vitamin D and quercetin are both more effective than Merck's COVID antiviral molnupiravir

And the winner is . . .

Pharmaceutical giant Merck is charging the US government $712 for a five day course of their new oral COVID antiviral drug, molnupiravir. According to a Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health analysis, it will cost Merck just $17.74 to produce the five day’s worth of pills. Merck’s markup is roughly 4,000%.

When compared to safe, inexpensive, readily available vitamin D, though, the challenge is not just the price of molnupiravir, it’s that it doesn’t work as well.

Molnupiravir doesn’t work for people who are already hospitalized with severe COVID. Vitamin D does.

In mild to moderate COVID, molnupiravir is able to reduce mortality by 100%. Impressive. But so does vitamin D. And remember, the vitamin D patients were hospitalized with severe respiratory infection: a more difficult challenge.

Molnupiravir reduces the need for hospitalization by 48%. The vitamin D patients were already hospitalized, but it reduced their need for admission to ICU by 96%: a more impressive result.

Molnupiravir boasts a reduction in deaths and hospitalizations, but on both endpoints, vitamin D outperforms it while having the advantage of working in the much more serious cases that leave the drug behind.

In a study of hospitalized people with COVID and severe respiratory infection, 8% of the group receiving the best therapy the hospital had to offer died, while no one receiving 25-OH-vitamin D3 died. 50% of the medically treated group had to be admitted to ICU, while only 2% of the vitamin D group did. The vitamin D worked on the severely ill COVID patients, and none of them died (J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2020 Oct;203:105751). This study was published in a reputable journal, but it got none of the attention that the $7,000 molnupiravir is getting.

To get the benefits of vitamin D, you don’t even need to have the optimal vitamin D blood level of 50-80 ng/ml. You only need to come close. When blood levels of vitamin D reach just 34ng/ml, 0% of COVID patients hospitalized with severe acute respiratory syndrome died (Am J Clin Pathol 2021;15(3):381-8). That easily attained amount of vitamin D is all you need to match molnupiravir’s 100% reduction in mortality. And remember, people in the molnupiravir study had mild to moderate COVID; people in the vitamin D study had severe COVID.

We only promised you vitamin D, but here’s a bonus. The flavonoid quercetin also beats molnupiravir. In nonsevere cases, 500mg of quercetin phytosome twice a day reduced hospitalization, not by 48%, but by 68%. Like molnupiravir, it reduced deaths by 100% (Int J Gen Med 2021;14:2359–2366).

What these studies suggest is that the natural approaches are not only much more accessible because of their ridiculously cheaper price, they are also more effective.


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