ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0023.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: Depression; Major depressive disorder; Diet; Nutrition; Randomized controlled trial, Randomized controlled pilot trial; Healthy Nordic diet; Mental health; Palatability; Food liking
Online: 1 February 2021 (12:31:47 CET)
Healthy diet interventions have been shown to improve depressive symptoms, but there is a need for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that are double-blind and investigate biological mechanisms. The primary objectives of this randomized controlled pilot trial were to test the palatability of the meals and acceptability of the intervention in preparation for a future 8-week RCT which will investigate whether a healthy Nordic diet improves depressive symptoms in individuals with major depressive disorder, and associated biological mechanisms. Depressed (n=10) and non-depressed (n=6) women and men were randomized to receive either a healthy Nordic diet (ND) or a control diet (CD) for 8 days. Participants were blinded to diet allocation and study hypotheses. Health questionnaires were completed before and after the intervention, and, throughout the study, questionnaires assessed ratings of liking and sensory properties of the meals, adherence, and open-ended feedback. In the ND group, 75% of participants consumed no non-study foods, compared to 50% of CD participants. The meals of both diets, on average, received good ratings for liking and sensory properties, though the ND ratings were somewhat higher. Overall, results were positive and informative, indicating that the planned RCT will be feasible and well-accepted, with some proposed modifications.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0321.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: fat; obesity; randomized controlled trials; meta-analysis
Online: 15 October 2020 (11:53:54 CEST)
Background: Overweight and obese adults seek effective exercise interventions to reduce accumulated fat, but the effectiveness of these interventions vary across studies. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to investigate the effectiveness of exercise interventions in overweight and obese adults based on measurement of accumulated fat distributions. (2) Methods: Databases were used to select eligible studies for this meta-analysis. Randomized controlled trials with a control and experimental group were included. Degrees of effectiveness of exercise interventions were computed to assess the benefits on reducing weight and subcutaneous, visceral, and ectopic fat accumulation. (3) Results: A total of twenty-one studies were included in this meta-analysis. Participation in exercise interventions showed beneficial effects in reducing weight and subcutaneous and visceral fat. The effectiveness of exercise interventions on ectopic fat accumulation could not be assessed due to the limited number of studies measuring ectopic fat. Additionally, effectiveness of exercise interventions that depended on measurements of accumulated fat varied. The average exercise intervention for overweight and obese individuals was moderate to vigorous intensity, 4 times per week, 50 minutes per session, and 22 weeks duration. (4) Conclusions: Participating in exercise interventions has favorable effects on reducing weight and accumulation of subcutaneous and visceral fat.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0078.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: rehospitalization; transition care; pilot study; prospective randomized trial
Online: 6 January 2022 (11:40:43 CET)
Hospital readmission within 30 days of discharge (30-day readmission) is a high-priority quality measure and cost target. The purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility and efficacy of the Diabetes Transition of Hospital Care (DiaTOHC) Program on readmission risk in high-risk adults with diabetes. This was a non-blinded pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) that compared usual care (UC) to DiaTOHC at a safety-net hospital. The primary outcome was all-cause 30-day readmission. Between 10/16/2017 and 05/30/2019, 115 patients were randomized. In the intention-to-treat (ITT) population, 14 (31.1%) of 45 DiaTOHC subjects and 15 (32.6%) of 46 UC subjects had a 30-day readmission (p=0.88) while 35.6% DiaTOHC and 39.1% UC subjects had a 30-day readmission or ED visit (p=0.72). The Intervention:UC cost ratio was 0.33 (0.13-0.79)95%CI (p<0.01). Among the 69 subjects with baseline HbA1c >7.0% (53 mmol/mol), 30-day readmission rates were 23.5% (DiaTOHC) and 31.4% (UC, p=0.46) and composite 30-day readmission or ED visit rates were 26.5% (DiaTOHC) and 40.0% (UC, p=0.23). In this subgroup, the Intervention:UC cost ratio was 0.21 (0.08-0.58)95%CI (p=0.002). The DiaTOHC Program is feasible and may decrease combined 30-day readmission/ED visit risk as well as healthcare costs among patients with higher HbA1c levels.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0188.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: cookstoves; LPG; randomized controlled trial; adherence; fidelity; intervention
Online: 9 November 2021 (15:17:51 CET)
Background: Clean cookstove interventions can theoretically reduce exposure to household air pollution and benefit health, but this requires near-exclusive use of the stoves, with simultaneous disuse of traditional stoves. Previous cookstove trials have reported low adoption of new stoves and/or extensive continued traditional stove use. Methods: The Household Air Pollution Intervention Network (HAPIN) trial randomized 3195 pregnant women in Guatemala, India, Peru, and Rwanda either to a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) stove and fuel intervention (n = 1590) or to control (n = 1605). The intervention consisted of an LPG stove and two initial cylinders of LPG, free fuel refills delivered to the home, and regular behavioral messaging. We assessed intervention fidelity (delivery of the intervention as intended) and adherence (intervention use) through the end of gestation, as relevant to the first primary health outcome of the trial: infant birth weight. Fidelity and adherence were evaluated using stove and fuel delivery records, questionnaires, visual observations, and temperature-logging stove use monitors (SUMs). Results: 1585 women received the intervention, at a median (interquartile range) of 8.0 (5.0–15.0) days post-randomization and gestational age of 17.9 (15.4–20.6) weeks. Over 96% reported cooking exclusively with LPG at two follow-up visits during pregnancy. Less than 4% reported ever running out of LPG. Complete abandonment of traditional stove cooking was observed in over 67% of intervention households. 31.4% removed their traditional stoves upon receipt of the intervention, and among those who retained traditional stoves, the majority did not use them: traditional stove use was detected via SUMs on a median (interquartile range) of 0.0% (0.0%, 1.6%) of follow-up days (median follow-up = 134 days). Conclusions: Fidelity of the HAPIN intervention, as measured by stove installation, timely ongoing fuel deliveries, and behavioral reinforcement as needed, was high. Exclusive use of the intervention during pregnancy was also high.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0427.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: overweight; obesity; body fat; maximal oxygen uptake; double-blind; randomized controlled trial
Online: 24 August 2018 (07:40:00 CEST)
: Background: Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for many chronic diseases, and weight-loss interventions often include systematic exercising and nutritional supplements. The purpose of this study was to determine the independent/synergistic effects of Spirulina maxima supplementation (6-week, 4.5 g/day) and a systematic physical exercise program (6 weeks/ 2 times) on body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness of overweight and obese subjects. Methods: 27 overweight and 25 obese sedentary male subjects were assigned to four interventions through a randomized double-blind, crossover controlled trial: Physical exercise program with (SE) or without (Ex) Spirulina maxima or no-exercise program with (Sm) and without (C) Spirulina maxima. Body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness parameters were taken during a maximal intensity test. Results: As compared to C group, SE, Sm and Ex groups reduced (p < 0.05) their body fat percentage while improving their maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max; r = −0.40), being obese subjects more benefited. Weight loss, time to reach fatigue and onset of blood lactate accumulation were improved in both Spirulina maxima supplemented groups, regardless the subjects’ body composition. Conclusions: Spirulina maxima supplementation synergistically improves the effects of systematic exercise in body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness parameters in overweight but mostly in obese adults.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0296.v1
Online: 17 January 2023 (06:36:43 CET)
The purpose of this study is to compare IVC Celect and ALN filters in regard to their efficacy, retrievability, and 1-year follow-up after retrieval. Materials and Methods: This is a prospective randomized study, conducted in three centers between April 2020 and May 2021. A total of 115 participants were randomized, of which 15 participants were excluded for various reasons. Each group of 50 participants was finally assigned a type of filter (Celect n= 50 and ALN= 50). Tilt angles at placement and retrieval together with rates of overall filter retrieval, complications, complex retrieval, and clinical follow-up at 12 months were compared. Results: One hundred participants (59 men and 41 women) were included. The mean age was 62.4±13.3 with no significant differences between both groups (p 0.503). The mean of dwelling time was 44.7±93 days. (p 0.520) Filter retrieval was successful in all participants (100%). The main complication in CT prior to removal was inclination > 15º (31%) and filter tip embedment (16%). No significant differences were observed in the type of retrieval (standard or complex) between both filters (p 0.24); however, fluoroscopy time was significantly longer in the complex removal of the Celect filter 29.1±12 min vs 17.5±10.3 (p 0.005). After one year, no recurrent pulmonary embolism was observed in both types of filters. Conclusion: The ALN filter had a significantly lower rate of tip and filter tip embedding with no differences in complexity or removal success rate. There were significant differences in the fluoroscopy time consumed for standard and complex retrievals between both filters with less time in the ALN filter
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0200.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Neuropathic Pain; Combination Therapy; Pharmacotherapy; Randomized Control Trial
Online: 2 August 2021 (14:52:46 CEST)
Pharmacological treatment is not very effective for neuropathic pain (NP). A progressive decrease in the estimated effect of NP drugs has been reported, giving rise to an increase in the use of the multimodal analgesic approach. We performed a new, independent review to assess whether more evidence and of better-quality has become available since the last systematic review. We evaluated the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of double-blinded, randomized, controlled trials involving only adult participants and comparing combination therapy (CT: ≥ 2 drugs) to a placebo and/or at least one other comparator with an NP indication. The primary outcome assessed was the proportion of participants reporting ≥50% pain reductions from baseline. The secondary outcome assessed was the proportion of drop-outs due to treatment-emergent adverse events. After removing duplicates, 2323 citations were screened, with 164 articles assessed for eligibility, from which 16 were included for qualitative analysis. From the latter, only five lasted for at least 12 weeks and only six complied with the required data for complete analysis. CT has been adopted for years without robust evidence. Efforts have been made to achieve better-quality evidence, but the quality has not improved over the years. In this regard, guidelines for NP should attempt to make recommendations about CT research, prioritizing which combinations to analyze.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0197.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Other Keywords: mathematics; videogame; education; self-competency; randomized controlled trial
Online: 29 May 2017 (10:32:30 CEST)
Development of early math skills is linked to future success in mathematics and other academics. Educational videogames have been shown to promote academic achievement; however, few rigorous studies have evaluated the use of educational videogames in supporting math development, especially in early primary education. In the current study, an open-label randomized controlled trial was conducted involving 134 first grade students to determine, using standardized assessments, the impact of the educational mathematics tablet-based videogame, Knowledge Battle, on math scores and self-competency. Overall, Knowledge Battle did improve math skills in participants who played the game. Among those with lower pre-game math skills, the Knowledge Battle group’s mean math score increased more than the control group’s mean math score (9.7 vs. 6.0; p=0.02). There was no association between perceived sense of self-competency and total math score (p=0.8141). However, players who had a higher sense of self-competency were more likely to enjoy playing the game. In conclusion, our findings suggest that Knowledge Battle was an acceptable and enjoyable educational mathematical videogame for first grade students, and may be most impactful for those with low math skills.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0316.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Randomized Controlled Trial; Equal Group Size; Nursing; Allocation Bias; Effect Size
Online: 14 July 2021 (10:49:38 CEST)
The manipulation of participant allocation in randomized controlled trials to achieve equal groups sizes may introduce allocation bias potentially leading to larger treatment effect estimates. This study aimed to estimate the proportion of nursing trials that have precisely equal group sizes and examine if there was an association with trial outcome. Data were extracted from a sample of 148 randomized controlled trials published in nursing science journals in 2017. One hundred trials (68%) had precisely equal group sizes. Respectively, a positive outcome was reported in 70% and 58% of trials with equal/unequal groups. Trials from Asia were more likely to have equal group sizes than those from the rest of the world. Most trials reported a sample size calculation (n=105, 71%). In a third of trials (n=36, 34%), the number of participants recruited precisely matched the requirement of the sample size calculation; this was significantly more common in studies with equal group sizes. The high number of nursing trials with equal groups may suggest nurses con-ducting clinical trials are manipulating participant allocation to ensure equal group size increasing the risk of bias.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0563.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: diabetes; omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid; lipoprotein subfraction; dyslipidemia; randomized controlled trial
Online: 27 October 2020 (20:37:15 CET)
Objectives To determine the effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFA) from animal and plant sources on glucolipid metabolism and lipoprotein subfractions in type 2 diabetic patients with dyslipidemia. Methods Participants were recruited from the diabetes clinic at the Guanlin Hospital, Yixing City in Jiangsu province, China, from March 2017 through June 2017. Ninety participants were randomly assigned to take 3g/day fish oil (FO, containing EPA and DHA), 3g/day perilla oil (PO, containing ALA), or 3g/day blend oil containing fish oil and linseed oil (BO, containing EPA, DHA and ALA) for 3 months. The levels of serum glucose, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), C-peptide, triglyceride (TG), total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), non-HDL, apolipoprotein A1 (Apo A1), apolipoprotein B (Apo B), lipoprotein a (Lp(a)), and free fatty acids were determined at baseline and after the 3 months. In addition, four fatty acids in serum and red blood cells membranes (RBCm) were analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The Lipoprint System was used to determine the lipoprotein subfractions. Results All 90 participants completed the final 3-month follow-up at the end of the study. After three months of intervention, blood glucose and HbA1c levels in the PO group were significantly lower than those at the baseline (p < 0.05). On the other hand, in the BO group, the HbA1c, non-HDL, Apo A1 and Lp(a) levels were significantly lower, while the C-peptide levels were significantly higher after intervention compared to the baseline (p < 0.05). In the FO group, the HbA1c and TG levels were significantly lower after the intervention compared to the baseline (p < 0.05). In addition, at the end of the study, there was significant increase in the levels of DPA and DHA in serum and RBCm of the FO group (p < 0.05), while in the BO group, there was significant increase in the levels of EPA, DPA and DHA in RBCm (p < 0.05). Finally, the FO group had the highest levels of large HDL subfractions compared to the BO and PO groups, but had the lowest levels of small HDL subfractions among the three groups. Conclusion For patients with diabetes, plant-derived ω-3 PUFAs are more effective at controlling blood glucose than animal-derived ω-3 PUFAs. However, animal-derived ω-3 PUFAs play a critical role in controlling blood lipids. Particularly, fish oil can effectively increase the beneficial large HDL subfractions and reduce the nonbeneficial small HDL subfractions. Both the animal- and plant-derived ω - 3 PUFAs have practical value in improving glucose and lipids metabolism in T2DM patients with dyslipidemia.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0141.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: review; real -world evidence; real -world data; randomized controlled trials; registry; digital health technology; early drug approval
Online: 8 July 2022 (11:09:58 CEST)
Real-world evidence (RWE) is increasingly involved in the early benefit assessment of medicinal drugs. It is expected that RWE will help to speed up approval processes comparable to RWE developments in vaccine research during the COVID-19 pandemic. Definitions of RWE are diverse marking the highly fluid status in this field. So far, RWE comprises information produced from data routinely collected on patient’s health status and/or delivery of health care from various sources other than traditional clinical trials. These sources can include electronic health records, claims, patient-generated data including in home-use settings, data from mobile devices as well as patient, product and disease registries. The aim of the present update was to review the current RWE developments and guidelines mainly in the U.S., the UK, Europe and Germany field during the last decade. RWE has already been included in various approval procedures of regulatory authorities reflecting its actual acceptance and growing importance in evaluating and accelerating new therapies. However, since the RWE research is still in a transition process and since a number of gaps in this field have been explored, more guidance and a consented definition are necessary to increase the implementation of real-world data.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0278.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: systematic review; meta-analysis; dietary pattern; prospective cohort; randomized controlled trial; cancer prognosis; cancer survival; dietary intervention
Online: 16 December 2021 (15:06:33 CET)
Cancer survival continues to improve in high-income countries, partly explained by advances in screening and treatment. Previous studies have mainly examined the relationship between individual dietary components and cancer prognosis in tumours with good therapeutic response (breast, colon and prostate cancers). The aim of this review was to assess qualitatively (and quantitatively where appropriate) the associations of dietary patterns and cancer prognosis from published prospective cohort studies, as well as the effect of diet interventions by means of randomized controlled trials (RCT). A systematic search was conducted in PubMed, and a total of 35 prospective cohort studies and 14 RCT published between 2011 and 2021 were selected. Better overall diet quality was associated with improved survival among breast and colorectal cancer survivors; adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated to lower risk of mortality in colorectal and prostate cancer survivors. A meta-analysis using a random-effects model showed that higher versus lower diet quality was associated with a 23% reduction in overall mortality in breast cancer survivors. There was evidence that dietary interventions, generally combined with physical activity, improved overall quality of life, though most studies were in breast cancer survivors. Further cohort and intervention studies in other cancers are needed to make more specific recommendations.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0193.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: mild cognitive impairment (MCI); mild dementia; Alzheimer’s disease; Ginkgo biloba (EGb761®); Tebonin; anti-dementia drugs; randomized controlled trials
Online: 8 February 2021 (11:37:05 CET)
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and mild dementia are a clinically relevant health problem in the elderly and Alzheimer's disease being the most common neurodegenerative disorder. Furthermore, MCI and mild dementia are characterized by a deterioration of cognitive function and their diagnosis is mainly based on cognitive examination and, the prognosis of the disease seems to be an essential reason for the diagnosis, because there is a high risk of cognitive decline in the two syndromes. This review describes the effectiveness of Ginkgo biloba (EGb761®) leaf extract for the treatment of dementia syndrome and EGb761® combination therapy with other medications for symptomatic dementia. Tebonin® is a drug of plant origin based on the active ingredient “Ginkgo biloba”. This drug has shown encouraging results, improving cognitive function, neuropsychiatric disorders and consequent reduction of caregiver stress and maintenance of autonomy in patients with age-related cognitive decline, MCI and mild dementia. Nowadays, there is little evidence to support the efficacy of EGb761® combination therapy with anti-dementia drugs and, therefore, more evidence is needed to evaluate the role of EGb761® in mixed therapy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0572.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: randomized controlled clinical trials; mathematical model; binary system; statistical analysis; epidemiological model; junk science; reductionist treatments; failure of medicine
Online: 24 September 2020 (08:13:15 CEST)
Modern medicine adopted four presumptions when it evolved from ancient experienced-based mind-body medicine. To understand its failure in finding cures for chronic diseases, we examined four presumptions, and found that statistical population of health properties does not exist for most research purposes, mathematical models are misused to model intensive properties, synthetic drugs are inherently more dangerous than nature-made medicines under their respective application conditions, and reductionist treatments are inferior and inherently dangerous. We found that clinical trials are valid only for research where treatment effect is much stronger than the total effects of all interfering or co-causal factors or errors introduced by misused mathematical models can be tolerated. In all other situations, clinical trials introduce excessive errors and fail to detect treatment effects, or produce biased, incorrect or wrong results. We further found that chronic diseases are manifestation of small departures in multiple process attributes in distinctive personal biological pathways networks, that modern medicine lacks required accuracy for accurately characterizing chronic diseases, and that reductionist treatments are good at controlling symptoms and safe for short term uses. For all stated reasons, as long as modern medicine continues relying on the flawed presumptions, it can never find predictable cures for chronic diseases. By implication, predictable cures to chronic diseases are adjustments to lifestyle, dietary, emotional, and environmental factors to slowly correct departures in process attributes responsible for chronic diseases.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0427.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: adipose derived regenerative cells; ADRCs, efficacy; point of care treatment; randomized controlled trials; safety; stem cells; stromal vascular fraction
Online: 28 February 2020 (12:12:23 CET)
It has become practically impossible to survey the literature on cells derived from adipose tissue with the aim to apply them in regenerative medicine. The aim of this review is to provide a jump start to understanding the potential of UA-ADRCs (uncultured, unmodified, fresh, autologous adipose derived regenerative cells isolated at the point of care) in regenerative medicine. We show that serious and adequate clinical research demonstrates that tissue regeneration with UA-ADRCs is safe and effective. ADRCs are neither 'fat stem cells' nor could they exclusively be isolated from adipose tissue, as ADRCs contain the same adult (depending on the definition) pluripotent or multipotent stem cells that are ubiquitously present in the walls of small blood vessels. Of note, the specific isolation procedure used has significant impact on the number and viability of the cells and hence on safety and efficacy of UA-ADRCs. Furthermore, there is no need to further separate adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) from ADRCs if the latter were adequately isolated from adipose tissue. Most importantly, UA-ADRCs have the physiological capacity to adequately regenerate tissue without need for manipulating, stimulating and/or (genetically) reprogramming the cells for this purpose. Tissue regeneration with UA-ADRCs fulfills the criteria of homologous use.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; public health intervention; disease severity; personal survival strategy; randomized control trials; epidemiological model; junk science; mind and body; reductionist
Online: 24 August 2020 (03:11:34 CEST)
To predict how the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, we developed a systematic method for predicting disease outcomes. In the method, we evaluate how personal disease outcomes are mainly affected by viral concentration and exposure time and four defense mechanisms: human innate immunity/host response, acquired immune response, inflammation resolution and micro circulation, and the available space in the thorax cage. By considering how pandemic measures affect viral exposure and those mechanisms, we found many pandemic measures are misused or abused to deliver long-term adverse impacts. We noted that lifestyles have been changed as a result of movement restriction measures. By using the method, we found that altered lifestyles are predicted to raise infection rate, disability and death risks in the future. We show that a person can use personal, environmental, emotional factors to reduce infection rate and death risk. To prove the validity of this finding, we extensively examined medical research models, holistic and reductionist models, epidemiological models, disease risk factors, etc, and found that population methods are unfit for studying holistic health, statistical population does not exist in most clinical trials, mathematical models were misused for studying disease properties for a population, mathematical equations for modeling personal diseases are beyond human ability to solve, statistical models are misused, population-derived treatments are inherently dangerous to patients, vaccines have limited benefits due to unique lung structure and rapid RNA mutation, and immune system damage is caused by fast viral replication rate. We found that altering biological properties to improve the defense mechanisms could prevent a super majority of deaths and prevent the virus from reaching a point to damage the immune system. For vulnerable persons, such measure is a viable strategy for surviving from the pandemic. As a whole, holistic personalized medicine is more powerful than population-based reductionist treatment by one to several orders of magnitudes. We urge people do their parts to force the medical establishment to abandon population treatment models that are responsible for failure of medicine and dissemination of misleading and factually wrong information on the effectiveness of medical treatments.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0135.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: 25-hydroxyvitamin D; 25(OH)D; 1,25(OH)2D; immunity; pandemic; SARS-CoV-2; logic; cost–benefit; ivermectin; randomized-controlled trial; RCT; epidemiological studies; vitamin D
Online: 11 October 2022 (03:43:10 CEST)
With the advent of COVID19, the attitude of health authorities around the world, led mainly by the West, demanded a level of proof as evidence for cheap, non-patented remedies while promoting expensive, patented, and untested remedies by using emergency use authorization and special provisions afforded to the status of a pandemic emergency. Western science has neither a tested nor a valid historical basis of a logical system that informs to authenticate scientific practices. Here we use a logical heuristic derived from ancient Buddhist logic, which is consistent with the conduct of modern science. We applied the heuristic to show that enough evidence was available for using cost-effective early therapies such as vitamin D supplementation as a public health measure during the first half of 2020. Strong supporting evidence has since accumulated. Apart from political and financial decisions incompatible with science and other conflicts of interest, a critical barrier to evaluating and approving early therapies appears to be the fallacy that the randomized controlled trial (RCT) is the superior proof method in medical hypotheses, including those for nutrients. Logically, no reason exists why properly designed retrospective, ecological, and naturalistic studies with adequate sample sizes and applied appropriate statistical methods would not be as valid as RCTs, especially when elucidating a causative factor instead of treatment. That assertion is particularly true for nutrient deficiencies, interventions, and other cost-effective therapies. Leading health authorities’ failure or refusal to consider other study types (because of either poor logic or vested interest) probably contributed to the spread of misinformation, symptomatic disease, complications, and deaths from COVID19. Partial immunity derived from vaccines and the later development of more contagious variants—and thus a sense of acceptance that SARS-CoV-2 had progressed from a pandemic to an endemic—shows the hollowness of the initial promotions and mandates of vaccines as a cure. Adequate knowledge was available in 2020 to advise that SARS-CoV-2 will continue to mutate, with variants emerging a few times per year, making the vaccine less effective. Emerging evidence confirms that natural immunity better protects against new variants than vaccination against the spike protein. Had vitamin D been adopted as part of the public health measure through a broader supplementation program in 2020 or even today (through sun exposure or as a prophylactic or adjunct therapy early on), the viral spread and symptomatic disease may have been suppressed, with minimal lockdowns and quarantine, and economic harm. The pandemic could have been halted with a significantly reduced need for hospitalization, complications, and deaths, potentially saving millions of lives.