How do you overcome fear?
Physicist Marie Curie said, “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more so that we may fear less.”
COVID-19 has brought the whole world in limbo for over a year now. The pandemic has exposed the lives of millions of people across the globe — in a bad way. Today, many of us are in the most vulnerable and insecure state that we might have ever been in our entire lifetime.
But let’s not lose hope. My guest for today is Dr. Roger Sehuelt, and he’s here today to talk to us about how we can boost our immune system to fight COVID-19. Dr. Roger is a multidisciplinary medical doctor and expert certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He’s also the co-founder of MedCram, a medical education company where his mission is to demystify medical concepts for people worldwide.
Our conversation was so enlightening that we had to break it up into two parts! In this first part, we discuss and dive deep into the science behind Vitamin D and how it can treat COVID-19 and other diseases. We’ll also explore the scientific and natural remedies for boosting your immune system and optimizing your health.
This is a timely conversation you wouldn’t want to miss. So make sure to stick around Part Two on Wednesday for Dr. Roger’s real and straightforward advice on health, fitness, and the truth about vaccines.
Dr. Roger is a Southern California-based, quadruple board doctor, certified in internal medicine, pulmonary disease, critical care medicine, and sleep medicine through the American Board of Internal Medicine.
He currently works at Banning Speciality Care Center (Beaver Medical Group), located in Banning, California, and he’s an Associate Professor of Medicine at Loma Linda University.
In addition to his busy life as a physician and professor, Dr. Roger is also the co-founder of MedCram — a medical education company where his mission is to demystify medical concepts for people around the world. MedCram offers a dramatically more efficient, engaging, fun, and lasting way to learn and review medical topics.
In his pulmonary and critical care work, Dr. Roger takes care of patients in the hospital, many of whom suffer from COVID-19 As a clinician and physician, Dr. Roger is constantly educating himself on the nuances of the virus so that he can provide the best possible care for his patients.
Dr. Roger believes that the cure for COVID-19 lies in improving our immune system. And to improve our immune system, we should increase our Vitamin D intake and use other natural remedies. His work is changing how we have looked at our bodies’ way to fight diseases, and I’m so excited to share his wisdom with you all today so you can give yourself an advantage against the virus.
Dr. Roger started our conversation by explaining how his interest in studying Vitamin D began. This was years ago before we even knew about COVID-19.
“I was a chemistry major. In college, I worked in an organic chemistry research lab to make Vitamin D products for the graduate students to do their research on. This was at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), and they were looking at Vitamin D and its ability to bind to its receptor and change the behavior of the cells.” – Dr. Roger Seheult
Together with other biochemists, Dr. Roger learned a lot of interesting facts about Vitamin D. He learned that it could change one’s behavior by enhancing the cells, making them healthier, more vital, and protected against diseases. However, it may also not be suitable in some instances. Dr. Roger further explained,
“Vitamin D is unique to any other vitamin. It works like testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, or aldosterone. These are steroid hormones that the body needs to live. It works by binding itself to its receptor and going into the nucleus of cells. It affects how that cell transcribes its DNA and how it makes proteins. … Because it affects how the cells make proteins, Vitamin D will either enhance or inhibit the transcription of proteins depending on your needs. Sometimes you don’t want to be transcribing proteins during a cytokine storm [an immune response which targets its own cells], particularly if you have COVID-19. So Vitamin D modulates its production to avoid attacking the cells and tissues leading to more deaths.” – Dr. Roger Seheult
Aside from modulating the production of these immune system proteins or cytokines, Dr. Roger also provided valuable information on the findings of studies relating Vitamin D to respiratory illnesses such as COVID 19. Here are some of these are below:
The combination of these observations and randomized trial studies was somewhat able to establish that Vitamin D indeed fights against the diseases and reduces symptoms! That’s great news for us! But how do we apply it?
This is great news, but how exactly can we get Vitamin D on a daily basis? Dr. Roger explained that you can receive the vitamin by getting sunlight exposure.
“This is how it works. You have cholesterol in your body. When ultraviolet B radiation comes from the sun, it comes through the top layer of your skin, through the epidermis. Then it penetrates down into the dermis and comes with just enough energy to do a conformational change on one of the carbon bonds. Eventually, it converts the ultraviolet radiation and the cholesterol structure into Vitamin D.” – Dr. Roger Seheult
Dr. Roger further advised that our skin could only consume a certain amount of sunlight daily; He estimated it to be from 15-30 minutes. Keep in mind that sunscreen prohibits UV rays from penetrating your skin, so in cases where you will not be exposed to harsh sun, let areas of your skin go without sunscreen for short periods of time to receive Vitamin D.
Dr. Roger also explained why people with darker skin are more prone to COVID 19:
“Melanin makes the skin darker, and it also blocks that ultraviolet radiation. Since it’s a natural sunblock, you’ve got to stay out in the sun longer to get the needed amount. If you’re more fair-skinned or lighter-skinned, then you don’t need ten or 15 minutes.” – Dr. Roger Seheult
Due to the possible risk that comes with getting under the sun and melanin barriers, Dr. Roger suggested an alternative — supplements. However, he clarified that these supplements should contain a specific type of Vitamin D to actually be effective.
“We’ve got supplementation. You can take that and not get the risks of skin cancer or early skin aging. The study in Cordoba, Spain, where they supplemented patients in the intervention group with high doses of the 25 hydroxyvitamin D, or calcifediol, came out with astounding results. They went from 50% of COVID-19 patients needing intensive care units to just 2%. That’s a massive reduction in terms of the need for intensive care.” – Dr. Roger Seheult
Before you purchase a Vitamin D supplement, make sure that it contains calcifediol Vitamin D (or hydroxyvitamin D) — this gives your body a great defense against COVID-19 and boosts your immune system!
During winter, when sunlight is limited, Dr. Roger said that there is a possibility of COVID-19 rebound (and we’re seeing that now). To combat this rebound, he suggested that those at risk for Vitamin D deficiency increase their intake more than the typically required 4,000 Vitamin D units daily.
Other than Vitamin D from sunlight and supplements, here are some additional ways Dr. Roger suggested we can combat the disease.
Data shows that COVID-19 knocks out the ACE receptor once it infects the cell. The ACE receptor is responsible for regulating oxidative stress in our body. If you have diabetes or suffer from obesity, your oxidative stress is very high, and having the virus hit you can be deadly. N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a supplement form of cysteine and can help replenish powerful antioxidants in your body. Dr. Roger provided practical ways on how you can do this.
“Consume berries-strawberries, raspberries, elderberries, and blackberries. But if you want to be safe, take 600 milligrams of NAC twice a day to reduce the flu virus’s symptoms in the winter season. A study previously conducted shows that NAC does not guarantee protection from the flu, but it can reduce the severity of the illness once you’re infected.” – Dr. Roger Seheult
Although there is less evidence supporting this, Dr. Roger said that Zinc can stop viral replication. Zinc has a crucial role in regulating immunity. Its insufficiency may be considered a risk factor for infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Here’s what Dr. Roger advised:
“I think the Zinc is essential, too. Do not take more than 40 milligrams of elemental Zinc a day because that can reduce copper in your body. That’s not a good thing. You want to have enough copper. So Zinc and copper are kind of like on a seesaw.” – Dr. Roger Seuhelt
However, to get into the cells to fight the replicates, Zinc needs to be transported quickly. Dr. Roger cited a massive finding in the case of the novel Ebola virus that will help our bodies transport Zinc at a faster rate.
“Quercetin is a natural product. It’s over the counter. It’s high in concentration in capers and onions and vegetables. It helps Zinc to get into the cells so Zinc can shut off the replicates. I do that as well, so I urge you to do that, too.” – Dr. Roger Seuhelt
Before interviewing Dr. Roger, I was able to interview Wim Hof, who’s a huge advocate of the contrast shower and boosting your immune system. He’s been able to get rid of sicknesses just through breathing and mindset. Dr. Roger said that it’s possible for us to do the same thing!
“I do a hot shower for five minutes, and then I do cold for one minute. Then I do five for hot again, and then one for cold, and finish it up with three for hot and one for cold. Doctor Neil Medley from Weimar, California, has done a lot of research, and his clinic called Newstart has been doing this stuff and with amazing results.” – Dr. Roger Seheult
Many of us do not know that contrast showers were a go-to solution more than a hundred years ago for the 1918 Flu Pandemic or Spanish Flu. Dr. Roger says that the randomized, controlled trials are not fast enough to develop a pill to cure the disease. So he thought, “Why not look for a system that we already have to help deal with the virus?”
According to Dr. Roger, by allowing your body temperature to heat up and cool down through hydrotherapy and contrast showers, you’re also increasing monocytes. Monocytes are responsible for secreting interferon — the same substance that we lack early on in the course of COVID-19. Dr. Roger gave a real-life example of the Finnish people who love to take contrast showers to improve their overall health.
“Look at the Finns. There are so many saunas in Finland that if you were to ask every Finnish person to go into a sauna all at the same time, there would be enough saunas to do that. COVID data in Finland outperformed just about any other Nordic country next to them in terms of mortality rate.” – Dr. Roger Seuhelt
Hydrotherapy is a simple remedy that we could all do easily! Though we knew this as a society for many years, we’ve forgotten it because of technological advances and the availability of less labor-intensive treatments. Hydrotherapy has other health benefits as well!
“In the physical therapy literature, hydrotherapy has been used extensively to ease muscle aches when they are recovering from certain diseases, and it’s been shown to work.” – Dr. Roger Seuhelt
After getting a sufficient amount of Vitamin D and taking any necessary supplements, don’t forget to use hydrotherapy to your advantage as well! All you need is a shower and the ability to switch between hot and cold water. Make this a habit, and you’ll be one step closer to fighting off COVID-19.
Friends, today’s episode reminded me that the good things in life, such as our health, come from our daily habits. Remember that a healthy mind and body are keys to help us achieve a great life. Eating right, getting sunlight, and taking supplements are simple and natural things we can do to boost our immune system and give our body an advantage against COVID-19.
If you’re interested in Dr. Roger and his work, you can check MedCram, where he and his former student, Kyle Allred, produce concise, data-based medical videos and lectures used by hospitals, universities, clinicians, and students.
Make sure to tune into Part Two this Wednesday to learn more about how you can take care of your body and mind during these unprecedented times.
Before I leave, I want to share this quote from poet Lee Hunt who said, “The groundwork for all happiness is good health.”
We have so much going on right now — uncertainties, fear, and anxiety. During these times, I want to remind you that when you take care of your health first, you can have confidence throughout the day because you know you’re doing everything you can to protect your mind and body. You are loved, you are worthy, and you matter.
It’s time to go out there and do something great!