Type 1, the BCG Vaccine, Infections, and COVID

Back when COVID raged, and we speculated about preventing infection, I remember reading about the possibilities of the BCG vaccine (anti-Tuberculosis), some here speculated, and although it was plausible, there wasn’t any data. Now there is, and it is from a study of Type 1.

The results were dramatic: only one — or slightly more than 1 percent — of the 96 people who had received the B.C.G. doses developed Covid, compared with six — or 12.5 percent — of the 48 participants who received dummy shots.

Also, as a benefit for Type 1’s:

People with Type 1 diabetes are particularly prone to infections. “We saw a major decrease in bladder infections, less flu and fewer colds, less respiratory tract infections and less sinus infections that diabetics get a lot of,” Dr. Faustman added.

That said, the results might not be valid and would need to be replicated:

He called the results of the Type 1 diabetes trial “very strong,” but urged caution, noting that other trials have had disappointing results. A Dutch study of some 1,500 health care workers who were vaccinated with B.C.G. found no reduction in Covid infections, and a South African study of 1,000 health care workers found no impact of B.C.G. on Covid incidence or severity.

As for why the differences might exist:

A number of factors could explain the disparate findings. B.C.G. is composed of a live attenuated bacterium that has been cultivated in labs around the world for decades, introducing mutations that make for different strains.

Dr. Faustman’s lab uses the Tokyo strain, which is considered particularly potent, Dr. Curtis said. His own studies used the Denmark strain, which is easiest to obtain. The number of doses may also have an effect on immunity, as many vaccines require repeated inoculations to maximize protection.



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There is a strong belief that getting a virus or viruses is what starts the process of getting type 1, so this doesn’t surprise me. Getting the rotavirus vaccination as an infant seems to have a protective effect against getting type 1 . And they think there is also a connection to enteroviruses. Sars and Covid definitely set more off.

Per getting infections…I never have been prone to infections either. And I worked for years around people that would come into the store sick looking for things to help. But not getting sick, doesn’t always mean that you weren’t exposed and didn’t “catch” that virus.

I absolutely never get seriously sick, like laid up in bed or requiring medical intervention in any way. When I was still working, I never took a single sick day. I never felt a need to call in. BUT, I get a tiny bit sick incredibly often now. Low fever, aches, fatigue, coughing, sneezing, etc… I always chalked it up to our reclusive lifestyle, though. I just don’t get any exposure to germs anymore, so don’t have any any resistance to them. I venture into civilization every 6 weeks or so, and every single time wind up with a little cold or flu bug afterwards. And every single time ask, “is THIS the COVID???”, but it never is. I seriously wish you could buy germ pills/inoculants, like how someone might take probiotics, for people with low exposure. My doctor has joked about writing a prescription to lick the playground equipment at the school.

I’m already dealing with a trifecta of autoimmune issues. I do understand how serious COVID is to some, and I’m not trying to undermine that in anyway, but I’m personally more terrified of a generalized vaccine that’s deemed to be effective BECAUSE it kicks the immune system into overdrive than I am of covid. Isn’t that what got us all here to begin with?? Who knows what my immune system will attack next.

Note, I’m not scared of vaccines in general. I’m fully vaxed in the things I have control over, including covid. (Who knows what vaccines I was given as a child?? I have no medical records from then and failed miserably the last time I tried to obtain any info.) I just don’t think I would choose such a shotgun approach to boosting immunity. My opinion might change if I were in a higher risk group, though.


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@John_Bowler They still haven’t completely ruled out that some specific foods might start an autoimmune response. Cows milk, wheat at young ages even whether a pregnant mother doesn’t eat enough veggies when she’s pregnant all have been eyed, probably some others too. Cows milk was interesting as they said they had a link in a research study but then the next study no link. I think limited research hasn’t had a definitive answer one way or another on any specific food. Now they are eyeing the health of gut microbiome.

But any type of diet, no. For example, being a vegetarian has no link at all. That would have shown up with all the research at Loma Linda University they have been doing for years. Loma Linda Medical Center, a huge teaching Medical College and Hospital are 7th Day Adventists and Loma LInda has a huge vegetarian population and they have one of the highest life expectancies in the world. That is where a lot of the early research of the vegetarian diet being healthy came from, because it has such a big vegetarian population and it made it easier to gather information and type 1 has never been linked. BTW, they only serve vegetarian food at it’s hospital. (Since 1905).

There also doesn’t seem to be research about any link with your health. Unhealthy and very healthy people get type 1. The only link that seems definite is family history or your genetics and then something sets it off. Viruses seem to stand out as a main setting off factor.


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My last two physicians received their medical degrees from Loma Linda and both are vegetarians. I love not having to argue about my diet with them.


I wonder if Dr. F’s treatment is ever going to be available. I participated in her research study not long after my diagnosis and recovery from DKA. I went with a friend and we gave blood and then I was told I was eligible to be in the study because bw showed I had the correct t cells etc. but I was not selected. At that time I just don’t think I would’ve been able to move to Boston or travel back-and-forth etc. anyway.

They called me up and asked me if I was going to come again the next year to donate blood and I said I felt too tired to go there even for that. They asked me to get tested for EBV which I did and found that I had a reactivation around the time I had gone into the hospital etc.

Then after I had Covid I asked my endo to test me for EBV again and I had had a reactivation during Covid as well. They said they were studying people who had EBV as well for type one and other auto immune diseases.

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I got a new doctor in Seattle. The nurse told me Fad diets never work and that a high carb diet seemed reckless.
The doctor however told me it’s the healthiest diet he knows of.
And my cholesterol is lower by a little with no meds or supplements.
I was 89% in range but I think it’s unfair because I don’t mind being in the 60s and every time it dips a little it ruins my tir.

I’m glad I found a doc who understands the diet piece. He was also good with my A1c where a lot of docs think it’s too low.

I hate to be ageist but the younger docs seem to get it better than the old ones.

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The doctor really changes things. It’s so refreshing to go to a new doctor and have them only comment on my cgm data rather than my A1c (which is lower than would be expected based on my cgm data).

I still haven’t had covid yet somehow. I’m not even careful anymore. My husband hasn’t gotten it either. Honestly, it seems a little strange.

I had a live attenuated typhoid vaccine back in November 2019, but that’s not what this study is about and it seems unlikely it’d still be giving me that immune system boost (if it ever even did).

I’m hoping my husband and I managed to contract it and were asymptomatic. Though I hope I didn’t get anybody sick if that occurred.

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I am very glad that you found a good MD in Seattle. Is he connected with any of the hospitals?

Sounds like the nurse needs some more recent education. We eat very close to the Mediterranean diet, minus the olive oil, and it is considered the healthiest diet for everyone. My doctor is 68, but is a vegetarian. I don’t use him to do anything but write insulin prescriptions though. Since I don’t use a pump, I really don’t need a physician for diabetes.

Yes, I am comfortable in the 60’s too. So glad that he thought your A1c was fine. He sounds like a keeper. My doctor just shakes his head in wonderment and says that in all his years of practice, he has never seen a diabetic with an A1c as low as mine. For the last few blood draws, it has been 4.6, but being a vegan I take B12 and folate and I read recently that both of those supplements bring the A1c down. I am probably more like 5.1.

Your A1c is lower than mine. It was 5.8 last go. most doctors think it means I’m running low often, but if you look at all my data you see I’m rarely low enough to have symptoms.
Avoiding animal fats really makes a difference for me.
I now eat no meat, but I still eat yogurt.

Good for you for no longer eating meat! I take a prescription dose of fish oil to help keep my LDL down since I can’t take statins and I eat about 4 oz of salmon once a week. I wish I didn’t need to. Other than that I am a vegan.

Physicians are just not used to treating patients who are so well controlled that they can have low A1c’s while not experiencing many lows.