COVID Vaccine Interview
By Steffanie Rivers
Pharmaceutical companies created corona-virus vaccines in record time – less than ten months. Now states across America are tasked with getting vaccine shots into the arms of millions of people with the same urgency, because the numbers of COVID-19 infected and deaths continue to rise daily.
Despite all the politicians and medical professionals endorsing the COVID-19 vaccine and encouraging people everywhere to take it, there’s one doctor who said he won’t take it. Dr. L. Ray Matthews is a retired trauma/critical care surgeon and director of Surgical Critical Care at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. Steffanie Rivers interviewed Dr. Matthews about his work in preventative health maintenance and why he thinks taking the corona-virus vaccine is not the best defense against contracting COVID-19. He advocates using something else that will protect against COVID-19 and other viruses most people don’t realize are just as deadly.
Steffanie: You’re known as the premiere expert in the benefits of vitamin D3. Why is vitamin D3 important to our bodies for preventative health maintenance?
DR. MATTHEWS: First of all, vitamin D3 is actually a hormone that controls 3,000 out of 30,000 human genes (10% of our DNA). Hormone/vitamin D3 regulates our immune response system and inflammatory response systems. Vitamin D3 increases the white blood cell count (B-cells, T-cells, monocytes) to help the body fight off bacterial, fungical, and viral infections plus cancer cells. The inflammatory response system reduces inflammation by decreasing IL-6, Tumor Necrotic Factor (TNF), and C-Reactive Protein (CRP) which reduces the cytokine storm associated with corona-virus infections.
In laman terms, vitamin D3 regulates the human immune system and controls a significant portion of our human DNA. The trouble is most people don’t eat nutritious food and don’t take supplements, therefore their vitamin D3 intake is low.
Steffanie: Most Black and Brown people believe their melanin prevents them from having to worry about the need to maintain optimal vitamin D3 levels. Is that true?
DR. MATTHEWS: The opposite is true. Melanin is a natural sunscreen that protects you from the sun. Melanin blocks 95% of vitamin D3 production. As a result, people of color’s vitamin D3 levels tend to run 30% lower than lighter skinned people. This alone makes people of color more susceptible to corona-virus and most chronic diseases of aging such as heart disease, strokes, higher maternal/fetal mortality rates, cancer and many more chronic diseases.
Steffanie: What are signs that a person is vitamin D3 deficient?
DR. MATTHEWS: Signs and symptoms of vitamin D3 deficiency are fatigue, insomnia, joint pain, muscle pain, frequent fractures/broken bones, recurrent infections, brittle nails, hair loss, memory loss, lack of focus, and poor wound healing.
Steffanie: List ailments that can be prevented by taking vitamin D3.
DR. MATTHEWS: That is a very long list. Almost all diseases of chronic aging can be slowed down with vitamin D3 such as heart disease, strokes, cancer, and many other diseases.
Steffanie: Some people drink milk to get their vitamin D3, is that the best way? Others are lactose intolerant and need to absorb in other ways, and what’s the optimal daily amount of vitamin D3 needed?
DR. MATTHEWS: Ninety percent (90%) of vitamin D3 production comes from the sun striking the skin producing a chemical that goes to the liver and kidneys to make vitamin D3. Only ten percent (10%) of vitamin D3 comes from the diet. As a result, most people need sunlight (apply sunscreen after 15 minutes of exposure to avoid skin cancers) and supplements. Supplements come in liquid, chewables, soft gels, capsule, or tablet form. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) requirements for vitamin D3 is 600 international units for younger adults and 800 IU for older adults; however, in my first manuscript published on vitamin D3, we challenged that as being too low based on our present technology society. In an agricultural society fifty years ago, people spent most of their time outdoors (more sunlight) and did not have sunscreen. Today we spend most of our time indoors (less sunlight) and use sunscreen.
Depending on an individual’s lifestyle and what part of the country/world they live in vitamin D3 supplementation will be different. Outdoors people might need less supplementation than people who spend more time indoors or who live in colder, less sunny climates.
Steffanie: Can a person take too much Vitamin D3?
DR. MATTHEWS: Vitamin D3 toxicity is very rare. A person will have to take more than one million IU in a short period of time. Vitamin D3 deficiency is more dangerous than vitamin D3 toxicity. Vitamin D3 levels less than 18 ng/ml increases the risk of death by thirty percent (30%) from all causes including corona-virus.
Since the levels of vitamin D3 decreases in the human body with age, coupled with less physical activity, low supplementation and under-nourishing diets, it’s no wonder the health of African-Americans have been more negatively affected by corona-virus. Yet many African-Americans are suspicious of government-sponsored medical mandates and shy away from taking vaccines.
Steffanie: Ask many African-Americans if they will take the COVID-19 vaccine and the answer is NO! I’m sure you understand why they are hesitant. Do you and your family and friends plan to take the vaccine, why or why not?
DR. MATTHEWS: I took all the required vaccines during my 31-year medical career. I knew all the long term side effects because it took 5-20 years to make a vaccine prior to the mRNA corona-virus vaccines. The long-term side effects of the mRNA vaccines are unknown. I will stick with the vitamin D3 for now.
Steffanie: In relation to the COVID-19 virus and the vaccine: Why do health officials (like those on the president’s health panel) rarely talk about preventative maintenance? Is their focus more on selling a vaccine than on the benefits of using cheaper and more accessible supplements?
DR. MATTHEWS: In the world of medicine, the big money is in intervention rather than prevention; however, a study found that 70% of doctors take supplements but do not tell their patients.
Steffanie: The adage ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ could help people build their immune systems to reduce chances of viral infections, and save them sick time and money spent on aftercare. What does your ‘ounce of prevention’ look like when it comes to building one’s immune system? What are some ‘old faithful’ products you suggest people keep in their homes at all times?
DR. MATTHEWS: A worldwide expert virologist once said that there are 1,400 viruses that have the potential to become a pandemic. Do you take 1,400 shots every year, or do you make the immune system stronger to fight off all infections? I would recommend vitamin D3, zinc, and vitamin C. These are natural supplements with minimal side effects. I worked around some of the most contagious infectious diseases on earth and did not catch any infections during my 31-year medical career.
Steffanie: Most Black men do little in preventative healthcare maintenance. They shy away from going to doctors appointments, and they rarely take supplements. They spend more time on outward physical appearance – working out at fitness centers – than on caring for their body’s internal systems. What’s the best way to change that?
DR. MATTHEWS: Women are usually more health conscious than men. You have to encourage their mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters to be more proactive in their men’s health. Men tend to listen to them.
Steffanie: Please add any information you want to include that wasn’t asked.
DR. MATTHEWS: If given the opportunity, I can help to bring the corona-virus pandemic under control worldwide in three months. I understand the biology, patho-physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology of corona-virus and vitamin D3. I call vitamin D3 God’s miracle vitamin.
Steffanie Rivers is a free-lance journalist living in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. Email her at info@SteffanieRivers.com with your comments, questions and speaking inquiries.