Free vitamin D

Hallelujah! At last the government have responded to the urging of a group of scientists and are now going to give free vitamin D to clinically vulnerable people!

Back in the spring that same government was talking about vitamin D in terms of “the worst kind of fake news”! At the beginning of May I wrote:-

Welfare Foods Service

In 1942, in the midst of World War II, Britain’s Ministry of Food announced the Welfare Foods Service. The new program was to provide free or subsidised cod liver oil, fruit juices, and milk to all children under the age of five, as well as to pregnant mothers, regardless of income. These were considered essential to ensure that children were getting vital nutrients.

Cod liver oil would have supplied vitamin D!

This was stopped in 1962. Months later, member of Parliament, Frank Allaun (Salford East) challenged that decision pointing out that “The Minister does not really know whether the necessary vitamins are being obtained because it will be some time before the signs become evident.”

Fake news

It is interesting to consider that the UK Government once understood enough about nutrition to provide free supplementation to all children and pregnant women

The current government, however, while having absolutely nothing to offer in terms of a cure – insists that such nutritional supplements are “fake news of the worst kind“.

I suggest that the worst kind of fake news, right now, is the government’s disparagement of nutritional wisdom once held dear by the government!

Better late than never

Still – better late than never – now millions of elderly and vulnerable people will be given free supplies of Vitamin D as evidence grows about the benefits of Vitamin D in the battle against Covid-19.

The move will be accompanied by the start of clinical trials to further assess links between Vitamin D and Covid-19.

Care-home residents and people who are shielding will be sent enough supplies of the vitamin to last four months.

The move comes in light of emerging evidence about the immune modulating benefits of Vitamin D. The encouraging results of a clinical trial in Spain have recently been published – read about it here

A UK study found that 80 per cent of Covid-19 victims admitted to hospital were Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D is a hormone produced by the kidneys which has a direct impact on the body’s immune system.

A Government-backed review concluded that Vitamin D improves the ability to fight infection. According to British researchers, our immune system’s T-cells become ‘supercharged’ in response to Vitamin D.

Much higher levels

Dr Martin Hewison, Professor of Molecular Endocrinology at the University of Birmingham and one of the country’s leading investigators into Vitamin D said  ‘We think that Vitamin D can dampen down the over-reaction of the immune system which causes life-threatening Covid illness in some people.

Dr Martin Hewison

Dr Hewison is among a group of scientists who have been campaigning for the Government to increase the recommended daily amount (RDA) of Vitamin D. ‘Obese people, women and those over 50 have trouble absorbing vitamin D into the bloodstream, so many may need more of the vitamin’ he explains.

Official recommendations underestimate the amount of the nutrient needed‘, says dietician Ursula Philpot. ‘Our recommended daily intakes are based on avoiding deficiency. But due to genetic variations, some will need much higher levels of Vitamin D for optimum  immune-functioning.’

Experts have suggested that the higher rates of serious Covid-19 complications in patients from ethnic minorities could be due to the fact that the darker the skin, the longer it takes for  vitamin D to be synthesised from sunlight.


For anyone, the only way to be sure of having adequate blood levels of vitamin D is by testing. It’s a worthwhile health investment in the middle of a global pandemic!

Click here for information on testing





The zinc taste test

Professor Derek Bryce-Smith of Reading University, Berkshire, England was the scientist who alerted the world to the dangers of lead in petrol. Bryce-Smith’s scientific arguments showing the distribution of lead into the environment by vehicles led New Scientist to dub him the “scourge of the lead industry”. His efforts played a key role in the introduction of unleaded petrol.

Professor Derek Bryce-Smith 1926 – 2011

Professor Bryce-Smith believed that the scientist must be socially responsible, willing to confront and, where necessary, oppose the dogma and financial interests of the establishment.

His uncompromising approach undoubtedly cost him commercial opportunities and may have been detrimental to his academic career. “It was a very lonely battle for a very long time,” he said. “A lot of my colleagues looked at me sideways, because many research chemists are in debt to the oil industry, which provides them with money for research.”

Zinc test

What Bryce-Smith discovered was that zinc is depleted from the body because it is needed to lock up and flush out the lead. He noted that zinc is required for proper sense of taste and smell – and the deficiency can cause loss of both. Professor Bryce-Smith developed a zinc test which works on the basis that the more deficient in zinc you are, the less you are able to taste the test liquid. Zincatest is still available to buy.

The Zinc Solution

After his retirement from Reading University in 1991, Bryce Smith pursued his interests into nutritional disorders, including the factors that influence foetal development, stillbirths and behavioural aspects. He co-authored a book called ‘The Zinc Solution’.

Some years ago Professor Bryce-Smith told me how disappointed he was when that book  went out of print. We talked about how he might get it self-published. That was before the advent of the internet, however, and he didn’t manage to re-publish. This valuable little book is still widely available second-hand.


Make the connection

Professor Bryce-Smith was a rare breed of academic. The university system would now struggle to accommodate a character with such an independence of mind. His commitment and contributions to environmental chemistry were recognised in 1984 when he was awarded the John Jeyes silver medal and endowed lectureship by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Having known Professor Derek Bryce-Smith, I have no doubt that – were he alive today –  he would make the connection between the loss of sense of smell observed in Covid-19 – and the fact that zinc is rapidly depleted by infection. And I believe he would be encouraging people to take the zinc test and ensure that their zinc levels are adequate.

Buy here

You can buy Zincatest here

Gut bacteria for covid-19

A PILL called MRx-4DP0004  which is made from human gut bacteria is being tested by British scientists as a possible Covid treatment. In a trial launched today, patients will be given the the pill which contains strains of gut bacteria that have been found to reduce damage to lung tissue caused by inflammation.

Patients often become seriously ill when their immune system overreacts to coronavirus. It is hoped that the gut bacteria will stop this without reducing the immune response needed to tackle the virus. If the bacteria works, scientists plan to give it to patients before they develop breathing problems, in order to reduce hospital admissions.

Early trials of MRx-4DP0004 produced by Leeds-based 4D Pharma, were promising. Dr Alex Stevenson, chief scientific officer at 4D Pharma, said the pill will “potentially reduce the respiratory issues central to Covid-19“.

Gut ecosystem

MRx-4DP0004 is a Bifidobacterium, isolated from the microbiome of a healthy human infant. Bifidobacteria are microorganisms which are widely encountered within the gut ecosystem of all mammals, including humans.

Extensive research has attributed health-promoting traits to helpful gut bacteria –  such as vitamin production, amelioration of certain gastrointestinal disorders and inhibition of enteropathogens through production of a range of antimicrobial compounds.

The benefits of  a healthy gut have been known for decades – but Covid-19 is highlighting just how important the human microbiome is right now. Gut dysbiosis (a disordered microbiome) can cause systemic inflammation – even without the additional burden of the virus. In fact – where there is already systemic inflammation – Covid-19 infection is more likely to result in serious inflammation of the lungs.

Thorough explanation

I have been writing on the health of the gut for decades . Read about he causes of gut dybiosis here  Simply follow the links on that page for a thorough explanation of why gut dysbiois and systemic inflammation are so widespread.

Kefir is a simple to make food that contains many strains of helpful gut bacteria – a valuable aid in the restoring of the gut microbiome and in enhancing immunity. Read more here.









Immunity and the Coronavirus

Seriously good news:

  • New York hospitals experience encouraging results with Corona Virus patients
  • Three new clinical studies are now underway in China
  • Vitamin C, “an existing, plausible, clinically demonstrated method to treat what coronavirus patients die from: severe acute respiratory syndrome, or pneumonia“.
  • A family from Wuhan who had  no protective equipment, yet who weren’t infected by the COVID-19 virus even though they were caring for their elderly relative who had serious Covid-19 complications. This elderly lady, who had underlying health problems, later recovered.

Read more here – and be sure to watch the two videos!

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See also:

Immunity and the coronavirus

Infection fighters

Neem is antiviral

Garlic is antiviral

Kefir to enhance immunity

Eucalyptus oil is antiviral