The Anonymous Widower

Fall In Covid Infection Rates A Pleasant Surprise, Says Adviser

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times.

The adviser who is pleasantly surprised is Mike Tildesley of the University of Warwick.

I am not surprised that Mike Tildesley is pleasantly surprised.

I have successfully built mathematical models on computers for over fifty years, and since the pandemic started I have been pursuing my own mining of UK, WHO and Wikipedia data and peer-reviewed scientific papers from sources all over the world.

Several scientists have said, that an individual’s immune system is important, when it comes to fighting the covids.

I am coeliac on a long-term gluten-free diet and we as a group have a strong immune system. This probably explains, why we are 25 % less likely to suffer from cancer, than the general population. This fact is not from the Gwyneth Paltrow School of Quack Science, but from JVT’s alma mata; Nottingham University.

It has also been shown by the University of Padua, who followed a group of coeliacs on a long-term gluten-free diet, that they did very well during the first wave of the virus in Padua, with no serious cases reported.

Look at the figures for Cambodia, which has very low figures. They have had just 22 deaths and they have a fatality rate of 0.78% according to Wikipedia. Our rate on a similar basis is 2.94 %.

Can their gluten-free diet be the reason?

I’ve also heard verified stories of groups of immigrants doing well, as they have not been seduced by Western junk food and are sticking to traditional diets.

I think there are a large number of people out there like coeliacs on a long-term gluten-free diet, who because of their diet or lifestyle are not going to get the virus and act like moderators do in a nuclear power station to slow the reaction. So they are slowing the transmission of the virus. We have already seen how some religious groups and types of behaviour have accelerated the spread of the virus, so why can’t groups exist that slow the rate of spread?

Hence Mike Tildesley’s pleasant surprise!

I have not found any UK-based scientific research on how coeliacs are faring in the pandemic and the charity Coeliac-UK has said nothing except Keep Calm And Carry On!

Let’s hope the good scientists of Padua are continuing to follow their coeliacs through successive waves of the pandemic!

We need more research now!

April 6, 2021 Posted by | Health, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Covid-19: World’s First Human Trials Given Green Light In UK

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Healthy, young volunteers will be infected with coronavirus to test vaccines and treatments in the world’s first Covid-19 “human challenge” study, which will take place in the UK.

The study, which has received ethics approval, will start in the next few weeks and recruit 90 people aged 18-30.

I am 73, but I wish I was in the age range.

I am coeliac and on a long-term gluten-free diet.

For purely selfish reasons, I have been investigating how people like me are faring in the pandemic.

Circumstantial evidence from WHO and government data, personal experiences and a peer-reviewed paper from the University of Padua in Italy certainly indicate, that we don’t suffer worse than the average. But we might be doing much better!

I would certainly like to find out the truth. So if I were younger, I would certainly sign up.

But it would surely be interesting if a handful of the volunteers were coeliacs on a long-term gluten-free diet.

 

February 17, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , | 2 Comments

My Advice To Coeliacs On A Gluten-Free Diet Concerning The Covids

As a coeliac, I have been worried about the Covids and researching the statistics for some months.

Who Are Likely To Be Coeliac?

In the next sub-sections, I look at various groups.

Ashkenazi Jews

I am coeliac because there is an unbroken genetic line to my great-great-great-grandfather; Robert, who was a Jewish tailor from Königsberg  in East Prussia. Census records in the UK, say that he arrived around 1800 and setup business in Bexley. Like many Jews from East Prussia, he had to leave, when he became eighteen, because he was male, Jewish and not one of the privileged families.

I know little of him, except from a brief chat from my father, whose own grandfather had met him as a child and remembered him, as a small elderly man, who didn’t speak any English.

I did get some more details of the Jewish community in East Prussia from a curator at the German Historical Museum in Berlin, and I don’t think she was proud at her countrymen’s treatment of the Jews before the Second World War. By the 1930s many had fled to the UK or the United States.

Wikipedia has a detailed History of the Jews in Königsberg.

In May this year at the height of the first wave of the pandemic, I wrote Jews In The UK And COVID-19, which is based on three articles in the Times of Israel.

This is an extract from my post.

I am also fairly sure, that my coeliac disease came from my Ashkenazi Jewish genes.

This second article on The Times of Israel is entitled Jewish Charity Warns Of Coeliac ‘Stigma’ As Half-A-Million Said Undiagnosed.

This is the introductory paragraph.

A Jewish charity says there is a “stigma” surrounding coeliac disease in the Jewish community, after a national charity warned that there were still half a million people in the UK who are undiagnosed.

I would assume that the half-a-million figure refers to all the population of the UK, as there are only about half that number of Jews in the UK.

Could coeliac stigma mean that there many older Jews, who are coeliac, have not been diagnosed and their poorer immune systems make them more vulnerable to COVID-19?

In the post, I also came to this conclusion.

I should say, that I’m no medic, but just a humble engineer, mathematician and statistician, who has nearly sixty years experience of analysing data.

That experience applied to coeliac disease and COVID-19, says that undiagnosed coeliac disease, is not helping our fight against COVID-19!

I stand by that statement today.

The Elderly

I suppose at seventy-three, I’m in this group too!

In April this year I wrote A Thought On Deaths Of The Elderly From Covid-19, where this was the conclusion.

Many of those 120,000 coeliacs will have been born before 1960 and have a high probably of not having been diagnosed. for the simple reason, that a childhood test for coeliac disease didn’t exist.

Will these undiagnosed coeliacs have a compromised immune system, that makes them  more susceptible to Covid-19?

It has been said, that a good immune system helps you fight Covid-19!

I heard today of an 85-year-old coeliac, who was diagnosed at forty and is bright as a button on a gluten-free diet. They have already had their jab. Excellent!

The Irish

As with the Ashkenazi Jews, the Irish have suffered bad living conditions and famine and they seem to have more than their fair share of coeliac disease.

Black People With Slaves As Ancestors

In the last thirty years or so, I have come across three or four West Africans with coeliac disease, including one, who was an excellent chef in a pub, near where I lived at the time. I also met an American vet online called DogtorJ, who wrote this paper on his web site, which is entitled Why Is The Plane Of Our Nation’s Health In A Death Spiral? He was referring to the United States, but a lot of the points he makes can equally apply to the UK and other nations.

In one section he talks about the historical atrocity of the slave trade from a medical perspective, where he says this.

I read in one source that approximately 6% of the slaves never made it to their destinations, many of whom died of dysentery. It suddenly dawned on me that they could have easily been the newest batch of gluten intolerants. These transplanted people had never eaten wheat-based foods in the past and yet here they were, under the worst possible conditions, having this new dietary challenge suddenly thrust upon them in the form of the white man’s bread.

DogtorJ’s reasoning applies to Afro-Americans, but it could surely apply to all slaves and their descendants, just as one coeliac ancestor passed me the disease.

People From The Indian Sub-Continent

I always thought that the Indian Sub-Continent was fairly free of coeliac disease, as Indian cuisine is rice-based and I’ve had many excellent gluten-free meals in Indian restaurants all over the UK.

But then I found this article on the Indian Journal Of Research Medicine.

I wrote about the article in Coeliac Disease: Can We Avert The Impending Epidemic In India?

I finished with these sentences.

What do I know? I’m just an engineer and a coeliac who has a good nose for problems!

But please someone! Research the connection between undiagnosed coeliac disease and COVID-19!

My son; George was an undiagnosed coeliac with a gluten-rich and smoky lifestyle. He died at just 37 from pancreatic cancer.

Did he have a poor immune system, which meant he couldn’t fight the cancer? One expert on cancer said, “Yes!”

Are people from the sub-continent suffering from the same problems, that slaves did several centuries ago?

Research From The University Of Padua

This paper on the US National Library of Medicine, which is from the University of Padua in Italy.

The University followed a group of 138 patients with coeliac disease, who had been on a gluten-free diet for at least six years, through the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Padua.

This sentence, sums up the study.

In this analysis we report a real life “snapshot” of a cohort of CeD patients during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in Italy, all followed in one tertiary centre in a red area of Northern Italy. Our data show, in accordance with Emmi et al., the absolute absence of COVID-19 diagnosis in our population, although 18 subjects experienced flu-like symptoms with only one having undergone naso-pharyngeal swab.

It says that no test subject caught Covid-19, in an admittedly smallish number of patients.

But it reinforces my call for more research into whether if you are a diagnosed coeliac on a long-term gluten-free diet, you have an immune system, that gives you a degree of protection from the Covids.

It should be remembered, that Joe West of Nottingham University has shown, that diagnosed coeliacs on a gluten-free diet have a 25% lower risk of cancer compared to the general population.

My Advice To Coeliacs On A Gluten-Free Diet Concerning The Covids

I shall be carrying on with my gluten-free diet, as the respected University of Padua found no problems in doing so!

A Small Piece Of Research

If you are on a gluten-free diet or you are a coeliac, you might like to fill in my poll, if you haven’t suffered from the Covids.

 

December 23, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Did I Have A Close Brush With Covid-19?

In January, this year, I wrote a post called Mule Trains Between Liverpool And Norwich, where I went between Liverpool and Sheffield on a train formed of  of several Class 153 trains.

I didn’t think of it, at the time, I wrote the post, but at Manchester Piccadilly station, the train filled up with a large number of Chinese students returning to University.

The students were happy and laughing, but you wouldn’t have complained about them, but there must have been twenty taking most of the available seats in my carriage. I shared a table with three!

At the time, Covid-19 had hardly started to invade the UK, with most cases started in March.

But, after hearing someone’s story on the radio yesterday, I wonder about the health of those students.

I certainly, didn’t catch the Covids after that train journey and haven’t had the virus since, to my knowledge.

But after reading the scientific paper from the University of Padua, that I wrote about in Risk of COVID-19 In Celiac Disease Patients, perhaps I was protected by a natural immunity provided by being a coeliac on a long-term gluten-free diet.

As my father said, I was born lucky!

 

December 22, 2020 Posted by | Food, Health, Transport | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Risk of COVID-19 In Celiac Disease Patients

The title of this post, is the same as that of this paper on the US National Library of Medicine, which is from the University of Padua in Italy.

This is an extract from the paper.

Among the 171 patients included in our registry and on gluten free diet from at least six months, we contacted 138 CeD subjects (80.7%), aged 41.3 years old (SD 14.9), 73.9% were females on a gluten-free diet from a mean of 6.6 years (SD 6.0). Two patients had a diagnosis of refractory celiac disease type one and one of refractory celiac disease type 2. Among them, none reported to have been diagnosed with COVID-19, whereas 19 CeD patients experienced flu-like symptoms with 1 of them having undergone a negative naso-pharyngeal swab.

This is another sentence, summing up the study.

In this analysis we report a real life “snapshot” of a cohort of CeD patients during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in Italy, all followed in one tertiary centre in a red area of Northern Italy. Our data show, in accordance with Emmi et al., the absolute absence of COVID-19 diagnosis in our population, although 18 subjects experienced flu-like symptoms with only one having undergone naso-pharyngeal swab.

That is very firm and the report finishes with this sentence.

We only evaluated patients on a gluten free diet, so far no data on the risk at the time of diagnosis can be extrapolated from this study. Long-term clinical and epidemiological studies in celiac disease will be of great utility in the field but these preliminary data seem to suggest that CeD patients are not at higher risk of COVID-19.

Note.

  1. SARS-CoV-2 causes Covid-19.
  2. All their patients were suffering from coeliac disease and were on a gluten-free diet for more than six months.

I’m no medic, but I’m a seventy-three-year-old man with coeliac disease on a gluten-free diet.

I shall be sticking to my diet, in addition to social distancing.

December 20, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , , | 1 Comment