Sunlight is critical for great health!

I read a short article today on vitamin D and coronavirus. The gist of this article is that vitamin D3 (VD3) is that there are no clinical studies of VD3 and coronavirus to make any assessment. Was it a misleading heading?

There are some trials underway to determine the efficacy of VD3 on coronavirus patients, but it is too soon to have results. However, there have been many studies and trials of VD3 and the common cold. Approximately 70% of the common cold is caused by rhinovirus, coronavirus, RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), and parainfluenza. The causes of the other 30% are unknown.

Ten to forty percent of colds are caused by rhinovirus. There are nearly three dozen coronaviruses, but only three or four affect humans. RSV and parainfluenza are responsible for around twenty percent of common cold illnesses. The results of reviewing 25 studies (over 10,000 patients) showed that VD3 did not have any ability to prevent or treat the common cold and probably would not be effective in treating the COV-19 virus.

In the same reports, it was noted that over 40% of Americans are deficient in VD3. Medical professionals know that VD3 is critical for the immune system to function properly. If nearly half the people studies were deficient in VD3, why is it not surprising to see that VD3 had no effect.

Part of the problem is the recommended levels of VD3 for health. VD3 is measured with a blood test called 25-hydroxyvitamin D. VD3 deficiency is defined as having less than 50 nmol/L of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. There was a time recently when that lowest level was defined as 30 nmol/L. Most of the current literature is using 50 nmol/L today.

Normal levels of VD3 start at 50 nmol/L. I have had my VD3 levels checked annually for years. For me, it is my measure of personal health. My VD3 levels typically run in the 70-80 nmol/L range. I continue to see the recommendation for daily doses of VD3 to be in the 400-800 IUs of VD3 daily. I take 15,000 IUs of VD3 daily and 20,000 IUs in the wintertime to maintain a level of around 75 nmol/L. When I used to take 800 IUs daily, my VD3 levels were considered to be deficient by the old standard of 30 nmol/L.

My wife’s VD3 levels were kept in the 80-100 nmol/L range when she was fighting breast cancer years ago. There seems to be a lot of ‘scare’ tactics about getting ‘too much’ VD3 from supplements. When looked at more closely, the warnings apply to those people taking more than 60,000 IUs daily for months. Testimonial data abounds about 50,000 IUs daily to treat multiple sclerosis.

Like everything else in our medical/health world, don’t do anything unless you consult your physician. If you elect to increase your daily dosage of VD3, ensure your doctor monitors your progress. This is critical especially if you are on any other prescriptions or have pre-existing health issues.

Most of us are under house arrest (quarantine). VD3 comes from sunlight. We have been told to avoid long exposures to the sun because it can increase our risk of skin cancer and prematurely age our skin. It’s a double-edged sword – too little, and you are deficient; and, too much, and you could have future problems.

As a redhead, I get checked twice annually for potential skin cancers. Yes, I’ve had a few (less than five) in my life, and all were caught well before they could create any health problem. I do go outside without long-sleeved shirts, and almost always wear a hat. I do not use sunscreen unless I know I will be exposed to full sun for several hours (beach, pool, for example).

My wife and I walked the Camino de Santiago (500 miles across Spain in 30 days) almost six years ago. My exposure to the sun was for eight-plus hours daily and I had no increase in any skin issues for several dermatologist visits after that pilgrimage. I wore a hot, and a short-sleeve shirt daily. It was the end of summer and the temperatures were in the low 100s for the first ten days.

VD3 has many benefits beyond boosting our immune systems. It is estimated that VD3 affects over 2,000 different genes in our bodies. We know the VD3 is critical for bone health, insulin control, heart health, mood, blood pressure, and possibly a deterrent to some cancers.

Those (nearly half) Americans deficient in VD3 can expect a higher risk of bone fractures, muscle aches and overall weakness, fatigue, and depression. Those who cover up when outside (daytime) minimize the ability for the body to create VD3. This includes those using sunscreens, wearing long-sleeved shirts, working indoors most of the daylight hours, living in the northern climes of the United States, those with darker skin tones, and those taking certain medications (prednisone, orlistat, some diabetes medicines, some blood pressure medicines, some seizure medicines, some antacids, and more).

The FDA has changed the requirements for VD3 to be stated in terms of micrograms instead of International Units (IUs). I mcg = 40 IU. I buy my VD3 in 5000 IUs. I’ll have to start looking for VD3 with 125 mcg.

Does VD3 give your immune system a boost to help you fight/prevent coronavirus? Heaven only knows at this moment. There are no studies regarding VD3 and coronavirus today with enough information to make recommendations.

Does VD3 enhance your immune system? Yes, there are enough studies to make that statement. Over ten years ago, the National Institute of Health warned us that low levels of VD3 increased the risks of frequent colds and influenza. Just three years ago, respiratory infections were reduced with increased VD3 levels, especially in those people who were deficient in VD3.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –

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