Business Spotlight: Cool V “Mr. Official Whistle”, The Marketing InsomniacJanuary 10, 2014
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With the pandemic still in the air and now that the vaccine injections are being pushed out from community to community, our immune systems remain at the top of conversations for many, especially within the Black community.
On one side of the spectrum you have those who have gotten the vaccine and feel great and are encouraging others to get it, but then on the flip side you have others who are still weary and are more prone to natural ways of how they can boost their immune systems. There really is no right or wrong way, we just all want to remain safe, but it is always critical to hear from the experts when it comes matters such as this.
Here at Purposely Awakened, which is under the Awakened Lounge, we recently chatted with Dr. Leslie Matthews, a cutting-edge trauma surgeon and assistant professor of surgery at Morehouse School of Medicine, where he chatted on the importance of Vitamin D and how it can assist with fighting COVID-19, as well as how it cuts hospital stays, hospital costs, and mortality rates—and how without adequate levels, it is impossible to achieve optimum health.
L. Scott: I am Latanya Scott and I am a social media personality for Purposely Awakened and I am here to interview a tremendously talented trauma surgeon who is joining us right now. Hello Dr. Matthews, how are you?
Dr. Matthews: I am great, how bout yourself?
L. Scott: I am awesome. My name is Latanya Scott and I am with Purposely Awakened and it is an honor to speak with you today. I wanted to get to know you and to talk about your history to find out how you became interested in the work that you have done because it is really important work. I would love for our readers/viewers to get to know about you on a personal level as well as to learn about your work.
So Dr. Matthews, how did you get started in the medical field and what inspired you?
Dr. Matthews: Well, I am from an extraordinary family my mother, Missouri Matthews had the first set of Siamese twins in the history of the world to be successfully separated in 1955, so there was a medical feat since the time of Adam. My dad sang with B.B. King with the St. John Gospel singers, so my family basically gave the world B.B. King the blues singer, he originally wanted to be a gospel singer. So I came from a distinguished family and parents that worked hard all of their life and they expected us to work hard and to be great citizens that would do the right thing.
At the age of 4, I told my family of medicine physician that I was going to be a surgeon and he just thought that I was joking, so I knew what I was going to dobefore I even started school. I was reading when I was 4 years old, so I did not go to Head Start or Pre-K, why would I need to go there when I already knew how to read and write.
L. Scott: You already had the knowledge.
Dr. Matthews: I have always loved science and I have always had a curious mind and I have to keep my mind busy. I love to read, and I have a passion for it and so I basically have known what I have wanted to do since I have been here.
L. Scott: Wow, that just inspired me and that just makes me feel so much better with the things that I am doing in my life. I am not only conducting interviews for Purposely Awakened, but I am also the environmental science educator for The Cahaba River Society. I grew up feeling very passionate about being outdoors and being in nature; fishing and doing things with my family. My mom was a nurse and of course I wanted to be like my mom or my older brother. I loved the things that my mother did as a nurse. I was going to college and I realized that it was not for me, I loved the outdoors so much that I changed my major and I am absolutely in love with what I do now.
By you saying that at 4 years old, you were interested in the things that you were interested in and your family is historic…WOW! They are awesome and to think that you became a trauma surgeon, an award winning and internationally known trauma surgeon. He was also a professor at Morehouse.
Dr. Matthews: I retired in December of 2019.
L. Scott: So, if you retired in 2019, are you familiar with our Mayor here in the city of Birmingham, Randall Woodfin?
Dr. Matthews: Well, I did not travel that much, I was mostly in the hospital 7 days a week.
L. Scott: Oh okay because he went to Morehouse.
Dr. Matthews: The medical school and the college are completely separate. They have a different Board of Trustees and a different President. They are separate entities.
L. Scott: I just always thought that everyone that went to Morehouse, knew everybody.
Dr. Matthews: No (he says as he gives a little chuckle)
L. Scott: Thank you for clarifying. So let get into some things. There is a lot that is going on regarding the coronavirus and you have probably gotten these questions many times before especially concerning your research on Vitamin D, that is just something that I am interested in and I would love for our viewers/readers to learn some more about supplements that they can take to not only prevent but to combat the virus itself.
I had the virus a few weeks ago and I was not given Vitamin D. I was only told to take (she displays all the vitamins that she has to Dr. Matthews).
Dr. Matthews: That is a lot.
L. Scott: Well here is the thing, I was so excited to sit down with you today because of your research with Vitamin D, because as a female going to the doctor and getting labs done, I was told that I am Vitamin D deficient and I have never understood what that meant. I wanted to join the Marines and I was told by my recruiter that I needed to start taking Vitamin D now in order to strengthen my bones because a lot of women have fractures or broken bones when they are in the military.
So, it never registered with me how important supplements were. So I would like for you to share some of your research on Vitamin D and to let our viewers/readers know what the difference is between Vitamin D’s. There is Vitamin D 2 and 3. Vitamin D2 is made from plants and Vitamin D3 is made from animals and it makes it much easier to absorb if they take Vitamin D. I have been doing my research and I would like for you to speak on these things.
Dr. Matthews: Originally, I went to the university of Mississippi. Ole Miss, Oxford and I was pre-med, chemistry major…so I took extra hours of bio-chemistry. Biochemistry is how our body works. One of the hardest classes in medical school is Biochemistry and most doctors barely pass biochemistry. So, I have to have challenges in life and I actually tutored bio-chem when I was in medical school, so all 110 medical students in my class, passed it. It was my challenge to make sure that everyone passed.
Most doctors were biology majors, so they do not have a great understanding of biochemistry so that is why they do not have an understanding of how it works. So I had several opportunities where I was able to look inside the body and got to see the inside of the body. On a daily basis, I was looking at the heart, the lungs, the brain…the kidneys and everything and seeing the internal affects.
Most researchers are in a clinic or a lab just handing out pills, some get real time experience looking at the organs so that they can see what is going on. So, starting off, Vitamin D is not a vitamin, it is a hormone, so that was the first mistake that they made 100 years ago when they discovered Hormone D or Vitamin D.
The difference between a hormone and a vitamin is that a vitamin is like a spark plug, it makes the reaction go faster at a lower temperature. You have enzymes and vitamins when you eat so if you notice, your body temperature stays the same. If you did not have vitamins and enzymes, then your temperature would go up to 120 degrees whenever you ate.
Hormones work in your blood system and they help you interact with your environment. An example of a hormone is testosterone, it works on many different systems. Testosterone works on the male voice, when you turn 13 the voice starts to get deeper and you begin to get facial hair, you begin to get muscles, so it works on the muscles and you begin to be able to reproduce, so it works on the reproductive system. Hormone D or Vitamin D does the same thing.
We have 30,000 human genes that determine our sex, our height, and our intelligence, as well as how well our immune system works. What Hormone D does is that it controls about 3000 of the 30,000 genes in the human body, or 10% of your DNA. If I knew that there was something at Walmart that I could buy that will control 10% of my DNA, that is powerful. So, if I learn the chemistry and the bio-chemistry of Vitamin D and how it affects each cell and organ in my body, imagine what I can do with that.
I am kind of like George Washington Carver; I can do as many things with Vitamin D as he did with peanuts. You have receptors for Vitamin D for every cell and tissue in the human body and there is no other chemical that has receptors for every cell or tissue in your body like that, so if you understand what it does to every cell and tissue; just imagine what you can do. So, as a trauma surgeon, one of the things that Vitamin D does is to increase or make your immune system stronger. It increases your white blood cell count. White blood cells are what your body sends out to attack when you get an infection, whether it is bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic. If you have a weak immune system, it will not be able to fight off any infections and this is what we see in HIV patients; they have a weakened immune system, so they have infections frequently.
So, if I can strengthen my immune system and make my immune system stronger or increase the number of white blood cells, I can basically fight off anything. What Vitamin D or Hormone D does is to increase the white blood cell count so if you were attacked by the coronavirus, what it actually does is to provide you with more white blood cells and now I have a stronger army than the coronavirus, so I can fight it off because I have a strong army. I can fight off basically anything that attacks my body.
Another thing that is does is that it decreases inflammation. The coronavirus causes a cytokine storm (Diseases such as covid-19 and influenza can be fatal due to an overreaction of the body’s immune system called a cytokine storm. Cytokines are small proteins released by many different cells in the body, including those of the immune system where they coordinate the body’s response against infection and trigger inflammation). These proteins can cause your blood pressure to drop, you may become confused, sweaty, and clammy and it also clogs up your lungs. So, Vitamin D/Hormone D decreases that as well, it is fighting a 2-prong battle and it out flanks the coronavirus.
You mentioned earlier that you were interested in going into the military. The military has a problem because they spend over 100 million a year just on stress fractures out of their TRICARE budget (This is a health insurance program offered to members of the U.S. Military). There is an expectation that it will rise even more, so imagine that they train all of these young recruits out of high school and a lot of them wash out because the fractures do not heal, or they cannot heal properly carrying those 80lb. sacks on their backs. They are doing a study in the military based on my research where they are giving all the basic recruits at the army bases, Vitamin D and they are giving it to them in a candy bar and so I advised them not to use the candy bar (L. Scott answers because of the sugar and cavities, to which Dr. Matthews confirms and he further states that obesity has become a problem as well).
They have an aversion to pills for some reason which are lighter to carry. When I met with the military back in 2012, I had been training them and I presented it as a national security threat…Vitamin D deficiency. What people do not know is that the free lunch program was started by the military back in the 1940’s during WWII, we were losing the war at first because we did not have enough healthy soldiers to fight because of poor nutrition, so after we started feeding the kids in school, they became bigger, stronger, and healthier, we were able to turn things around in the war. There were a lot of generals in the military that did not know that and so I gave them that piece of history, I am helping you to embark on another mystery in dealing with Vitamin D deficiency.
I told them and I shocked them by saying, if I had military training and understood military tactics, I said I could beat all 200 of you in this room every time because my group of soldiers would be stronger, faster, they would have fewer injuries and they would heal faster, they would have less PTSD and they would have fewer infections. As a surgeon, Vitamin D…we have to deal with all types of infections. We have to deal with pneumonia, people get injured, they come in with glass, and grass in their wounds. Infection is the thing that increases health care costs, it increases your length of stay, your mortality rate, your morbidity, and you stay in the hospital longer.
So, after I learned to perfect the use of Vitamin D and we started using it in our patients, we noticed a decrease in mortality rate. We cut the mortality rate from an overall 11% down to 4.1% and we went 10 years without a single lawsuit in trauma critical care. That is unheard of because normally you would have 2-3 per year. Imagine how much money the hospital and the medical school saved just because your medical malpractice insurance had gone down tremendously, that is an amazing accomplishment, millions of dollars are saved. With ventilator associated pneumonia, these are the patients that are on the breathing machines, or ventilators in ICU with head injuries and other serious multiple gunshots and once we started to use Vitamin D, we cut our ventilator associated pneumonia rate which is a bad pneumonia…40% of people die from that because it is so serious. We were able to cut the ventilator associated pneumonia rate from 80% down to 20%, the national average is 10%, so I am working at a county hospital where they have limited resources, you are understaffed.
To cut anything from 80% to 20%, is simply herculean. So, basically it kills all types of pneumonias, whether it is bacterial, fungal, or viral. It is the same principle, same concept and if you understand biochemistry of pneumonias and the processes…your body can only do so many things. Once you understand what the body can do and then I understood how to counteract it, you basically would be able to eradicate coronaviruses and pneumonias, if you understand chemistry of Hormone D.
L. Scott: Thank you for that, I could listen to you all day. With all that being said, Covid-19 is still going on. What would you say to the younger audience that will view/read this interview, especially those who do not want to wear their masks, if they contract the virus, what would you say to them about using Vitamin D to combat the coronavirus because everything that you said just a moment ago should have been enough to convince everyone to start taking Vitamin D, I would also like to ask, why is it that we hear more about Vitamin C to boost our immune systems, than we hear about Vitamin D?
Dr. Matthews: That is a great question, La’Tanya. Like I mentioned earlier, Vitamin D is a true hormone, so it works in your blood system and it affects multiple systems. Vitamin C, is just a vitamin, and so it is not able to do as many things as Vitamin D does, but it can work in conjunction with Vitamin D, but you will not get the same bang for your buck as you would with Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is the heavy lifter, if you think about multiple people on a football field, Vitamin D would be the MVP.
L. Scott: Do you all hear that Alabama Fire (Women’s tackle football)?
Dr. Matthews: Well I am glad that you mentioned Alabama. I have spoken to Nick Saban (Head Coach at the University of Alabama) and Kirby Smart (Head Coach of the University of Georgia), I actually had a 40-minute meeting with Nick Saban back in 2015 or 2016 and so most of their players are on Vitamin D because they understand (L. Scott states, Ssh…do not tell the other FCC teams about Vitamin D, that is our secret, to which Dr. Matthew laughs) Are you an Alabama fan?
L. Scott: I am fan of the whole state, I am in Alabama currently.
Dr. Matthews: Oh, alright. So, it works in sports and I have done a lot of things, one of the things that I have done is that I have worked with Vitamin D in athletes. I started with my nephew back in 2009 when he was in the 8th or 9th grade, and he was like a “Pee Wee Herman” and then after a year or two, he was like 6’3, 220 lbs., with 2% body fat. Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson were 6-8%, so this guy was just all muscles. He was running a 4.3 40 yard-dash, bench pressing 425lbs., and squatting 500 lbs., he is just a phenomenal athlete.
When he went to high school, the coach asked his mom, what you are feeding this boy (L. Scott says Vitamin D as they both laugh). So, the coach wanted to meet with me and talk to me and so I started working with the high school football team back in 2011. That year the MLK Jr. High School in Atlanta, GA, Lithonia, GA; they went 13 and 1 that year, out of 85 football players, 25 of them received a D-1 scholarship (full-rides) from just that one team, and just in case we may have thought that it was a fluke, the following year 24 players received scholarships. That was a total of 70 million in scholarships that were received in one year.
Currently from that team, there are 2 in the NFL, another 2 are in the Canadian Football League (CFL). The ones that continued in sports and stayed out of trouble were able to do remarkable things because like I said, it is a hormone. The other thing that Vitamin D relating to sports is this, we were told that you cannot increase your speed, so being the type of person that I am, I always think outside the box and I do not believe everything that I was taught in medical school. I do my best to prove things wrong and I have been quite successful at it for most of my life.
One of the things that is does is it increases…you have 2 type of muscle fibers, you have a fast twitch, which you will see in your sprinters (100 yd dash, 200 meters) and then you have your slow twitch which you will see in marathons (distant runners). What Vitamin or Hormone D does is, it increases the fast twitch fibers that you have, and it also makes those fibers thicker. So, if I increase the number of fast twitch fibers then it is going to make me run faster. I am not going to go from a 5.0 in a 40-yard dash to a 4.3, but I can go from a 5.0 to a 4.7., and that can make a big difference in football if I am a defensive end and I run a 4.7 vs. a 5.0, I can get to the Quarterback faster and sac the QB, instead of him throwing a touchdown or running for a TD.
L. Scott: Hey you might have answered my question as to how I was able to get a sac in football, I played tackle football and I was able to sac the QB in one of our games. Maybe it was because my doctor gave me Vitamin D (she says as she laughs).
Dr. Matthews: It does help, it makes your muscles and bones stronger. You are also less likely to get a fracture too. The first year that I worked with MLK High, I only had 1 fracture the entire year. Like I mentioned they had 85 football players, 13 games in a tough 5A division of football which is really tough. I only had one fracture and one concussion that year also. You know concussion has become a big thing because you have to remember that your skull is a bone also. Our problem as human beings is that we have thin skulls, compared to a battering ram and what do they do all day, butt heads intentionally. Battering rams do not get concussions, they do not fall out and they do not get brain bleeds like we do because (L. Scott states that they are animals and Dr. Matthews goes on to explain), remember I told you that it is all about chemistry and physiology.
They have thicker skulls so if I have a thicker skull (he demonstrates with the hands the difference in the size of their skulls versus our own), and then if I hit something with the same amount of force, then you have something called, kinetic energy which is active energy. The energy is going to stop before it gets to the soft tissue of your brain, but if I have a thin skull and I use the same force, that energy is going to go all the way through the skull to the brain. A perfect example of that would be if I had an egg and a coconut and I hit them both with the same amount of force, which one am I going to break, I am going to break that eggshell. So, one of my jokes is that Humpty Dumpty was Vitamin D deficient and that is why he broke all of his bones (they both laugh), so I solved a nursery rhyme.
L. Scott: I am going to use that one…I am writing it down (as they continue to laugh).
Dr. Matthews: So, that is something else that Vitamin D does, it increases absorption of calcium from your gut, and from your bones. Calcium is what makes your bones stronger and the problem with some scientist and doctors is that they do not understand bio-chemistry really well, so I was a Chemistry/Bio-Chem Major, and that was like second nature to me…it was like breathing and so I understand it very well. For example, they say that Vitamin D does not decrease bone fractures, they do not understand the composition of your bones because they are not just made of calcium, they have protein, phosphorus, and magnesium. So, if I am going to make strong bones, I am going to need more than just Vitamin D…they are just given a low dose of Vitamin D and it does not work.
Another thing that is misunderstood is that they underestimate the amount of Vitamin D that you need, so I pioneered high dose Vitamin D. I was always told that you had to worry about Vitamin D toxicity, but the bottom line is that the body needs way more Vitamin D than we used to because back 50 years ago, we were an agricultural society, so we were outdoors all day. This was before the advent of computers, kids played outdoors, hopscotch, baseball, football all day so we were out in the sun from sun-up to sundown.
Kids today are computer geeks, so they are never outdoors, and they do not get enough sunlight, their Vitamin D levels tend to be lower and then even in African Americans the reason that you see more disease processing us is because we have lower Vitamin D levels, we have more melanin in our skin, which protects us from sunburn and skin cancer, but we have to stay in the sun 3-10 times longer than the average Caucasian person just to get the same amount of Vitamin D.
Living in the United States we are at a higher latitude, we are not on the equator, our Vitamin levels tend to run 30% lower and so I proved basically when we started to do the research, we looked at what the Vitamin D levels were. The lowest Vitamin D levels were in African American women…which was 9.8 nanograms per milliliter, and the federal government says 30 nanograms per milliliter should be your normal Vitamin D level. We actually challenged that also. We said that 30 cannot be normal because your body is still doing things at 30, the only thing that 30 does is to keep you from getting Rickets. In order to get your levels above 30…you ever notice that you only see bowlegs in African American people, and you do not see it in other races and that is because of the darker skin.
So, what happens is that it’s biology and physiology too.
L. Scott: Wait a minute…for one, you are answering all of my questions. Now about the bowlegs, I have a mirror when I walk into my house. I am bowlegged, as well as my sister and my father. I have always looked at other races and they either have that pear shaped and straight down and their knees stay straight and in African Americans it is always that they are either knock kneed or bowlegged.
If we were to increase our Vitamin D, could that be prevented in future generations?
Dr. Matthews: Yes. Let me tell you why, I do not just figure out, I try to understand the dynamics of things. I am a person who needs to know why. So the why of that is, when you are in the womb most mothers are Vitamin D deficient, particularly African American mothers when they carry their babies. So what happens is, when the baby is born, they are Vitamin D deficient. The strongest structure of a building is an arch, which you see in Roman Catholic churches. The arch is stronger than a straight beam. So if we were born with straight legs and being Vitamin D deficient, our legs would snap like a twig.
Genetically, the body bows the leg to make it stronger so that the baby can walk even though they are Vitamin D deficient. So, that is why you see bowlegs in Black kids, it is a genetic design that enables them to be able to walk without snapping or breaking. We now know that Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy is associated with lower intelligence, lower IQ, paranoid schizophrenia, diabetes, and a whole host of other things and that is why you see postpartum depression in a lot of our women while pregnant because you have another entity growing inside of you and they are cyphering off the Vitamin D to build its bones up. This affects your whole life…things that go on in the womb affects you all of your life. The mortality rate for African American women is 4x higher and that is because of Vitamin D deficiency, which is one of the main culprits.
L. Scott: Ok, so you touched on that because I wanted to know if it was the main reason or part of the reason.
Dr. Matthews: It is a larger part of the reason. Research shows that when your Vitamin D level is less than 18, remember that I mentioned that in my unit, African Americans had a level of 9.8, so at that time we were checking Vitamin D levels, the mortality rate for the African American females on our trauma critical care service was 14%, it was the highest between African American males/females and Caucasian males/females, we broke it down into 4 groups.
Once we started to use high dose Vitamin D and getting the levels up rapidly, the mortality rate of all the groups equalized across the board and you were not able to tell the difference between the mortality rate of any other group. So, it tells us that it’s healthcare disparities…healthcare disparities, but most of it is biologic. It is just about having low Vitamin D levels because our Vitamin D levels tend to run 30% lower because of the melanin in our skin that blocks 98% of Vitamin D production.
L. Scott: So, we would need to increase Vitamin D to have better functioning body but also to increase our immune system?
Dr. Matthews: Yes, that is correct.
L. Scott: I am blown away. I did not know that Vitamin D or Hormone D was such an important factor in our health, especially people of color. Going to the doctor and getting labs drawn to see how your thyroid is doing, Vitamin D levels…etc., and they say that you are Vitamin D deficient and they give you a pill bottle and you take these pills, not having done any research to understand anything about it. I was just thinking that as I got older my bones would be weakened so they could break and so I would have to be careful. I did not understand that I need to have it in the fiber of my body.
Dr. Matthews: Yes.
L. Scott: With that being said, when I was doing my research to learn more about you and what it was that you were researching, one of the interviews that I came across (Ask Dr. Alice), she had her pills bottles, and I was like I am going to have my pill bottles too and I would like for you to tell me what I need to throw away and what I need to take. Because I know people who have a lot of pills and we call it the medicine cabinet and we might take those pills the first week and then they just sit there.
But as far as Vitamin D3 and not understanding how it can help me, I really thought that it was just for strong bones and there are many people out there who have thought the same thing, but it is for so much more.
You talk about high levels of Vitamin D and that the levels need to be no less than 18.
Dr. Matthews: Let me explain that, having a level less than 18, increases your risk of dying from all causes of death by 30%. The federal government says that 30 is normal, but if you get less than 18, say for example on my trauma service when I was working, and you had a traumatic brain energy or head injury and your Vitamin D level was 15, if you come onto my service, your risk of dying goes up automatically by 30% by having that head injury just by having a Vitamin D level less than 18.
If you had a heart attack and you came onto my service, and your Vitamin D level is 10, your risk of death goes up 30% by having a Vitamin D level less than 18. If you have coronavirus pneumonia and your Vitamin D level is less than 18, and you come on my service, your risk of dying goes up by 30%. That is what all causes means, whatever you got, if you are pregnant, you’re an African American female, and you experience complications, your Vitamin D level is 8, your risk of death goes up 30%.
L. Scott: Wow, I am glad that we are talking about this. This is very important.
Dr. Matthews: Yes, and it is a quick fix…Walmart
L. Scott: Walmart…over the counter. I knew that I was going to be asking you questions today about Vitamin D; I took two of mine because my levels are really low. I know that there are a lot of people that are watching this, and their levels are low as well.
How encouraged are you about people getting supplements?
Dr. Matthews: First of all, I think that people should get their Vitamin D levels checked annually by your physician, to see how low you are. So, if you are really as low as you think that you are, then you will need the 50,000 IU’s (International Units is how Hormone/Vitamin D is measured).
L. Scott: He just threw me under the bus ya’ll (they both laugh)
Dr. Matthews: Most people are really low, and they do not know it. Once you get it up then you need to take a maintenance dose, which can vary anywhere between 1000-10,000 IU’s a day. So, just like you are not able to fill your car up just one time and think that you will be able to drive it for the rest of your life…off one tank of gas. You have to go back every week and fill your gas tank up.
So, you have a loading dose which is the 50,000 IU’s, and then you have a maintenance dose which can be anywhere between 1000-10,000 IU’s. There are medications that can affect your Vitamin D levels too. If you are on seizure medications, HIV medications, or steroids for any reason, that lowers your Vitamin D level. Something else that most doctors do not know is that when you go into the hospital, whatever type of injury that you may have, your Vitamin D level drops 50% within the first 24 hours regardless of the cause of you being in the hospital. So, if I went into the hospital and my Vitamin D level was 30, Twenty-four hours later my Vitamin D level is going to be at 15 regardless. Hospitals are dark and you are not getting any natural sunlight there. Ninety percent of Vitamin D comes from the sun striking your skin, and so only 10% comes from your diet. As nutrition, we need at least 100 different nutrients, supplements, vital enzymes, and amino acids in order to be healthy.
The biggest deficiency is Vitamin D deficiency. You need Vitamin D from the cradle to the grave. It is a lifelong need, so we can fill up.
L. Scott: This is something that makes me very happy to be talking about. I am both interested and intrigued. You have pretty much answered a lot of my questions, but I do have more. For some of the people that I know personally, I matriculated through college and it was all about the sciences and medical. They maybe took one science class with us and learned about white blood cells. The takeaway for most people was that if you had a high white blood cell count, then you had a disease. So what you are learning is that when white blood cells are raised, you are fighting off an infection or virus and they are trying to do their business.
Can you break down why if someone goes and gets tested for anything, and there is an increase in their white blood count, is it good or bad, and how will introducing Vitamin D into their lives help?
Dr. Matthews: It depends on the cause. You can have a high white blood cell count and have leukemia or a lymphoma if there is no reason for it to be sky high. However, with Vitamin D, you will see a gradual increase. Usually the normal range of your white blood count is 3000-10,000. So, if you come in with a white blood cell count less than 3000, that is a reason for investigation, and you need to see a hematologist. If there is no reason for your white blood count to be greater than 10,000, then you need to see hematologist as well.
People with leukemia will usually have a white blood cell count of 33,000-40,000, they will be complaining about night sweats, night fever and weakness, and then they have large lymph nodes. We have to put the whole picture together, the physical history, and the lab work all together in order to find out the cause of the increase in white blood cells.
L. Scott: Wow, that is interesting. So, in talking about the cause of the high or low white blood cell count, what I am taking from that is if you have a pre-existing condition that you are dealing with, is it too late to take Vitamin D?
Dr. Matthews: As long as you are living, it is never too late. I encourage people to get your levels checked with your doctor, which is a simple blood test to see where you are first. You need to know how low you are, so if you are really low then you are going to need 50,000 IU’s to get you up. I think that it should be done in conjunction with your physician because it needs to be monitored.
I do not like to tell people to take this dose and then they do not get monitored because there are some groups that should not take a lot of Vitamin D, you would have to know that from the biochemistry and the science of Vitamin D. I do not want to literally tell people to just go out and buy some Vitamin D, be sure to see your doctor first.
L. Scott: Thank you for clarifying that because I know a lot of folks that are going to go out and get Vitamin D, get the pills or the soft gels…do not get the gummies unless you are a youngster and you do not like taking pills.
Dr. Matthews: That is a problem because most adults would prefer to take gummies, I do not why.
L. Scott: It is candy and it is sweet, and it makes you feel a little better.
Dr. Matthews: It does not have as many IU’s and it is not as potent or as strong. Most medications are measured in milligrams or nanograms, but Vitamin D, one of the things that they use is international units, which is the same thing as dosage, but it is in international units. The more IU’s that it has then that means that the medication is a lot stronger.
L. Scott: I know that I took 2 doses. I have not taken my Vitamin D in a long time, so I know that I am very low. So, is there anything that you are working on now, I realize that given the fact that we are in the midst of a pandemic, it may make it difficult to work and with everything going virtual now, please let our viewers/readers know how you are living.
Dr. Matthews: I am busy in a different way. I get emails, texts, and phone calls from all over the world about the coronavirus and Vitamin D because I am considered one of the top Vitamin D experts on the planet. I have been on zoom calls, and podcasts, so it keeps me busier than I thought that I would be, and I am always working on something, and fine-tuning things, trying to figure out how I can save the world from itself.
I am trying to get the message out just on Vitamin D, that it is really important, and until they perfect or get the vaccines going, you need a bridge, because there have been a record number of people that are dying on a daily basis. It is going to get a lot worse with these 3 new variants that are out there. One variant comes from the U.K., there is a South African variant, and the Nigerian variant. These things have mutated, usually you will see a mutation in one place. The U.K., variant is in 17 places at one time, and that is unusual.
The South African variant has mutated 23 times. So, you have to wonder if the vaccines are going to be as affective against something that has mutated that many times as the original strain.
L. Scott: I see that I have to pay attention to the news because I have detached myself from watching it like I used to because there is just so much that is going on, especially concerning the coronavirus, I contracted it some weeks back, and it is not fun. My doctor said that I was one of the healthier people, but it felt like a bad cold, I was congested, I could not smell or taste anything at all, I got over it but that does not mean that I am in the clear even though everybody is talking about antibodies. That does not mean that I am in the clear because it is possible for me to get it again, and it could come back with a vengeance. There are a lot of folks that have it, and they are not as fortunate, and that is really what the news is all about right now, I just cannot deal with it.
Dr. Matthews: Those are long haulers; these are people that still have lingering symptoms. The problem with coronavirus is that it is a systemic disease, so I think that we are looking at it in the wrong way. It is not a lung disease; it can affect every organ in your body. I call this a super virus because it is not your typical, ordinary virus, and I think that we underestimated the capabilities of this virus. It is not a normal, regular virus, and I think that the average person does not understand pandemics, and I would challenge each person to google the 10 deadliest pandemics. We have had pandemics in the past 6,000 years that have wiped out half the population on the earth.
You cannot see it, and you cannot smell it, and you cannot touch it, so they think that it is not real, but it can wipe you out before you can even blink your eye. So, I think that they need to google pandemics, and see what a pandemic really is. The last one that we had, the Spanish flu, killed 50 million people, that was in 1918. World War 1 was going on at the same time. the war killed 30 million people, so the pandemic killed 20 million more than the war where they were trying to kill each other.
This pandemic has spread around the globe to all of the continents, even Antarctica, it is the coldest place on earth, it gets to be -80 degrees down there in the wintertime, so it is everywhere. What virus can survive -80 degrees and then go to Dubai and survive 120 degrees? That is a 200-degree shift, that is not a normal virus.
L. Scott: I am like you; I want to know the why. It seems to me that for years (For all the environmentalists, please charge it to my head and not my heart), we have been talking about global warming, things are beginning to melt, things are heating up, and the emissions, and everything is increasing, it seems that after a period of years of starting to talk about that, and now this virus is everywhere…hot places, cold places, and dark places…light places, and anyone can get it (L. Scott questions whether or not the virus is airborne and Dr. Matthews confirms that it is), how long can the virus stay on surfaces because I feel like it has already been here and with what we are doing to the earth, it is just happening.
Dr. Matthews: I am not able to remember the exact hours, but it can live on different surfaces for different amounts of time, lasting from several hours to several days. So, it depends on the surface, glass, or metal, or porous/non-porous. You can google a list and they will tell you how long it lasts on each surface. But it definitely depends on the surface as to how long the virus can last.
Where did the coronavirus come from, who knows. I spoke with one of my virologist friends. He said that there are approximately 1400 viruses that can potentially become a pandemic and wipe out the whole earth. Essentially the only way that you can deal with it is to strengthen your immune system. So, are we going to take 1400 vaccines a year if all 1400 of these things come out? You do not have enough space for 1400 vaccines, so the best that we can do is to strengthen our immune system.
The thing that I like about Hormone D is that I know all the side-effects of it, I know how to treat all the side-effects of it, it is relatively cheap, and you do not develop immunity against it. So, regardless of what it confirms or what it conforms to, or how many times it mutates, I can still kill it with Vitamin D.
L. Scott: I am glad that I took my Vitamin D before we talked. I am going to make sure to wipe off surfaces and stay away from people still.
Before I let you, go, is there anything else that you would like to share with our viewers/readers? FYI, you do not need his Facebook, or Instagram, you just need to google Dr. Leslie R. Matthews and all of his stuff comes up. Although I mentioned that they can google you, please feel free to let everyone know how they can get in touch with you.
Dr. Matthews: You can go to my Facebook because I explain things better there than on Instagram, you are not able to be as wordy. On Facebook it’s @leslieraymatthews and on Instagram, it’s @dr.leslieraymatthews and if you would like to get in contact with me via email, [email protected] .
L. Scott: You heard it from the great doctor, I will not say good because you are great, and you answered a lot of questions that a lot of our viewers/readers have. Dr. Leslie thank you so much for taking the time out.
Dr. Matthews: Thank you Latanya.
L. Scott: You are welcome, and I know that you are super busy, and I am just so honored to have this conversation with you to learn more about the things that you are doing to not only keep yourself healthy but to help us become healthier.
Thank you so much and I look forward to speaking with you soon, have a wonderful night.
Dr. Matthews: You too, thank you.
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