-2. "


"Very recently, Tavassoly et al. proposed a view that seeded protein aggregation by SARS-CoV-2 could be attributed to long-term post-infection complications including neurodegeneration [4]. They suggested that SARS-CoV-2 spike protein S1 region binds to heparin and heparin binding proteins (HBPs) present in brain which are prone to self-assembly, aggregation, and fibrillation processes. They also showed that the peptide from S protein (S–CoV-peptide; ∼150 aa) has more aggregation formation propensity than the known aggregation-prone proteins, suggesting that this peptide is prone to act as functional amyloid and form toxic aggregates. Thus, the heparin binding and aggregation propensity of S1 protein has been suggested the ability of S1 to form amyloid and toxic aggregates that can act as seeds to aggregate many of the misfolded brain proteins and can ultimately leads to neurodegeneration. It has been suggested that SARS-CoV-2 infection invades the CNS by controlling protein synthesis machinery, disturbs endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondrial function and increases the accumulation of misfolded proteins, thereby activates protein aggregation, mitochondrial oxidative stress, apoptosis and neurodegeneration [3,5,10].

Interestingly, it has been shown that HSV-1 spike protein binds to heparin and increases the aggregation of amyloid β (Aβ42) peptides on its surface spikes [11]. This study suggests that the heparin-binding site of the spike protein might act as a binding site for Aβ42 peptides and thus could dock to the viral surface and catalyze aggregation of Aβ42. As the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2, which is located within the S1 subunit of spike glycoprotein has several heparin binding sites [[12], [13], [14]], the same mechanism of aggregation of neurodegeneration causing proteins such as Aβ, α-synuclein, tau, prions, and TDP-43 can be observed in COVID-19 infection in the brain."





The vaccine spike protein is different.


In actual fact, the two spike proteins behave very differently in the body. According to Health Feedback, the spike proteins generated by Covid-19 vaccines differ in three key ways to those attached to SARS-CoV-2. Firstly, in the case of the vaccines, the cells mostly break down the spike proteins into fragments. Secondly, the spike protein generated by a Covid-19 vaccine doesn't assemble into new viral particles, unlike the spike protein from SARS-CoV-2. Thirdly, the spike protein in Covid-19 vaccines is genetically modified to enhance the immune response and to stop it binding to cell receptors in the same way the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein would.


 

'Toxic' spike protein claims misinterpret vaccine study

"There is no spike protein in the vaccines first of all. The amounts that are made after the mRNA is injected are very small and it almost exclusively stays locally. It is nowhere near the amount he was talking about," Dr Ratner said.

US fact checking website Health Feedback, which uses experts to verify claims about health science, said Dr Bridle's statement "rests on the assumption that if the viral spike protein causes cardiovascular toxicity in COVID-19 patients, the spike protein produced in vaccinated people should be toxic as well".

However, Health Feedback said this assumption was incorrect: "While both mRNA vaccines and viral vector vaccines carry the instructions to produce the entire spike protein, the cells break down much of the protein into small fragments. Furthermore, unlike infection, the spike protein from COVID-19 vaccination doesn't get assembled into new viral particles."

Prof Munro told AAP FactCheck that mRNA vaccines were "proving to be incredibly effective and safe" in protecting both the recipients and others from COVID-19, backing up clinical trials which "consistently demonstrated an excellent safety profile".




Will spike proteins generated through COVID vaccines cause illnesses to spread in schools?



"Vaccine skeptics have seized on the study to cast doubt on the safety of vaccines. But a review of the study's findings shows that the concerns raised by vaccine doubters are much ado about nothing.

The Study

The vascular endothelium is an important player in the illness and death associated with COVID-19. The endothelium is a system of cells that line and protect the inside of blood vessels. SARS-CoV2 injures the endothelium leading to blood clots, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, and stroke. Despite the established link between COVID-19 and these cardiovascular complications, the mechanism by which they develop is unknown.

Researchers from Jiaotong University; the University of California, San Diego; and the Salk Institute used a pseudovirus coated with spike protein to investigate the effects of the viral protein on endothelial cells. Pseudoviruses – which were first developed over 50 years ago – contain the outer shell of the virus, but they lack the viral genes needed to reproduce.

Hamsters treated with the spike protein coated pseudovirus showed lung damage similar to that seen in humans infected with SARS-CoV2. When researchers added pseudovirus to cultured endothelial cells they found that the mitochondria inside the cells were injured. Since mitochondria are responsible for providing energy to cells, their dysfunction can cause cell death.

When isolated pulmonary arteries were exposed to the spike protein carrying pseudovirus there was some disruption in the ability of the blood vessels to dilate. The decreased ability to expand blood vessels that serve the lungs could impair the ability of the body to take up oxygen from lungs that are damaged by the virus.

The novelty of this study was the discovery that the spike protein itself causes damage, and that the pathway triggered by the spike protein could explain the widespread cardiovascular complications that develop in COVID-19 patients.

A Twisted Tale

Shortly after Lei and colleagues published their study, vaccine skeptics touted the findings as proof that newly developed COVID-19 vaccines are dangerous. Afterall, if COVID-19 vaccines produce spike protein to trigger immunity, and that same spike protein causes injury, then vaccines are really no different than the disease they are designed to prevent.

The problem with these claims is that science doesn't support their arguments.

The Long Road to Perdition....

In order to damage the endothelium of blood vessels, COVID-19 vaccines have to enter the vascular system and infect cells that circulate in the blood. Data collected by the European Medicines Agency shows that no significant amount of vaccine enters the circulation (3). The confinement of the expressed spike protein away from the circulatory system significant prevents it from causing damage to the vascular endothelium.


Redesigning the Spike Protein

The spike protein attaches SARS-CoV2 to cells through a receptor called ACE2. In order to fully interact, the spike protein must undergo a conformational change.

A research team lead by Dr. Barney Graham from the Vaccine Research Center at the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases created an engineered form of the spike protein that is unable to make the shape change required to effectively bind to cells (5). The Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines all use this inactivated spike protein, which means any spike protein that is produced by the vaccine is not able to be activated. This safety-switch limits the ability of the spike protein to bind ACE2 and limits its ability to cause damage.

Stuck in a Hole

In addition to engineering the spike protein so it can not be fully activated the protein is tagged with an extra piece called a "transmembrane anchor" (6). The transmembrane anchor allows the spike protein to appear on the surface – or membrane – of the cell, but it is held in place by the anchor. This prevents the spike protein from drifting away and creates a fixed target for the immune system to recognize the foreign protein."

https://covid19resources.ca/2021/05/13/the-thorny-problem-of-covid-19-vaccines-and-spike-proteins/

So far, there is no scientific evidence available that suggests that spike proteins created in our bodies from the COVID-19 vaccines are toxic or damaging our organs. COVID-19 vaccines are relatively new and long-term side effects are yet to be known. However, the vaccines have met the safety standards of many government and international safety agencies.

Several systems help us monitor vaccine safety. In the United States these include the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), The Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), the Post-License Rapid Immunization Safety Monitoring (PRISM), and the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Project (CISA). These systems are used by scientists to monitor side effects and any other patterns of risks from vaccines.

The COVID-19 vaccine has been administered to 135 million people in the United States. As expected with any vaccine, some fully vaccinated people still got sick, hospitalized, and/or died. These "breakthrough cases" are a very small percentage of those vaccinated (<0.001%) and are being studied to detect any relevant patterns.

So far no scientific evidence is available that gives credence to claims that spike proteins created from vaccines travel in our bloodstreams. Research shows that spike proteins stay stuck to the surface of the cells around the vaccine's injection site. They are not known to wander around to other parts of the body.

A very tiny dose of the vaccine does make it to the bloodstream (about 1%), but as soon as it gets to the liver, the enzymes there destroy it completely. The U.S. CDC refers to the spike protein made from the vaccine as "harmless."



But researchers and health officials told FactCheck.org there is no "mistake" and that there is no evidence to support Bridle's claims.

There is no evidence that the spike protein in vaccines "is toxic or that it lingers at any toxic level in the body after vaccination," an FDA spokesperson told us in an email.

Jason McLellan, a structural biologist at the University of Texas at Austin who has been studying spike proteins in other coronaviruses for years and whose work was fundamental for the development of COVID-19 vaccines, said Bridle's statements are not correct.  

"The spike protein is not pathogenic. It is not a toxin," McLellan told us in an email. "I have not seen any data to support what Bridle claims."




How long does the mRNA vaccine stay in the body?
https://youtu.be/dTXnCcBHGDM?t=58

"The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work by introducing mRNA (messenger RNA) into your muscle cells. The cells make copies of the spike protein and the mRNA is quickly degraded (within a few days). The cell breaks the mRNA up into small harmless pieces. mRNA is very fragile; that's one reason why mRNA vaccines must be so carefully preserved at very low temperatures."


Does the COVID-19 vaccine cause Prion disease?




Safety of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.

"The clinical trials for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines found both to be safe overall. When serious side effects did occur, they happened at comparable rates between people who had received the vaccine and those who had received a placebo injection."


"Notably, the study identified 34 cases of heart inflammation in patients aged 12 to 39 years. 85% of these cases occurred in males. 82% of these people were hospitalized for a median of 1 day. The authors calculated that among patients aged 12 to 39 years, there is a slight risk of 6.3 additional myocarditis cases per million doses during the first week after vaccination.

However, a separate study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that heart inflammation events are far more likely after COVID-19 infection than vaccination."







"But because reinfection is possible and COVID-19 can cause severe medical complications, it's recommended that people who have already had COVID-19 get a COVID-19 vaccine. A recent study showed that unvaccinated people who already had COVID-19 are more than twice as likely as fully vaccinated people to be reinfected with COVID-19.

Recent research also suggests that people who got COVID-19 in 2020 and then received mRNA vaccines produce very high levels of antibodies that are likely effective against current and, possibly, future variants. Some scientists call this hybrid immunity."

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Claudia Christian on "The Sinclair Method" for treating alcoholism

I'm not a doctor so I can't make any recommendations, but I think that this video is interesting and it might work for some people.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EghiY_s2ts

Claudia Christian was an actress on the TV show "Babylon 5".  A remarkable number of actors on that show are now dead.  Jerry Doyle from alcoholism.  Jeff Conway from addiction.  Andreas Katsulas from smoking.  Some other people died from natural causes.



Saturday, April 23, 2022

Shanghai Locks Workers in Factories Amid Covid Scare

Study reveals some brain changes, even in mild COVID-19 | CIDRAP

The study authors noted that the imaging differences between the two groups were modest, at about 2% of average baseline values. The typical annual loss of gray matter each year due to aging, the researchers said, is 0.2% to 0.3%.

Cognitive tests identified differences between COVID-19 survivors and controls, including a significant increase in the time taken to complete Trails A (numeric; 7.8%) and B (alphanumeric; 12.2%) of the Trail Making Test in COVID-19 participants. These results held true when excluding the 15 hospitalized patients (Trail A, 6.5%; Trail B, 12.5%).

"The infected participants also showed on average larger cognitive decline between the two timepoints," the study authors wrote. "Importantly, these imaging and cognitive longitudinal effects were still seen after excluding the 15 cases who had been hospitalised."

Not all COVID survivors have brain changes

In addition to the modest COVID-19 effect, the study authors noted that the statistics represent an average effect, meaning that not every COVID-19 survivor will experience brain changes.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Opinion | What I wish I’d known when I was 19 and had sex reassignment surgery

I may well have transitioned even after waiting a few years. If I hadn't transitioned, I likely would have suffered from the world in other ways. In other words, I'm still working out how much regret to feel, but I'm comfortable with the ambiguity.

What advice would I pass on to young people seeking transition? Learning to fit in your body is a common struggle. Fad diets, body-shaping clothing and cosmetic surgery are all signs that countless millions of people at some point have a hard time accepting their own reflection. The prospect of sex can be intimidating. But sex is essential in healthy relationships. Give it a chance before permanently altering your body.

Most of all, slow down. You may yet decide to make the change. But if you explore the world by inhabiting your body as it is, perhaps you'll find that you love it more than you thought possible.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Re: Second COVID-19 booster shot authorized for Americans 50 and older - NBC News

I may consult with my physician before I get the fourth dose.  I would like to know what the evidence is on the 4th shot?

I had the booster six months ago.  I am wondering what the ideal time frame would be for the fourth shot?

On Tue, Mar 29, 2022 at 8:30 PM Albert wrote:
You can get your 4th shot now.

Second COVID-19 booster shot authorized for Americans 50 and older - NBC News


https://apple.news/AILkUQy3WQ-6spkICRlZNAQ

Monday, March 28, 2022

Fwd: Shanghai

From: John Coffey 

It seems unlikely that you could suppress Omicron.  Best to let it run its course.

I'm hoping that my booster from six months ago will still protect me, but if not, I would be willing to have another booster if the evidence supports it.

On Mon, Mar 28, 2022 at 8:46 AM Larry wrote:
Shanghai a city of 26 million shuts down tunnels, bridges and highways in a covid lockdown to begin mass testing.
Oil dropped almost 3% in response.


Saturday, March 19, 2022

COVID update

It is helpful to see where we are at.  

We have gone from 1 out of 11 people being infected to roughly 1 out of 15.  Still, that seems high to me.  The number of new cases is surprisingly low.  The number of deaths is approaching a million, but the daily deaths have dropped quite a bit.

I think that we got lucky with the Omicron variant.  I've been saying that it is like a different disease because it has slightly different symptoms.  Reportedly it is ten times more infectious but ten times less deadly.  It is like comparing cowpox to smallpox, where cowpox acts as a natural vaccine to smallpox.

This video is predicting a surge of the BA 2 variant...






--

Friday, March 18, 2022

Fwd: Overwhelmed by Omicron, Hong Kong Runs Out of Space for Its Dead - The Wall Street Journal

FYI

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Albert 
Date: Fri, Mar 18, 2022 at 1:31 PM

It's not over until it's over. We should be cautious about putting our guard down on covid. Mainstream news has been avoiding covid stories because the Russo-Ukraine War brings more viewers and clicks. Nevertheless, as you and I know, the covid story will continue long after the Russo-Ukraine War is over.

Overwhelmed by Omicron, Hong Kong Runs Out of Space for Its Dead - The Wall Street Journal

https://apple.news/A4yDI5zQhTHKEqEV1zU4dkw

--

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

The Pfizer documents. Adverse effects and death


Normally I have been a fan of Dr. John Campbell's videos, but here he takes a more anti-Pfizer vaccine position with a conspiracy theory tone.  I'm kind of disappointed because I took him to be a reliable source of information.

In response to his video, I wrote the following comment:

It is irresponsible to say that the 1,223 deaths were due to vaccination. Reportedly, anyone can submit an adverse event whether it was caused by the vaccine or not. Two out of every 100,000 vaccinated people got myocarditis, but 20 to 30% of the people hospitalized with COVID-19 developed heart problems.

The purpose of the adverse event reporting system is to determine if adverse events occur beyond what would be normal.    During the vaccine trial, 6 people died, mostly from cardiac events, and 4 of those deaths came from the placebo group.  https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-pfizer-health-concerns/fact-check-clarifying-claims-around-pfizer-vaccine-deaths-and-side-effects-idUSKBN28K2R6

However, let us take the 1,223 death number at face value for a moment.  From what I can tell, by the end of February 2021, 20% of American adults were vaccinated. That's around 51 million people, mostly older people from which we could expect some deaths regardless.  If 1,223 died from vaccination, then that is 1 out of 41,700.  However, the risk from COVID is greater with 1 out of 333 Americans dying from the disease.

It appeared as if my comment to the video was posted and then deleted within seconds.  I don't understand this unless some automatic filter is eliminating my comment.  I tried a couple of more times and got the same result.










Man given genetically modified pig heart dies - BBC News

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Cookies


Even Mild Cases of COVID Can Cause Brain Damage and Shrinkage

Those who had COVID-19 had significantly more brain tissue loss and shrinkage, the researchers found. People typically lose around 0.2-0.3% of gray matter each year with normal aging, and those who had COVID-19 were losing far more, up to 2%. They also lost more overall brain volume and had higher amounts of tissue damage.

The damage was equivalent to at least an extra year of aging, Gwenaëlle Douaud, an associate professor at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at Oxford and the paper's lead author, told NBC News.

"It is brain damage, but it is possible that it is reversible," she said. "But it is still relatively scary because it was in mildly infected people."

https://people.com/health/even-mild-cases-of-covid-can-cause-brain-damage-and-shrinkage-study-finds/

This is like the mother of all diseases.

Ivermectin, more evidence


I'm neutral on this.  It might take more studies to verify this.  Too many times we have seen the results of studies that were refuted later.

Saturday, March 5, 2022

COVID Cases and Deaths

Whereas the new cases have dropped considerably, the number of active cases is still lingering, going from about 1 out of 11 people to roughly 1 out of 13. The daily death rate remains fairly high, but what I can tell is about half of the recent peak






Thursday, March 3, 2022

New Study Finds COVID-19 DNA Linked to Moderna Patent Filed in 2016, Sparks Discussion on Lab Leak Theory

"We're talking about a very, very, very small piece made up of 19 nucleotides," Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist at Warwick University, was quoted as saying to Daily Mail.

"So it doesn't mean very much, to be frank, if you do these types of searches, you can always find matches.

"Sometimes these things happen fortuitously, sometimes it's the result of convergent evolution (when organisms evolve independently to have similar traits to adapt to their environment).

"It's a quirky observation, but I wouldn't call it a smoking gun because it's too small.

"It doesn't get us any further with the debate about whether COVID-19 was engineered," Young said.

A statement from the US drug maker Moderna is awaited, the report said.

Vitamin D

The recommended Daily Value (DV) for vitamin D is 800 international units (IU), or 20 mcg per day for all adults and children over 4 years old. For children aged 1–3, it's 600 IU or 15 mcg per day (1).

With the exception of fatty fish like salmon, which contains 447 IU in a 3-ounce (85-gram) serving, very few foods are good sources of vitamin D. Instead, most vitamin D is made in your body when your skin is exposed to the sun (2Trusted Source).

Many people don't meet the recommendations for vitamin D. In fact, one study found that 25% of Canadians don't meet their needs through diet alone (3Trusted Source).

People who live in northern latitudes where sunshine is limited in the winter, as well as those who don't spend much time in the sun, often have lower blood levels of vitamin D (2Trusted Source3Trusted Source).

Other factors, such as having obesity or underweight, being physically inactive, and having certain genetic mutations, can also put you at risk of having lower vitamin D levels (4Trusted Source).

Taking a supplement and using fortified foods like vitamin D milk are good ways to increase your intake and blood levels of vitamin D.

Vitamin D Milk: Everything You Need to Know (healthline.com)


In some countries, including Canada and Sweden, vitamin D is added to cow's milk by law. In the United States, it's not mandated, but most milk manufacturers add it voluntarily during milk processing (5Trusted Source).

It has been added to cow's milk since the 1930s when the practice was implemented as a public health initiative to reduce rickets, which causes poor bone development and deformities in children (6Trusted Source).

While milk doesn't naturally contain vitamin D, it's a good source of calcium. These two nutrients work well together, as vitamin D aids calcium absorption into your bones, thus helping strengthen them.

The combination of calcium and vitamin D also helps prevent and treat osteomalacia, or soft bones, which accompanies rickets and can affect older adults (7Trusted Source8Trusted Source).

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows manufacturers to add up to 84 IU per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of vitamin D3 to cow's milk and 84 IU per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of vitamin D2 to plant-based milk alternatives (9Trusted Source).

Drinking vitamin D milk increases the amount of vitamin D people get and improves levels of vitamin D in the blood (5Trusted Source).

Studies in Finland, where vitamin D milk has been mandatory since 2003, found that 91% of milk drinkers had vitamin D levels at or above 20 ng/ml, which is considered sufficient according to the Institute of Medicine (7Trusted Source10Trusted Source).

Prior to the fortification law, only 44% had optimal vitamin D levels (7Trusted Source10Trusted Source).

SUMMARY

Vitamin D milk is enhanced with vitamin D during processing. This vitamin is added because it works with the calcium in milk to strengthen your bones. Drinking vitamin D milk can also help boost your vitamin D levels.

Drinking milk that contains both calcium and vitamin D is recommended as a way to strengthen your bones and prevent rickets and osteomalacia (8Trusted Source).

However, large studies don't show that it helps prevent osteoporosis, which is characterized by a thinning of the bones, or bone fractures in older adults (11Trusted Source12Trusted Source).

Still, having higher levels of vitamin D is linked to important health benefits — and they extend beyond improved bone health.

Vitamin D is needed for proper cell growth, nerve and muscle function, and a healthy immune system. It likewise helps reduce inflammation, which is thought to contribute to conditions like heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and cancer (2Trusted Source).

Studies that have compared vitamin D levels with disease risk suggest that having lower blood levels of the vitamin is linked to a higher risk of a wide range of chronic diseases, while having adequate or higher levels seems to result in a lower risk (13Trusted Source).

May reduce heart disease risk

A major risk factor for heart disease is a cluster of conditions known as metabolic syndrome. It includes high blood pressure, insulin resistance, excess abdominal weight, high triglycerides, and low HDL (good) cholesterol.

People who have higher levels of vitamin D tend to have less severe metabolic syndrome and a lower risk of heart disease (13Trusted Source).

Additionally, higher levels of vitamin D are linked to healthier blood vessels (14Trusted Source).

A study in nearly 10,000 people found that those who got more vitamin D from supplements or diet — including fortified milk — had higher blood levels of the vitamin, less stiffness in their arteries, and lower blood pressure, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels (14Trusted Source).

May reduce cancer risk

Because vitamin D plays a major role in healthy cell division, development, and growth, it's thought that it may also play a role in preventing the growth of cancer cells.

Research that looked at vitamin D levels and cancer risk in 2,300 women over the age of 55 found that blood levels greater than 40 ng/ml were associated with a 67% lower risk of all types of cancer (15Trusted Source).

Furthermore, Australian scientists who followed 3,800 adults for 20 years found the same benefit for breast and colon cancer, but not all types of cancer (16Trusted Source).

Though these studies looked only at vitamin D levels and not how the vitamin was obtained, a review of studies investigating the link between dairy milk and cancer found that it was protective against colorectal, bladder, stomach, and breast cancer (17Trusted Source).

Vitamin D and autoimmune diseases

Low vitamin D levels are often observed in those with autoimmune diseases, including: (18Trusted Source)

  • Hashimoto's thyroiditis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • multiple sclerosis
  • systemic lupus erythematosus
  • type 1 diabetes
  • psoriasis
  • Crohn's disease


Thursday, February 24, 2022

How long does a COVID booster shot offer protection against omicron?

Specifically, the researchers found that after a third shot of Pfizer, protection against hospitalizations starts out above 95% (two weeks after the shot) and remains around 80% even after four months.

By comparison, with only two shots of any vaccine, protection against severe disease declines to 40% after six months.

The researchers only have short-term data for the Moderna vaccine, but the results are likely to echo the Pfizer numbers given the similarities of these mRNA vaccines and their comparable behavior with the delta variant.

The findings from the study raise the question of what the future holds for these vaccines, says immunologist Deepta Bhattacharya at the University of Arizona.

"I don't think it's a sustainable strategy to ask people to get boosters of the same vaccine every two months or three months. People just aren't going to do it," he says. "I myself felt awful after I got the second shot."

Perhaps, instead, the goal may need to shift from stopping infections to making sure everyone is protected against severe disease over the long-term.

"Could we get to the point where public health officials recommend a shot once a year," Bhattacharya says. "I think that's fairly likely. Now, whether everyone will absolutely need that shot to prevent severe disease each year, that's a different question, and we'll have to wait for the data