Dr Downing wrote:

With 40 years of clinical experience using nutritional and environmental medicine, and as President of the British Society of Ecological Medicine, I have deep concerns over the absence of public health advice from UK and other health authorities on nutrient-based prevention and treatment strategies. I have addressed my concerns to Dr Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet journal, on Facebook and Twitter, and as follows;

Dear Richard Horton,

In 1998 you wrote;

When the state of the health of the people is at stake, we should be prepared to take action to diminish these risks even when the scientific knowledge is not conclusive. [1]
Nothing is proven to work against COVID-19, because it is a new virus.  But vitamin C has worked against every single virus including influenzas, pneumonia, and even poliomyelitis. Intravenous vitamin C works in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, as in all forms of sepsis [2]. Reports are starting to confirm that it does so in Covid-19 induced ARDS. Both effects are dose-dependent.

Vitamin D also protects against respiratory infections and mitigates ARDS [3]. Both effects are stronger in those who are vitamin D deficient, which at this time of year is most of us.
The Orthomolecular News Service has been reporting on this for 2 months now.  All the scientific data is available on their website [4].
Yet governments call for “robust evidence”, and Facebook blocks postings reporting this, while people die preventable deaths. Our frontline colleagues are at particular risk. By acting now we can save health workers’ lives.

Will you please call on the government to take the following steps immediately: 

Recognise these facts and inform the public

Factor these nutrients into the public health measures now in place

Ensure supply of Vitamin C in particular by increasing production and distribution.

Dr Damien Downing MBBS  MRSB

President, British Society for Ecological Medicine


Horton R. (1998) The new public health of risk and radical engagement. Lancet. 352(9124):251-2.

Li, J. (2018). Evidence is stronger than you think : a meta-analysis of vitamin C use in patients with sepsis. Critical Care, 22(258), 1–4.

Dancer, R. C. A., Parekh, D., Lax, S., et al (2015). Vitamin D deficiency contributes directly to the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Thorax, 70(7), 617–624. https://doi.org/10.1136/thoraxjnl-2014-206680


Postal Address: C/O BSEM Secretary, Dr F Meuschel, British Society for Ecological Medicine, BSEM Administration, Redhill Chambers, 2d High Street, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 1RJ Tel: 07864 637723. Email: [email protected]. Registered Charity No. 326372.
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