Howard S. Armistead*
The death toll from Covid-19 would fall dramatically if the medical community and governments applied recent discoveries and insights made by virologists. How long will that take? Twenty-four years after AIDS researchers proved selenium helps significantly against HIV/AIDS, the World Health Organization (WHO), governments and many physicians still ignore the wealth of science that elucidates the range of that benefit. Millions in Africa died due to that irresponsible disregard. How many will die in this pandemic due to the pathological ignoring of the science of how selenium affects Covid-19 and vice-versa? Millions again? Probably.
Based on reports in more than nine medical journal articles, the data is now in. 100% of people who die of Covid-19 are deficient in selenium. 100% of people with Covid who are on ventilators or in critical condition are deficient in selenium. This is also true of critically ill cases of many other fatal viral diseases including Ebola, HIV and Hantavirus. As with Ebola, HIV, and Hantavirus, mortality rates of Covid-19 are highly correlated with the progressive loss of selenium. They can be dramatically reduced if an adequate daily dose of selenium is provided.
Viruses attack the body’s selenium supply because they overcome human immune defences by depleting the immune system of its essential selenium. Then they manufacture their own selenoproteins to protect themselves from our immune responses. As viral replication proceeds and viral load increases, the body becomes progressively depleted of selenium. That results in loss of immune system control, a cytokine storm, multi-organ failure, sepsis, and death. This can be prevented if the key ingredient of immune function can be restored in time through adequate supplementation. Researchers who specialize in this corner of immunology/virology repeatedly have proved and clearly understand this. Why do the WHO and governments ignore this critically important fact of viral science? When did WHO bureaucrats become professional science deniers? It is long past time to reject this wilful ignorance and act promptly to deflate the death toll in the current pandemic. If international health authorities failed to learn the lesson of selenium-viral interactions during the HIV pandemic, how many more pandemics must humanity suffer before they finally accept and apply this fundamental fact of RNA virology to saving lives?
After the Liberian Ministry of Health (MoH) called me to bring selenium to test during the 2014 Ebola epidemic, MoH doctors quickly administered selenium to Ebola patients. The mortality rate at the testing clinic almost immediately declined by 46.8%. If they had used the correct, slightly higher dose, deaths should have fallen by 65%. In a controlled clinical trial, Chinese doctors demonstrated the same, reducing the mortality rate of deadly haemorrhagic fever Hantavirus by approximately 80% using the higher dosage of selenium. Selenium treatment has the same proven effect on HIV, slowing disease progression, dramatically increasing CD4 count, and reducing the incidence of virtually all opportunistic infections, and hospitalization. Yet the WHO has never advised African ministries of health to apply this well-established science to save money and improve both health and economies. Why? Is there a conflict of interest? Or is there some other reason? Ignoring or denying solid scientific evidence and proof cost millions of lives in the HIV pandemic. How many lives will it cost in this pandemic – or the next?
The essential trace element selenium is the cornerstone building block of the cellular and human antioxidant systems. Antioxidant selenoproteins protect cells and organs from damage and keep them and us healthy. Selenium has proved to be the strongest immune boosting agent – the strongest medication to increase CD4 count. However, viruses have evolved to attack our protective selenoprotein supply because that facilitates their replication, survival, and perpetuation. They infect us and steal our selenium. In the selenium wars, it is the survival of the fittest – and the best informed. Is the SARS-CoV-2 corona virus smarter than the WHO? So far it is. One must hope it is not smarter than you and your physician. Show your doctor this essay and let him or her decide after visiting winagainstcorona.com and reviewing “Scientists Explain How Selenium Affects Covid-19”.
Some Covid-19 experts continue to claim there is no early therapy for this disease. They are dead wrong. Selenium is an anti-inflammatory nutritional supplement. It should be combined with anti-inflammatory drugs and used as early as possible to bolster immunity, inhibit viral replication, and slow Covid disease progression. The best anti-inflammatories to use inhibit a human protein called NF-kB. NF-kB increases both inflammation and viral replication and contributes to causing the cytokine storm that leads to fatal consequences. Although paracetamol/Panadol reduces inflammation, it does not inhibit NF-kB. Selenium, aspirin, ibuprofen, and indomethacin all inhibit NF-kB and should be used instead of paracetamol. Not only do they reduce inflammation, they reduce viral replication. Selenium plus one of these anti-inflammatory drugs constitute effective early therapy. Early therapy reduces hospitalizations and saves lives and money. Corticosteroid drugs should not be used prior to hospitalization since, surprisingly, their early use against SARS was shown to increase viral replication.
Often it has been glibly asserted that people should “wake up and smell the coffee.” In this case governments, the WHO, and doctors should inform themselves by reading the actual science instead of taking some “expert’s” word for it. So-called national experts are not informed because they have neither read this latest science, nor obviously even the previous research. To cover their ignorance, they instinctively deny, but fail to present any contradictory evidence or data to support their blanket denials. Lengthy excerpts from nine medical journal articles confirming the facts reported here are found at winagainstcorona.com. National Covid advisors and the WHO should urgently educate themselves about this research produced by true world experts.
Besides selenium, the only other frank nutritional deficiency in advanced Covid disease is vitamin D3. The sufficiency of other nutrients is not seriously disturbed. However, the frontal assault by the SARS-CoV-2 virus on the supply of protective antioxidant selenoproteins marks the body for both morbidity and mortality. Research data has drawn a stark dividing line. People with enough selenium live. Many who are selenium deficient do not.
People who suffer from significant health problems or who are elderly and therefore already deficient in selenium are the most endangered. Across Southern Africa, as in a majority of countries, most people’s diets are somewhat deficient in selenium. Adding a supplement with adequate selenium will help protect lives when this highly contagious virus strikes. But be aware that some nutritional supplements advertise selenium on the label while providing very little. One full-strength 200mcg selenium tablet daily offers protection but no guarantee. If or when Covid-19 strikes, a higher dose is required, depending on the severity of the stage of illness. However, a Covid vaccination offers the best protection. One must try to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible.
The home city of the WHO is known for its fine but expensive cups of coffee and its spectacular views of Lake Geneva and the Swiss Alps. It is two decades past time when WHO health bureaucrats should have woken, sipped their caffeine, and learned about selenium-viral interactions. The life this knowledge saves may be someone near or dear to you – or your own. We must all heed these scientific facts, some of which are newly realized. Let us act now to stop the dying – or at least cut it in half. Selenium by itself is not a cure for this or any disease. But without enough selenium in the body, one’s chances of surviving Covid-19 are much slimmer indeed.
*Howard Armistead is Director of the Selenium Education and Research Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa