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  2. An initial glance suggests to me the study provides strong evidence of reduced infection rates with vaccination but the reported statistics may be grossly misleading. The new case rate according to Worldometer was more than 4 times greater when the trial commenced in December then when it ended in March. Everyone started off unvaccinated and people were vaccinated on their own schedules throughout the study period. Thus the lower infection rates per vaccinated person day are significantly affected by the plummeting national infection rate. There were 78,902 fully vaccinated person days among 2,479 people, so less than 32 days of vaccination on average. Among all participants both vaccinated and unvaccinated in the study there were only 2 hospitalizations and 0 deaths which when compared to the greater than half million US deaths due to covid-19 gives a sense of the small size and short duration of the study.
  3. Today
  4. Instead of a comparison of excess deaths for the US across time, MedicalXpress summarizes a comparison across five large European countries. The calculations make covid-19 look like a distraction from a much larger (and totally) ignored problem. COVID-19 not the sole cause of excess U.S. deaths in 2020 By the year 2017, the United States was already suffering more excess deaths and more life years lost each year than those associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 "It is not commonly recognized how far we have fallen behind our European counterparts in mortality and survival," To make age-specific comparisons of U.S. and European [Germany, England and Wales together, France, Italy, and Spain] mortality from 2000 to 2017, Preston and Vierboom used data from the Human Mortality Database to create three indexes. [1) ratio of age-specific death rates, 2) calculate number of excess deaths, 3) calculate Years of Life Lost] Even more striking was the mortality comparison between the U.S. and those five European countries when using the measure known as "years of life lost." This accounts for the age at which death occurs, giving more weight to death at a younger age. Source article: Excess mortality in the United States in the 21st century Age-specific death rates which show a sharp deterioration in the US position since 2000. Applying European age-specific death rates in 2017 to the US population, we then show that adverse mortality conditions in the United States resulted in 400,700 excess deaths that year. these excess deaths entailed a loss of 13.0 My of life. [For comparison] the mean loss of life years for a person dying from COVID-19 in the United States is 11.7 y. Multiplying 377,000 decedents by 11.7 y lost per decedent gives a total of 4.41 My of life lost to COVID-19 in 2020, only a third of the 13.02 million life years lost to excess mortality in the United States in 2017 … the comparison is so much sharper for YLL than for excess deaths [because] COVID-19 deaths in 2020 occurred at much older ages, on average, than the excess deaths of 2017. Fig. 1A shows the ratio of US death rates to the mean of death rates in the five European countries (the “European standard”), by age, in 2000, 2010, and 2017. Fig. 1B shows the age pattern of excess deaths, deaths that would not have occurred if the United States had the age- and sex-specific death rates of the European standard. Fig. 1C presents estimates of years of life lost (YLL) as a result of higher US mortality.
  5. Of course 2 days after I get the J&J vaccine it's use is now halted, haha: Don't 'overinterpret' decision to pause J&J Covid vaccine over rare clotting issue, Dr. Scott Gottlieb says I'm wondering if this could be that "accidentally went directly into blood stream" issue discussed previously in this thread? (the FDA expert thinks its just a very rare auto-immune response). 6 cases out of 6.8 million? I wonder what the odds are on non-vaccinated people getting a blood clot? This seems like a pretty weak reason to stop using the vaccine. UPDATE: The question about the background rate of these conditions is addressed in this morning's press conference: around the 20 minute mark, background rate for this type of blood clot is 2-14 people per 1 million population, but that is with normal platelet count, the unusual thing here apparently is the combination with low platelet count. They did not see such cases with the Pfizer/Moderna vaccines. A doctor on the call followed up at the end and asked "Well what's the background rate for people with low platelet count?" and the answer was "We don't know" 😉 but severe headaches and leg pains that start 6 days to 21 days after receiving the vaccine should lead a doc to check for low platelet counts and treat accordingly.
  6. Yesterday
  7. On the other hand, the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine doesn't look nearly as effective at preventing asymptomatic infections as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines discussed above. From this BMJ article: The study, published in the Lancet, found that [Oxford/Astrazeneca] vaccine efficacy against asymptomatic transmission was 59% in the group that received a half dose followed by a standard dose (seven cases among 1120 participants versus 17 cases among 1127 participants in the control group), but just 4% in the group that received two standard doses (22 among 2168 participants versus 23 among 2223 for the control). So if your goal is to avoid infection and potential transmission of covid to others, that would be one more reason to shy away from the Oxford / Astrazeneca vaccine in favor of Pfizer or Moderna if you are in a country where you can choose. I don't know that there is any data on the J&J vaccine yet regarding its ability to prevent infections. --Dean
  8. A very reasonable attitude. Have at it: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7013e3.htm#T2_down To save you and others the trouble, here is the relevant table with numbers of infections and confidence intervals on the protection afforded by one or two doses of the vaccines: As you can see, there were 161 infections in the unvaccinated group vs. 3 infections in the fully vaccinated group during the course of the study. If you adjust for person-days of possible exposure, it would be 161 vs. 5 infections in the unvaccinated and vaccinated groups respectively. --Dean
  9. Looks encouraging. I may be more convinced after reading the actual studies as media stories on scientific papers are notorious for overlooking important details. I also don't feel compelled to jump to conclusions quicker than the CDC which as far as I know has not yet reversed guidance for the vaccinated to continue masking and distancing.
  10. Studies conducted so far in Israel and the US have found the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines appears to reduce infections by 85-90% as discussed here. Vaccinated people who avoid getting infected will also avoid spreading the virus. From that article: Two doses of the vaccines [Pfizer or Moderna] provide as much as 90% protection against infection, according to data from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published Monday. Earlier clinical trials had established that the shots also prevent illness, hospitalizations, and deaths. The CDC studied a group of about 4,000 front-line workers, including health-care personnel, first responders, teachers and service workers from mid-December to mid-March as vaccines rolled out widely. The participants were tested for Covid weekly and surveyed for reports of symptoms. The researchers compared the frequency of Covid infections before and after vaccinations to estimate how effective the shots were at preventing SARS-CoV-2 spread, regardless of whether people felt sick or not. Two weeks after the first dose, the shots appeared to prevent 80% of infections; that rose to 90% two weeks after the second dose, when people were considered fully immunized. The study adds to evidence that new vaccines made with messenger RNA technology actually reduce the spread of the virus in real-world conditions. An earlier study in Israel found a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine reduced infections by as much as 85%. The study is “tremendously encouraging” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a briefing, and new findings “underscore the importance of getting both of the recommended doses of the vaccine in order to get the greatest level of protection against COVID-19, especially as our concerns about variants escalate.”. That looks like pretty favorable evidence to me. But something tells me you won't be convinced... --Dean
  11. IF you want to moderate MET intake, you may not want to be taking NAC regularly. (It's an open question.) I think I'm interpreting "moderating Met is still good for you" differently. No longevity benefit suggests it won't help prevent leading causes of death and poor health such as heart disease, cancer, infectious and degenerative diseases. I read it as "not causing harm" despite no longevity benefit rather than doing something useful such as making one stronger, smarter or more sexually desirable. The caveat "potentially for reasons not related to Met" reinforces a lack of concern for obtaining an unknown benefit. But I suppose I agree for someone who believes moderating MetR has benefits they should weigh them against the expected benefits of NAC. But there is an additional benefit of NAC that has been overlooked. It tastes awful. I propose that spiking the chow of ad libitum fed lab rats with NAC could fully reproduce the benefits of any CR protocol with zero need to restrict food. The foulness is multiplied when combined with BCAAs which could enable this effect at a very low dose of NAC.
  12. I've long believed reported case rates are of modest value as they are so dependent on who is getting tested and the tests being used. Hospitalizations and death statistics are more meaningful. Those should be hugely influenced by vaccination as that is what the vaccines were tested to do, reduce hospitalization and death. But this benefit will be largely achieved by vaccinating the fraction of the population at significant risk of severe covid. My risk of severe covid is low and I should still be ineligible for a vaccine as distribution is currently restricted here to certain groups none of which I am a member. There are still people desperate to get the vaccine waiting for the opportunity. To take a limited availability vaccine dose for which I have little need that others want strikes me as anti-social. If my purpose is to take a vaccine for the societal benefit of reducing the spread I would want to choose a vaccine well suited if not best suited to that purpose. But so far I'm unaware of any data on which to base that choice. People here are being told to continue wearing masks and social distancing after vaccination suggesting there is little confidence that vaccination is sufficiently mitigating risk of spread.
  13. Not directly, but previously hard hit countries that have vaccinated a large fraction their population (Israel, UK and the US) seem to be doing a lot better than countries, many of them previously hard hit also but where the vaccine efforts are lagging (Brazil, India, France, Turkey) and covid cases are soaring. --Dean
  14. This issue is not just longevity, but health in general. Michael Rae (linked above): IF you want to moderate MET intake, you may not want to be taking NAC regularly. (It's an open question.) In any case, Michael Rae's 2017 post is hardly the final word on the issue. (Many researchers do not agree with Michael Rae on the issue of general protein moderation/longevity.) On the issue of dietary sulfur amino acid [SAA] moderation in particular, see the discussion here, and other recent papers such as this, this, this and this etc. (I don't have time to pull more up now). [ The fact remains that most of that evidence about SAA moderation consists of animal research bolstered with mechanistic speculation -- "current literature does not offer a complete understanding of the optimal SAA intake for end points such as longevity and chronic disease prevention in humans", and there is substantial "uncertainty whether the benefits of diets that restrict sulfur amino acids can be translated to humans." ] Obviously SAA moderation a very complex topic, and my aim wasn't to make any definitive declaration on it. I'm simply pointing out that IF someone had decided to eat a WF plant-based diet partly based on the idea that low-SAA plant-based sources of protein are good for you, they should be aware that long term intake of supplementary NAC may possibly negate some of the benefits of that diet. Of course I'm going off on a tangent here, since Mike's video focuses only on short term very high dose glutathione restoration in the elderly. It needs to be stressed that 7g glycine and 9.3g of NAC /d (70kg person) is a really massive dose.
  15. Michael Rae's argument is methionine moderation as part of a whole foods diet which will also contain cysteine does not increase longevity. Additional NAC shouldn't harm a non-existent benefit of methionine moderation.
  16. It should last for quite a while, given that coronaviruses are not prone to rapid mutations, as are for instance the influenza strains. The variants are to be expected, as so far Covid-19 has behaved no differently than the other coronaviruses that have entered circulation over the last few decades. It's is likely that the shots will have to be tweaked every few years to maintain effectiveness, but compare this to influenza, where the vaccine is changed every year and is generally much less effective than the Covid-19 vaccines. But this coronavirus is going to circulate over the foreseeable future, and yes, some number of mostly older people will die every year, as it will be another part of the "flu." What's lost in all the alarmist noise in the media is that the vaccines trigger T-cell reactions, just like from getting sick with the actual disease. That's where the bulk of the immunity will come from, and T-cells are good at recognizing reasonably close variants. And as coronaviruses are not vast mutators, immunity should last for a while. This is much scarier than the pandemic, in the longer run. And it's purely political, with the woke Left using the pandemic and the fear to consolidate power. As to the monopolies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter, they conform, because often dictatorships are better for monopolies than messy democracies.
  17. I admit to being contrarian but my HDL has risen proportionally with my LDL and my triglycerides have fallen dramatically. Many consider those more relevant than LDL. And not just for heart disease, I may be bullet proofed against severe covid too! Low HDL and high triglycerides predict COVID-19 severity
  18. Last week
  19. So far the only vaccines available in the US have emergency use authorization none have yet completed the full testing process to receive FDA approval. The tested efficacy of these vaccines is in preventing severe Covid-19 resulting in hospitalization or death over a time period of a few months post vaccination. They have not been tested for other purposes such as preventing mild to asymptomatic infection or reducing infectiousness and spread. Do you have any data showing a societal benefit to vaccinating people at minimal risk of severe sickness or death especially at this time of year when the risk of severe sickness and death for everyone is rapidly falling?
  20. True, but sending it back to bats only (or Wuhan labs only) would be a pretty good outcome 😉
  21. Sputnik V is not, but the Russian CoviVac under development apparently is, as described previously here. Of course, it's too early to say how effective it will be.
  22. It' seems plausible that N-acetylcysteine (NAC) intake, similar to L-cysteine, may lessen or reverse any benefits of methionine moderation. Thoughts?
  23. Your speculation seems possible, but I don't think you are right about the Russian Sputnik vaccine. From this BMJ article: What is Sputnik V? Russia’s first approved vaccine was developed and produced entirely domestically and has a name intentionally invoking the space race of the 1950s. ... [Russian] researchers used common cold viruses in their vaccine prototype. Notably, they opted for two different adenovirus vectors (rAd26 and rAd5) delivered separately in a first and second dose, 21 days apart.1 Using the same adenovirus for the two doses could lead to the body developing an immune response against the vector and destroying it when the second dose is administered. Two different vectors reduces the chance of this. To make the vaccine, the adenoviruses are combined with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which prompts the body to make an immune response to it. So it appears the Russian vaccine isn't 'whole virome', but targets one spike protein like most of the other vaccines. In contrast, according to another BMJ article, the Chinese Sinovac vaccine is a 'whole virome' vaccine, but it's effectiveness is being called into question both by other countries (e.g. Brazil, where effectiveness was ~50% against symptomatic covid-19) and just yesterday by Chinese officials themselves, although discussion about his comment was mostly censored on the Chinese internet according to this Washington Post article. Relevant quotes regarding mRNA vaccines as a more effective alternative to their from the same Chinese official who said the current Chinese vaccines “don’t have very high protection rates”: “It’s now under formal consideration whether we should use different vaccines from different technical lines for the immunization process,” Gao said. Gao gave no details of possible changes in strategy but cited mRNA as a possibility. “Everyone should consider the benefits mRNA vaccines can bring for humanity,” Gao said. “We must follow it carefully and not ignore it just because we already have several types of vaccines already.” Gao did not respond to a phone call requesting further comment. But another CDC official said developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines. “The mRNA vaccines developed in our country have also entered the clinical trial stage,” said the official, Wang Huaqing. He gave no timeline for possible use. Gao previously questioned the safety of mRNA vaccines. He was quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency as saying in December he couldn’t rule out negative side effects because they were being used for the first time on healthy people. So granted, an effective whole virome vaccine might be more effective at preventing new deadly virus strains from evolving that can evade single spike targeted vaccines. But it looks like the Chinese whole virome vaccine isn't a great solution either and besides, it will never become available in the US anyway. In addition, we've already seen covid is quite capable of evolving more virulent, somewhat vaccine-resistant strains when allowed to run rampant through unvaccinated societies, not to mention the fact that mRNA vaccines are much easier to modify and deploy should dangerous new vaccine-evading strains evolve. So while our options are less than optimal, it seems to me that the right choice personally (as a healthy middle-aged adult) and for society as a whole is to get whatever of the approved vaccines is available to you at this point. But I guess your reluctance shouldn't surprise me given your expressed willingness to buck other, seemingly rational medical recommendations, like it being a good idea to keep your LDL cholesterol below 500 mg/dL. 🙂 --Dean
  24. Thanks Ron. There's also this study, "The antioxidant N-acetylcysteine protects from lung emphysema but induces lung adenocarcinoma in mice": https://insight.jci.org/articles/view/127647 Yes, the young group had relatively high hs-CRP. ng/ml = mg/L, and the young group's 2.4 is definitely high for a young group. Also, the young group may not have been as metabolically healthy as possible, based on their HOMA-IR values, as you mentioned.
  25. Ron Put

    Supplements Thoughts

    This is another interesting study relating to vitamin-D that seems to suggest that supplementation or even sunlight exposure have a limited effect on bioavailability: Study Reveals Connection Between Gut Bacteria and Vitamin D Levels Vitamin D can take several different forms, but standard blood tests detect only one, an inactive precursor that can be stored by the body. To use vitamin D, the body must metabolize the precursor into an active form. “We were surprised to find that microbiome diversity — the variety of bacteria types in a person’s gut — was closely associated with active vitamin D, but not the precursor form,” said senior author Deborah Kado, MD, director of the Osteoporosis Clinic at UC San Diego Health. “Greater gut microbiome diversity is thought to be associated with better health in general.” ... “Our study suggests that might be because these studies measured only the precursor form of vitamin D, rather than active hormone,” said Kado, who is also professor at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health. “Measures of vitamin D formation and breakdown may be better indicators of underlying health issues, and who might best respond to vitamin D supplementation.”... “It seems like it doesn’t matter how much vitamin D you get through sunlight or supplementation, nor how much your body can store,” Kado said. “It matters how well your body is able to metabolize that into active vitamin D, and maybe that’s what clinical trials need to measure in order to get a more accurate picture of the vitamin’s role in health.” ...
  26. Variants may proportionately selected in the viral population by vaccination: APRIL 11, 202110:18 AM; UPDATED 2 HOURS AGO South African variant may evade protection from Pfizer vaccine, Israeli study says By Maayan Lubell https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-israel-study/south-african-variant-may-evade-protection-from-pfizer-vaccine-israeli-study-says-idUSKBN2BX0JZ?il=0
  27. Ron Put

    Supplements Thoughts

    At rs2060793 I am A;A, which Prometease flags as positive, with a frequency of 15.9%, but the magnitude is 2, so yes, I am generally predisposed to lower levels of vitamin D (based on the other parts of CYP2R1 too). Without supplementation, I was at about 22 ng/mL. While my doctor had suggested supplementation, I am wondering if it's a good choice now.
  28. Interesting. Thanks! I am a little leery of supplementing with NAC, see the article below, and wonder if there is long-term research that confirms its safety and actual long-term benefits: One Type Of Antioxidant May Not Be As Safe As Once Thought "According to new research at the University of Virginia Health System, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), an anti-oxidant commonly used in nutritional and body-building supplements, can form a red blood cell-derived molecule that makes blood vessels think they are not getting enough oxygen" I also thought that the CRP numbers cited were kind of high even for the young group, and really high for the older one. Maybe my conversion is wonky. I am comparing it to my HS-CRP, which is 0.02 mg/L. But is this "young" group made up of healthy subjects? Finally, the video prompted me to recheck my insulin sensitivity, using this calculator. I was actually experimenting with Berberin to see if my glucose will drop a bit, since it had gone from 85 mg/dL to 91 mg/dL between 2019 and 2020. In the same period, my insulin went from 2.5 uIU/mL to 4.2 uIU/mL. But I was pleasantly surprised that my insulin resistance is still OK, at least if the HOMA-IR indication is valid, even though it had gone from 0.5 to 0.9. But I am wondering why the HOMA-IR value for the young group is so high, as at 1.7 it would indicate poor insulin resistance, no?
  29. mccoy

    Post a picture of what you just ate

    I recently picked up lots of wild asparagus around my home, one of the very few wild edible vegetables I can recognize
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