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002. What’s Vitamin D Got to do With COVID-19?

In this episode I discuss an interesting finding about the association between low Vitamin D and the development of severe COVID-19 symptoms. We also address if you need to take a Vitamin D supplement every day. 

Episode Highlights

  • Why we need Vitamin D
  • What puts one at risk of Vitamin D deficiency
  • Why low Vitamin D is a big deal

Show Transcript

Introduction (1s):
Welcome to the Wellness Surge podcast with Dr. Adeola Oke. Each week we discuss our wellness journey with real people like you and me. We have conversations about food, fitness, mental health, financial wellness, and much more. So you can get back to the real you to make sure that you’re up to date with this and other wellness topics. Visit wellnesssurge.com. Information presented here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply any of the information presented here without first speaking with your primary care provider.

Introduction (31s):
Now let’s head onto the show.

Dr. Adeola Oke (35s):
Hello everybody. My name is Dr. Adeola Oke. Welcome to the Wellness Surge podcast. It’s nice having you here today. So today we’re going to talk about if you need to take vitamin D every day. Alrighty, what are we going to talk about? One: why we need vitamin D. Two :what puts one at risk of low vitamin D. Three :why is low vitamin D a big deal? And then four: the one thing you can do starting today to prevent yourself from disease.

Dr. Adeola Oke (1m 9s):
Alrighty. So what is vitamin D? While we all know vitamin D as the sunlight vitamin, right? It’s the vitamin that we usually get, where we expose our skin to the sun. Vitamin D is very essential in the body. It’s a fat soluble vitamin, and it is needed for the body to work properly. Most people are able to get their vitamin D from the sun during the, on the spring and the summer months, but during the winter and the fall, most people are unable to do that. And then they mostly will have to rely on diets, right?

Dr. Adeola Oke (1m 43s):
And in other cases, diets may not be enough and they may need a vitamin D supplement. So why do we need vitamin D? Well, like I said, it’s an essential vitamin. And what does that mean? The most of the body processes needs it. Your immune system needs vitamin D to work properly. So it put it makes your immune system work well. So protecting your body from viruses and other infections, the body also needs vitamin D so that the calcium can be absorbed properly.

Dr. Adeola Oke (2m 14s):
And so you can have strong bones and teeth, and you’re not constantly like breaking your bones or your teeth and constantly rotten. All right, the muscles are all also need vitamin D for them to be able to work well. And so you don’t even want to have like muscle weakness and things of that nature. Interestingly, the brain also needs vitamin D and sometimes some people are actually associated associates in it with like Alzheimer’s and things of that nature. And another body part that needs vitamin D is the heart and the blood vessels and all that for them to walk well.

Dr. Adeola Oke (2m 48s):
So there’s so many body parts. I’m sure I didn’t, I didn’t cover it all, but those are just a few to name a few of the body parts that need vitamin D to work properly. So what puts one at risk of low vitamin D? Well, luck number one is lack of exposure to the skin. So, you know, during the summer months and people are able to go outside. Well, think about people that, don’t usually expose their skin to the sun, those people in nursing homes or the care homes that barely go outside.

Dr. Adeola Oke (3m 18s):
Well, guess what, if they don’t go outside, their body’s not making vitamin D the skin is not making vitamin D. Also low vitamin D. It usually occurs as people get older, so production of vitamin D in the skin declines with age. Other people that are at risk of low vitamin D include those that cover their skin when they’re outside. So those that like wear like a head covering or like long sleeves, protective coating, they are at risk of low vitamin D because their skin, the sun is not touching their skin and then not being exposed.

Dr. Adeola Oke (3m 57s):
Other people are like those that you sunscreen. Well, that’s like a double whammy. Well, we all use sunscreen sometimes to protect us in from the rays of the sun. Well guess what the sun won’t get in and the body can’t make vitamin D through the skin. Ethnic groups, with people with dark skin, such as Africans and South East, East Asians, that dark skin puts them at risk of low vitamin D. So, so people like me, right? Like double whammy right there, that skin, I cover my hair and cover my skin when I’m exposed to the sun.

Dr. Adeola Oke (4m 33s):
So I’m probably making very, very little vitamin D medication has also put people at risk of low vitamin D. So longterm use of seizure medications causes a depletion of vitamin D. The weight loss medication, Orlistat also put one at risk of low vitamin D. And lastly, steroid medications. Some use puts people at risk of low vitamin D. So all hope is not lost. What can you do? Well, you can take of foods. Foods that are rich in vitamin D include your oily fish, like your mackerel your tuna, your sardines, and salmon also, liver is also rich in vitamin D egg, yolk and mushroom.

Dr. Adeola Oke (5m 19s):
Also some foods are fortified with vitamin D. So your milk, your cereals, those foods are fortified with vitamin D. So some people can get their vitamin D through diet. But in reality, now let’s face. Let’s just be honest here. Most people don’t eat this foods every day. This foods that are, that may have some that have vitamin D and they don’t eat them every day. Right? So in reality, if you’re, if you’re you belong to a setting group like me, you’re probably not getting enough vitamin D through diet or from your skin.

Dr. Adeola Oke (5m 51s):
So you’re going to need a vitamin D supplement. Well, and you’re going to need it all year long. So vitamin D supplement needed oil. And for people that cover their skin, when they’re outside in the sun, and for people that barely expose their skin to the sun. So those that are in like care homes, nursing homes, and things of that nature. We have mainly two types of vitamin D. We have the vitamin D-2, and we have the vitamin D-3 And when you go to the store, you’re like ‘which one shall I buy?’ Well, I usually recommend that people buy vitamin D-3.

Dr. Adeola Oke (6m 23s):
And this is why. Because vitamin D-3 has been shown to improve vitamin D levels better than the vitamin D-2. All right. So that’s why I usually recommend that. And so what dose do you usually need? Personally, I usually take about 2000 international units of vitamin D-3 every day, which is about 15 micrograms of vitamin D-3. So the recommendation is usually about 1000 to 2000 international units everyday. And you want to make sure that you take your vitamin D-3 supplements with a fatty meal to help improve absorption for the coronavirus and other viruses, right?

Dr. Adeola Oke (7m 1s):
There’s notes. It’s in that low vitamin D vitamin D level in the body is associated with the development of the coroner virus, the COVID infection, the COVID-19 infection. So that’s a big deal right there. Okay. Low vitamin D is associated with many chronic diseases. Okay. And it’s also associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome. So let’s think about it right. During the flu season, you want to make sure you have your vitamin D level tip top shape.

Dr. Adeola Oke (7m 32s):
During the Corona virus, you want to make sure you have enough vitamin D in your system to help your immune system, right. To prevent chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and things of that nature. Not prevent but like, to make sure that your body is working, and body systems are working optimally, you want to make sure you have enough vitamin D in your body. Alrighty. Also, you want to make sure you have enough vitamin D in your body to help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. So that means like your body breaking your, your bones breaking.

Dr. Adeola Oke (8m 5s):
So your bones becoming very brittle and breaking easily. And so, like I said, there’s an associated association with a lot of chronic diseases and low vitamin D. It doesn’t mean the low vitamin D is causing this chronic disease. It’s just an as a, there’s something going on in there that we’re not so sure about. So if you’re not so sure please prevent it. It’s okay. If there’s an association, just to make sure you’ve got your bases covered. Alrighty. So I also get the question, the um, should I take vitamin D with vitamin K?

Dr. Adeola Oke (8m 39s):
Should I take a combination? Well, just know this, but I mean, this supplement does not lead to vitamin K deficiency, that’s it? So you can choose to take vitamin D-3 alone, or you can choose to take it with a vitamin K supplement. And if you take it with a vitamin K supplement, there’s no harm there. It just makes your bones a little stronger. Right? It’s helped your bone mineral density. Alrighty. So I’ve kind of talked a lot today, right? But the bottom line is this not getting enough.

Dr. Adeola Oke (9m 9s):
Vitamin D may increase your risk of disease. Let that sink in. Okay. Let me say it again. Not getting enough Vitamin D may increase your risk of disease. So compared to taking medications, the effect of natural supplements works slower and more long lasting way. You may not feel the immediate effects. You wouldn’t feel it for a while, but you just know that it is working. I promise you that in the long run, your body and your family will thank you for taking care of it.

Dr. Adeola Oke (9m 41s):
And so when it comes to the Corona virus, some people, like I said, they are noticing an association between low vitamin D and the COVID infection. So please make sure you’ve got your vitamin D supplement a tip top shape, right? So what is the one thing you can do starting today? If you’re not getting enough, vitamin D and you’re in like a category, like mean either you copy your skin and when you’re outside, so you’re not getting enough vitamin D through the skin, or you have dark skin, then you need to take vitamin D supplement all year long.

Dr. Adeola Oke (10m 16s):
Right? One thing you can take away, you need a vitamin D supplement. Okay. So if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to hit me up on the Facebook group, which is the Wellness Surge Family. We like to share your wins with you and also discuss what struggles you’re having. Alrighty, you may also hit us up on Instagram at Wellness Surge. Alright. It was nice talking to you today. You have a wonderful week with best wishes to see you thrive. My name is Dr.Adeola Oke.

Ending (10m 45s):
Have a good one. Join our Wellness Surge Facebook community so that you can implement what we learned together. I am because you are thank you for listening and sharing your precious time with us. If you enjoy the show, then follow us and subscribe on iTunes, YouTube, or any app Macquarie’s podcasts, have an awesome week, best wishes to see you thrive.