DR. SUNSHINE, one of the six Nature doctors, will give some way in the coming months to the rain season, and this will make many of us unable to make enough VITAMIN D3 through the skin. And as food and herbs alone cannot cope with the shortfall, a deficiency of Vitamin D3 may occur in many people and trigger health challenges which this Vitamin prevents, unknown to us. Dr Doyin Okupe explained a few months ago how the abundance of sunshine in Nigeria’s dry season restricted coronavirus prevalence to indoor people and spare outdoor or street people. That is because Vitamin D3 boosts immunity, while compromised immunity lowers a person’s health guards for all sorts of diseases to strike. Many scientific studies now seriously suggest that Vitamin D3 may prevent glaucoma and help to treat it, improve heart and blood vessels health, thereby preventing and healing heart attacks and strokes, prevent and support the management of Type 2 diabetes, prevent and challenge all sorts of cancer, and improve immune function.
In natural medicine, the six Nature Doctors are Dr Sunshine, Dr Water, Dr Rest, Dr Air, Dr Diet and Dr Exercise. Every Nature Doctor gives to man what he needs for vibrant health.
About 15 minutes exposure of the hands and legs to the early morning sunshine, say till 11 am, is reported by science time improve day time mood and sleep at night. Exposure helps our bodies to make two important brain neurotransmitters or chemicals substances…serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin helps us to keep awake during the day, to be agile for physical work, and to make melatonin easily as the eyes report nightfall to the brain. Melatonin literally “shuts” down the “system”, and we yawn and go to sleep. Beyond these two, Dr Sunshine also enables the skin to manufacture Vitamin D3, which is the object of this column.
This doctor hardly needs an introduction. It tells us our bodies are between 70% and 75% water, that we lose this water through sweating, talking, breathing, urination and stooling. We now know we need to drink two glasses of warm water on rising from bed at dawn to help the flushing of toxins out of the body, two glasses about 30 minutes before a meal to help the production of pancreatic digestive enzymes, and prevent ulcers in this system, two glasses about two or three hours after a meal and two more glasses before knocking out for bed at night. We have moved beyond this bequeathal of Dr F. Batmanghelidy in his three books(YOUR BODY’s MANY CRIES FOR WATER, YOU’RE NOT SICK, YOU’RE ONLY THIRSTY AND DEHYDRATION, STRESS, INFLAMMATION AND CANCER) to Alkaline water, and, from there, to water with lower density.
In the Age of coronavirus, we are learning more about clean air. The best air to breathe is air-filled not only with oxygen but etheric energy. We get this energy more from the handiwork of nature such as the forest, waterfalls, seaside, or our villages which have not become concrete jungles such as Lagos and other urban Nigerian cities. That, also, is when we travel home from these cities for one or two weeks, we feel healed and re-energised. The environment has put something missing in us back into us. The thing is etheric energy.
Back in high school in the 1960s, we learned oxygen was about 21% of the air we breathe. But, now, air bubbles in Antarctic ice has put air content in Antarctic glacier age to about 38%. This means our atmosphere may have become oxygen-deprived, a possible explanation of shortened life expectancy than in methuselah days. Oxygen burns diseases out of the body and even kills cancer cells. A human body deprived of enough oxygen is a weak body and a playground for all sorts of diseases. Many people are further deprived of oxygen in heavy or light traffic smoke. Offices are smoked up by generator smoke. Even seemingly quiet residential zones can be polluted when the municipal electricity supply fails and the electric generators spring to life. In the clubs, where public crawlers think they find relaxation, Shisher smoke from potting not only alter blood radiations and overcharge the cells, they also fill their lungs with smoke.
How many of us exercise? Many people cannot walk from one bus stop to another without gasping for breath.
Do we ever rest in this country? There are three broad rhythms in a day of 24 hours which animals obey but today’s mankind does not respect. These are….(1) 4 a.m to 12 noon for detoxification and elimination. (2) 12 noon to 8 p.m for digestions and (3) 8 p.m to 4 a.m for assimilation.
Animals retire from the day from about 5 p.m and are sleeping from about 7 p.m. Observe man. He is still on the highway by midnight, having dinner in five-star hotels till about 9 p.m, thereby invoking digestion in the season of assimilation and working or living at cross purposes with Mother Nature. The knowledge is now lost that different organs of the body are nurtured by the corresponding cosmic forces (moon, different stars etc), they have an affinity for and incline towards specific hours during sleep at night. If these organs do not connect with their cosmological sockets or “mentors” when they should, how will they be de-stressed, healed and invigorated for travails of the next day?
Before we came to this earth, Mother Nature set for us a rich table of food and herbs. We pushed the natural diet aside and opted for junk food. Everyone seemed to forget about the tonifying effects of herbs on the organs. Since 1983, my household has not eaten MSG in meals at home. Cow’s milk and all forms of sugar, including so-called soft drinks, have no place in the pantry. Ditto white flour or wheat bread. It is unknown to many people that today’s wheat was genetically modified in the 1980s for higher farm yield and that the proteins altered by scientists to give this effect can damage the intestine of some people. Is this a cause for the growing incidence of the small intestine and colon cancer?
I am as guilty before Mother Nature’s Dr Sunshine when it comes to how much Vitamin D3 I get through the sun. I wear native dresses which are wrist and ankle long and took no Vitamin D3 food supplements until study after study revealed to me how prodigal I had become. I intend to share here the experiences of those hardworking and praiseworthy researchers whose work and life ever bring improvement to ours.
Newer studies are probing links between Vitamin D deficiency and brain problems. MEDICAL NEWS TODAY, for example, reported a recent study that sought to link Vitamin D deficiency with higher risks of developing SCHIZOPHRENIA. Middle-aged rodents deprived of Vitamin D developed brain damage and poorer cognition than the control group. Another study suggested that brain function was more difficult to recover in people who had sudden cardiac arrest if their Vitamin D blood level was poor. This study was carried out at the University of Queensland Brain Institute, St. Lucia, Australia, led by Professor Thomas Burne. According to www.medicalnewstoday.com which reported the findings, Dr Thomas Burne Said:
“Over a billion people worldwide are affected by Vitamin D deficiency and there is a well-established link between Vitamin D and impaired cognitive”.
According to researchers SUE PENCKOFER, PhD, RN. JOANNE KOUBA, PhD, RD,[….], and CAROL ESTWING FERRANS, PhD, RN, FAAN, the high rate of relapse among psychiatric patients calls for nutrition as an adjunct therapy. They said treatment with anti-depressants and psychotherapy were 60 to 80 per cent successful, unsuccessful treatments are linked to “non-compliance and medication. Patients discontinue their medication due to unwanted side effects. Financial reasons, fear of addiction and the belief that medication is no longer necessary….42.4 per cent discontinue medication within 30 days and 51.2 per cent of patients discontinue medication within 60 days”. They recommended dietary supplements to fill the gap. They cited the proposal of Lakhan and Vieriar for “nutritional deficiencies and treatment for persons with major depression bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder”. There have been reports which associate depression with deficiencies of, say, Follates, Vitamin B12, Selenium, Iron and Zinc. Essential fatty acid, like Vitamin D3, had begun to receive wide attention, too, they reported.
As children, we learned Vitamin D was important for healthy bones, teeth and skin. But it was as adults or ageing folks we learned of the necessity of Vitamin D3 for a healthy heart, brilliant vision and robust immunity, among others. People deficient in Vitamin D3 are likely to suffer from Age-Related Macular Degeneration(ARMD), a condition of a hole in the central vision which makes affected people see only through the sides or corners of their eyes. This vision disturbs driving and reading among other preoccupations. Vitamin D may be found in cold-water fish such as Salmon, Tuna, Trout, Macreel, Halibut, or in Cod Liver Oil, Walnut, Brazil nuts, Avocado, Spinach and deep green leafy vegetables.
Many published studies invite attention to correlations between primary open-angle glaucoma and low serum levels of Vitamin D3. There are similar correlations in Intra Occular Pressure(IOP), which, when abnormally high, may damage the retina and impact vision. It is suggested that Vitamin D3 not only reduces inflammation but that also positively affects aqueous humour fluid production and increased meshwork outflow. This hormone-like Vitamin has been reported also to improve immune response in the eye and decrease angiogenesis in the eye and other organs. ANGIOGENESIS is the creation of new blood vessels from old ones. Being neuro-protective, which is a protector of nerves, Vitamin D3 may be a protective factor in glaucoma. By the same token, it is said, low levels of Vitamin D3 in the eye may explain the occurrence of glaucoma. This sounds plausible, with the association of a deficiency to other neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis. A Miami veterans facility study associated low D3 levels slightly with dry eye syndrome and pointed accusing fingers more at vegetarian diet.
Nevertheless, some studies suggest these observations are not definitive and, therefore, dissociates Vitamin D3 from elevated IOP. They call for bigger random sized and wider population studies.
Low Vitamin D blood levels may be bad news for women. Researchers believe it may have a future portend for breast cancer. This Vitamin is believed to support normal breast cell growth and help the tissue destroy cancerous cells. Menopausal women with high Body Mass Index(BMI) and low levels of serum D3 are believed to be more at risk. Dr JOANN PINKERTON, Executive director of the North American Menopause Society and a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Virginia Health System says:
“This is not surprising. Many studies have shown that women whose diets are high in fat are more likely to get breast cancer. They are also likely to be strong, inactive Vitamin D in their fat cells, lowering overall blood levels. Even if overweight women take as much Vitamin D from the sun, food or supplements, their blood levels will tend to be lower”.
This is the realm of diabetes. Like Zinc, diabetes urinarily excretes high levels of D3. So, while the recommended daily allowance for people without health challenges is 400IU, and visually challenged people can go up to 800IU or 1,200IU, diabetes is sometimes allowed up to 2,000IU. D3 is believed to help the body become more friendly with insulin and thereby break its resistance to insulin, a condition that keeps blood sugar massing in the blood instead of being swept into the cell. This is a cause of Type 2 diabetes. In some cases, increases in blood D3 level has kept blood glucose under check. This Vitamin is said to also reduce the blood level of parathyroid hormone, thereby supporting weight loss over time, a condition beneficial for diabetes therapy.
D3 supports against diabetes does not stop there. It supports fat burning as well. Leptin is a fat-burning hormone. Fat burning may help the management of obesity, a risk factor in diabetes. Allied to fat-burning is the feeling of satiety or fullness which D3 institute to prevents calorie accumulations and, sometimes, belly fat. D3 also promises help for people who wish to free themselves of belly fat and its complications, including SYNDROME X. It reduces the blood level of the stress hormone, Cortisol which helps us to cope with stress. Huge amounts of Cortisol over long periods of time may result in belly fat, a precursor to a wide range of conditions which, put together, is called SYNDROME X. These conditions includes high blood cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension etc.
In Nigeria, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, cirrhosis of the liver, fatty liver, Gall bladder stone and cancer of the liver is common liver complaints. This is not surprising. According to the Hepatitis Foundation, two out of three persons worldwide have been infected with the Hepatitis B virus. While many seek recovery with a wide range of therapies, Vitamin D3 food supplementation would appear to be a source of help they cannot afford to ignore. Before now, low Vitamin D3 blood levels and bone disease were well known to be complications of Cholestatic liver disease in which bile production and bile flow slow down. Now, researchers are pointing to low Vitamin D3 blood levels in non-cholestatic liver disease. This is leading to a multifaceted role for Vitamin D3 in hepatic therapeutics. In several promising studies, Vitamin D3 is deficient in many Hepatitis C virus infection. Administration of Vitamin D3 has been shown to improve the uptake of zinc, which prevents replications of the virus.
Dr Batmanghelidy in DEHYDRATION, STRESS, INFLAMMATION and CANCER put the cause of cancer on the forerunner to CANCER in that title. He may not be too far off the mark, going by studies on Vitamin D3. Vitamin has been found to resolve “dry eyes” syndrome, resolve stress, curb inflammation, a cause of arthritis and pain and the culprit behind many degenerative health conditions, which Dr Batmanghelidy employed the curative powers of water to heal. Of course, there is also cancer, which the studies are saying responds to Vitamin D3.
I learned my Vitamin D3 status lessons the hard way. I am African. This means, being dark-skinned, Dr Sunshine does not readily penetrate my skin to make me easily produce Vitamin D3 under the skin. Secondly, my African dressing is wrist length and neck high top and ankle-length bottom. This means my arms and legs are not readily exposed to Dr.Sunshine. On top of this, I worked for many years under stressful conditions and paid not enough attention to Calcium and Vitamin D supplementation of my diets, although I knew about those things. My joints still ferry me about without complaints. But my teeth suffered severe inflammation and I almost could not chew meat and peanuts without excruciating pain in them. Sometimes, I even thought they would crumble. I began to add natural anti-inflammatories such as Orange peel powder and Fish oil to the diet. Along the line, I added Ionic Magnesium and Vitamin D3 for higher calcium absorption, and the fire went off. Under stress, the body tends to become more acidic. Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Manganese are offloaded from the bones into the blood to make it alkaline. That is why I often suggests alkaline or buffered Vitamin C(ascorbic acid) when this Vitamin is to be taken in high dosage. Dr Sunshine and Vitamin D3 caught my attention again during the coronavirus pandemic high point when everyone frantically searched for anything, natural or not, that could vanquish it. Vitamin D3 came up as a super immune booster. More indoor people became victims of the virus than outdoor people. Beyond the pandemic, my interest in Vitamin D3 shifted to cancer as many of my friends either succumbed in the prostate gland, colon or in breast. I found in several studies that vitamin D3 can prevent or help in the healing of cancer. According to one of such reports THE ROLE OF VITAMIN D IN CANCER PREVENTION co-written by Cedric F. Garland, DrPH, Frank C. Garland, PhD[….], and Micheal F. Hollick, MD, PhD and published in www.nibi.nlm.nih.gov.
“The high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, combined with the discovery of increased risks of certain types of cancer in those who are deficient, suggest that vitamin D deficiency may account for several thousand premature deaths from colon, breast, ovarian and prostate cancer annually. This discovery creates a new impetus for ensuring adequate vitamin D intake in order to reduce the risk of cancer”.
So, Ladies and gentlemen, as the rain and the clouds hide the sun from us this rain season, do remember Dr Sunshine and Vitamin D3 supplementation of the diets.