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EP144 The One About Vitamin D, Diabetes And Dementia

Transcript Of Today's Episode

Dr. Martin Jr.: Hello, I'm Dr. Martin Jr.

Dr. Martin Sr.: And I'm Dr. Martin Sr.

Dr. Martin Jr.: This is The Doctor Is In Podcast and this is episode 144. Today, we want to talk about a bunch of new studies [00:00:30] that have come out over the last little while on vitamin D. I guess it's appropriate, because as we're recording this, it's kind of the middle of July, absolute heatwave going on in northern Ontario.

Dr. Martin Sr.: Very unusual.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Especially for this kind of extended heat. Last summer specifically, we didn't really have a great summer. It rained a ton. We like to ride motorbikes. It was really a terrible summer.

Dr. Martin Sr.: It was cold.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, it was cold, it was a terrible summer for riding motorbikes. You just couldn't plan anything. Also, there wasn't one [00:01:00] heat advisory last year, I think in all of Ontario if I'm not mistaken. We definitely didn't get any up north. This year, we've pretty much had a heat advisory, it seems like, for the last two straight weeks. It's been incredible. But, what we want to talk about specifically is vitamin D. Like I said, a bunch of new studies have come out, again, further showing just how important vitamin D is to your health.

Now, the funny thing is, is that every once in a while, I'll read an article or I'll read somebody on Twitter, [00:01:30] or just different blog or whatever, talking about how vitamins basically just cause expensive urine. You know when you read that it's almost like they haven't read a journal article in the last I don't know how many years. There's just so much research being done with various vitamins and nutrients, that to make a statement like that is just idiotic. It's really just stupid is what it is. You could just almost dismiss it right outright, they haven't really read anything.

Look how much research [00:02:00] the vitamin D council puts out on vitamin D alone, and that's just on vitamin, right. So I mean they've been studied like crazy. But anyways without going too far off a tangent ... let's talk about a few interesting studies over the last little bit. Now there's one ... why don't you start off talking about the one in diabetes just to start off with?

Dr. Martin Sr.: Well they were showing that this is a recent study that on vitamin D, that if your levels were in the ... and this is I think an American way of measuring [00:02:30] vitamin D. Canadians have a little different measurement. But let's just say, if people were in the low end of vitamin D levels... and by the way, if you want to know exactly what your numbers are, you probably have to pay for the test, but they have, what they call the Dihydroxy 25, which will tell you what your numbers are, and it's always best to have optimum levels of vitamin D. And again, the population [00:03:00] is probably ... what were you saying off air, somewhere around 70%-

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yes.

Dr. Martin Sr.: -of the population is deficient in vitamin D.

Dr. Martin Jr.: One of the latest studies shows that anywhere between 50 and 70% are deficient in vitamin D.

Dr. Martin Sr.: So this one again ... you know as we go through this today you'll see that vitamin D ... your body just to give you a little background ... almost every cell in your body has a receptor for vitamin D. It's an essential ... it's not really a vitamin. [00:03:30] It's more of a hormone. But your body needs vitamin D to operate. It just doesn't operate without it. And so, if you're in the low levels ... and this one is with diabetes ... that if you're in the low levels of vitamin D, which 70% of the population is, they have a 53% increase in their susceptibility to have type 2 diabetes, which is insulin.

It's an insulin [00:04:00] ... we always say it ... type 2 diabetes, adult onset diabetes has nothing to do, really, with blood sugar. It's not a disease, that's only a symptom of diabetes, but if you have type 2 diabetes you have insulin resistance because that's the cause. And yet there's seems to be huge link between vitamin D and insulin. Because If you have low levels of vitamin D, you're 53% more likely to be [00:04:30] a diabetic ... type 2 diabetic.  So it's just like I said, every cell in your body ... obviously you pancreatic cells, guess what? They need vitamin D to operate properly, and it's incredible.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Well, and one of the interesting things about vitamin D, and there was a study done on this actually not too long ago, was vitamin D's one of those things that if you're low for a short amount of time. Because vitamin D is something that you really should be getting a dosage [00:05:00] of vitamin D every day. We're really meant as humans to be in the sun. We're really meant to get sun everyday, that's how we're made. And you know we live in a northern climate, right now it's fantastic, it's awesome, it's easy to go out in the sun. However, for six months of the year, it's very difficult-

Dr. Martin Sr.: Or more.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Or more. You know it's very difficult to get vitamin D because if you've heard us before on podcasts, then you know, the best way to get vitamin D through the sun, [00:05:30] is having your arms and legs exposed. Right? And of course in half ... for six months of the year in the north, where our arms and legs are definitely not exposed. So we typically run vitamin D deficient throughout the winter for sure. And also, everybody is so scared of the sun nowadays, that they throw on ... on their arms and legs, they throw on sunblock. And what happened is they just ... again it affects their ability to get vitamin D, it's [00:06:00] not getting absorbed properly. And so it creates this real systemic vitamin deficiency. But anyways, what researchers have always kind of figured was ... vitamin D deficiency is a problem when it becomes a chronic thing. So you become vitamin D deficient over a long period of time. Because if you spend a couple days not going in the sun, and you're not taking any vitamin D, your vitamin D levels are going to dip down, there's no question.

But it becomes a problem when this goes on for a period of time. So studies have actually looked [00:06:30] at the effect that happens over a period of time in your body, for months at a time. And it's not good, it really isn't good. It affects muscles and even grip strength. They were testing all these things. As you mention, we're really meant ... you know what's funny, I'm a comic guy right. Grew up reading comic books.

Dr. Martin Sr.: A comedian or a comic?

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, well not a funny guy no, in any way. But yeah, just comic books right, I grew up reading comic books. And for example Superman draws his power from the sun. [00:07:00] And whenever he's in trouble if he can get into the sun, it's going to rejuvenate, it's going to kind of fix him up right. It's funny because that's really how we are as humans. I mean the sun fixes a lot.

Dr. Martin Sr.: When do you feel better?

Dr. Martin Jr.: And that's the thing, right? You know we're really circadian creations, right. We're meant to sleep at night time and we're meant to get some sun in the daytime.

You do those two things consistently ... if you consistently sleep around eight hours every night and you consistently get vitamin [00:07:30] D every day, you're generally going to be a lot healthier than somebody who doesn't do those things. That's just the way we are. A lot of health problems that we see in society today are from people who are not sleeping properly, and then they run really bad on vitamin D. Then you throw in insulin issues because of the food they're eating and it just creates ... it really forms the foundation for almost every disease that's out there. It really does.

That's an interesting study about the vitamin D. And then I got [00:08:00] another one here that came out not too long ago. And what it does is it actually looked at ... the question they asked, was does a high dose of vitamin D increase cognition? This is actually an interesting study because it looked at the comparison between a high dose ... which they considered a high dose, which is funny. But for study purposes, this is actually a much higher dosage than they typically use, which was 4000 IUs of vitamin D ... was the high dose. And then they gave a low dose which was 400 [00:08:30] IUs.

Dr. Martin Sr.: Which used to be the recommended vitamin D in supplements.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, which is ridiculous. I mean which is ridiculous and even the new recommended daily ... you can go look this up, you can google it. Then new recommended daily amount was based on bad math. It's very low, it was a miscalculation. I got an email this ... last week from a good friend of ours and he was talking about his wife and two questions was, [00:09:00] his wife was feeling a little bit better, she had been taking B12 and vitamin D, but her doctor told her to stop both of them. And he wrote saying, "Hey now she's not feeling as good." You know, what should he do, and it's like the obvious answer is well get back taking those things. But the reality is that doctors are scared of vitamin D for whatever reason, I don't understand it. But anyways-

Dr. Martin Sr.: Well it's fat soluble. And in their head, because it's a fat soluble vitamin, you can accumulate it.

Dr. Martin Jr.: But how long do you have to take a ridiculously [00:09:30] high amount, before it actually causes an issue?

Dr. Martin Sr.: Six months. This is studies ... six months, every day, seven days a week of 50,000 international units of vitamin D3. It will become toxic.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, who's got time for that?

Dr. Martin Sr.: Who's taking 50,000 every day of vitamin D?

Dr. Martin Jr.: You know which is funny because if I, in the winter time, feel any kind of flu coming on or cold coming on or chest ... I'll take like 30, 40,000 IU's for four or five days in a row, and it's like man [00:10:00] ... it's magic. For me personally that's what I do for myself. But anyways, going back to the study, what they did is they looked at 400 IU's versus 4,000 and of course they found in the high dosage, it actually improved performance of cognition, but not on the low dosage.

So again the bottom line is that most people don't get enough vitamin D. And when they do take Vitamin D, they just don't get enough of it. So if you're going to supplement with vitamin D, get the right amount. So [00:10:30] the high dose, which was 4,000 international units per day, for 18 weeks, improved cognition. They benefited from higher doses is what they said. And then they found ... especially for those who are chronically under, are low in blood D levels. So that's another study there, that was done, that was pretty interesting as well.

Here's one more little quick study again on vitamin D, which they found again, that a large portion of IBS sufferers are deficient [00:11:00] in vitamin D. In fact, they found, in this study, 82% of IBS sufferers had low vitamin D3, makes sense. It really does, because ... and it's kind of like the chicken or the egg. Because if you have IBS, you know that that person ... and listen, I got a long history of IBS. A person with IBS has a real disproportion of bad bacteria to good. Their gut's a mess. Their microbiome [00:11:30] is a mess. In order to get vitamin D properly, you need a healthy microbiome. So it kind of only makes sense that somebody with IBS would have a low D3 as well.

Dr. Martin Sr.: Well it's like B12 right? We always talk about ... when we talk about B12. You need to have perfect digestion, in order for you to absorb B12. Because we've done this on podcasts before. And vitamin D is similar, [00:12:00] even though it's a fat soluble vitamin, you need to have a good gut. And the amount of good bacteria and the ... if you're losing that battle inside your gut between good and bad, you're not absorbing this fat soluble vitamin called vitamin D, and every cell in your body needs it. So the significance of that, is very important.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Now, you had mentioned a study as well that just came out on colon cancer.

Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, and again this is just reinforcing older studies [00:12:30] that show the link between low levels of vitamin D. Almost without exception, is ... anybody that gets colon cancer has low levels of vitamin D. That's the conclusion of studies that confirm older studies of the importance of vitamin D. Even again, for protecting the body from cancer. And we know that even ... think about the flu. Okay, so let's just go back to the winter [00:13:00] time. Is it the bugs that are around in the winter or is it the soil, or is it the host? You know what I mean, I always tell people, I think we live around bugs all year round, I think it's just because in the summertime you get outside, you see that ... you get in the sun and your immune system is much, much better in the summer, than it is in the winter. It's just ... you want to take your flu shot in the fall, that's what they're saying. Why is that?

Dr. Martin Jr.: And the funny thing is [00:13:30] this, and this is something that a lot of people kind of forget. Not every bug is 100% contagious. What do I mean by that? Because that can be kind of a confusing thing to say. Think of all the people that get exposed to a bug in a day. What percentage of those people that get exposed to it actually get sick? Because think about it. If you introduce a bacteria to a sterile area, I mean It just spreads so fast. Just everything you touch and ... I mean you can't even think about it, how fast it spreads. [00:14:00] So when a bug comes around ... when flu season comes around, you get exposed to it. If you don't get sick that winter, it's not because you didn't get exposed to the flu bug. The flu bug's everywhere. When it starts to spread it's everywhere. So it's not like a ... you managed to avoid exposure, that's idiotic. That's not how it works. The fact is that your body was able to fight it off, and that's the thing.

So if you put 10 people in a room and you introduce [00:14:30] the flu into that room, not all 10 people are going to get it. Those though ... that their systems are weak at that point, run down, tired-

Dr. Martin Sr.: Lack of sleep.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, lack of sleep, weak immune system because of low vitamin D levels, a whole bunch of different reasons. They're going to allow that to take a hold in them and it's going to affect them, and it's going to go from there.

Dr. Martin Sr.: So it's not the bug, it's the host.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, I agree with you 100%, it's the host. And in the winter time as [00:15:00] you mentioned, we are more susceptible because our immune system is weaker because our blood D3 levels are much weaker.

Dr. Martin Sr.: And they're not any better in Florida about getting the flu. I always laugh because when I'm in Florida in the winter and I see them advertising the flu shot ... it's in the pharmacy's in Florida. I'm always laughing, I say, just get outside.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Just walk outside

Dr. Martin Sr.: Just walk outside, but you see Floridians ... my neighbours ... you call it death row down there. Hey, we're [00:15:30] seniors. And Tony Junior calls it death row. Dad, you live on death row. Well thanks a lot.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Well it's only because every time I'm down there, you point out all the people who've died recently. So it's like one of those things that ... it just seems like, well we're sitting out in the morning having a coffee and we're looking down and you start pointing out ... well that guy there died this summer. I'm like, well you live in death row.

Dr. Martin Sr.: Anyway, but the thing is most of my Florida neighbours ... and I love them dearly, they never get in the sun.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Oh you never see them ... no, I know.

Dr. Martin Sr.: [00:16:00] Because the sun ... they're scared of it. Like it's just unbelievable. Only the crazy Canadians are at the beach. Everybody else ... I can't believe it. Like they're taking the flu shot in Florida. Like are you kidding me?

Dr. Martin Jr.: Well I remember reading a ... just kind of like a paper on a surfer in California who was in the sun every day and was shocked to learn that he had low D3 levels. But it's because he wore suntan lotion or sunblock every day. He just [00:16:30] never gave his body a chance to absorb it, so he was actually shocked when he leaned that he was low in D3. It's a problem everywhere.

Dr. Martin Sr.: Sunblock works you know.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Oh yeah, sunblock does its job. Unfortunately-

Dr. Martin Sr.: It does it's job but you're not getting vitamin D if you use it.

Dr. Martin Jr.: No, and there are some other real serious problems if you go into the sun with a chemical and expose it to heat. And you put it on the largest organ that you have. So, I mean that could cause a lot problems. Alright let's talk real fast about three other studies on vitamin D that [00:17:00] kind of caught my attention. One goes back to again, dealing with just kind of the decline. This one found ... it was a fairly large study. And what it did ... it linked low levels of D to rapid and profound decrease in cognition.

So think about that for a second. As we age, we tend to get less D3, we tend to absorb less D3, our bacteria in our gut changes for the worse, so it creates this perfect storm for less D3 in our day. And [00:17:30] that can trigger a faster mental decline. Because one thing we can say for sure, is your brain needs D3 to be healthy. There are a lot of studies that show various aspects of what happens when you've got low D3 levels. So you need a healthy, healthy brain ... you need a good amount of vitamin D3. So that's one study.

And what I want to just kind of end this podcast talking about, is kind of a dynamic duo. Now you and I've talked about another dynamic duo in the past, [00:18:00] which is ... there seems to be a special combination when you include omega-3 fatty acids. Specifically DHA and curcumin. Curcumin and DHA ... a lot of research ... it's amazing these studies are out there showing that they're just like a dynamic duo.

Dr. Martin Sr.: They're synergists.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Which is why I take our DHA with our curcumin together at the same time, just based off those studies. Just helps absorb the curcumin even more. And it just seems like it just , super charges both of them. But on the same note, there are some really interesting studies, [00:18:30] when you combine vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. A lot of studies have looked at what happens when you combine the effects of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. So here's one where that combination of the two were given for six weeks, in people that had basically gestational diabetes. And they found it was awesome at stabilizing blood glucose levels, serum insulin levels, also helped improve inulin resistant markers. I mean it [00:19:00] did everything across the board. So I mean the combination of D and omega-3 ... very, very good for glycemic control. Which again, makes sense, it makes sense.

Here's another one that was just published, in fact, not even two weeks ago. And it was done in patients with MS. And they did the same thing. They gave them a high dose, so this was a high dose of omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin D. So they gave them a high dose of both. [00:19:30] And again, in the study, they actually gave them a lot of D3, like 50,000 IU's bi-weekly. So it was a good amount, I like that. And in my opinion, they could have given them a higher dose of omega-3. But they gave a real good dose of D3 for sure. And what they found is it helped across the board, especially when it came to, what they call the EDSS, which is the Expanded Disability Status scale. So basically it had a positive effect on all that stuff, [00:20:00] and their metabolic status. So again, take vitamin D, take omega-3s, which is something you should be doing everyday anyways.

Omega-3, vitamin D3 and B12 are kind of those nutrients, and magnesium, are kind of those single nutrients that we really like. It kind of has a positive impact on-

Dr. Martin Sr.: Well you know, and just one thing clinically, just to end the podcast. And that is, I often ... when patients come in, especially seniors. [00:20:30] And they come in and they're not steady on their feet, which is quite common by the way. I just tell them, "Oh by the way, what we're going to find is you're going to have low levels of vitamin D." So just first thing ... you know, like you talked about the grip strength, muscle strength. People waste away without vitamin D. And you know they become very unsteady, they're almost like they're on a ship all the time. Just rocking [00:21:00] and they're unsteady on their feet. And Vitamin D again just has such a great ... the benefits are legion for vitamin D. They're just, you think of almost anything you could think of and vitamin D helps.

Dr. Martin Jr.: So, this time of year, go out and get in the sun. But you have a few tips for people that go into the sun, because people are scared of skin cancer. Now I think that there's ... maybe we'll do a podcast on this in the future, but I definitely think there's something that happens to somebody who's insulin resistant. It [00:21:30] affects their ability to properly handle the sun. I think that that plays a part in it as well.

Dr. Martin Sr.: It comes back to food again, doesn't it?

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, well and that's the thing. People aways ask, what can they do naturally as a sunblock in a sense, naturally. Well another thing with ... we mentioned ... with food, and we talked about this on a webinar we did, at the end when people were asking us questions. Is that people don't realize, that a lot of the foods, especially the high anti oxidant type foods are natural SPF's. [00:22:00] Right, they provide a little bit of protection for your skin. So those berries, those blueberries and raspberries and all those kinds of things can provide a little bit of protection for your skin.

Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, I mean don't go out and burn.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, so give your tip.

Dr. Martin Sr.: That's the idea. Well my tip is this. You get ... I can easily get now a good hour of sun without even covering up, I mean easily. Because I've been in the sun and I was in Florida quite a bit this winter so my skin is well customized to the sun. But [00:22:30] let's say you start ... get 20 minutes of sun. This is just about the right amount. 20 minutes, have your arms and legs exposed if you can. And then cover up. Don't burn, there's no reason to burn, get in shade after that and start covering up. Wear a hat. I mean those are all just common sense things right. And the other thing I like, skin wise, is coconut oil.

You know, I mean just God gave it to us in nature, this is a great oil. [00:23:00] Put it on your skin, it's a natural sun screen. It allows the UVB to come in without ... and blocks the UVA. How do you like that? I mean the UVA is the dangerous rays of the sun. And so to get your vitamin D, you need your UVB to come in. So coconut oil ... but the idea is just don't fry in the sun. Cover up, and that's what I find to be very affective.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Alright. Well I want to thank everyone for listening. If you have any questions you can email us at info@MartinClinic.com. [00:23:30] You can also get a hold of us ... there's a lot of ways you can get a hold of us really. If you're not a newsletter subscriber, go to our website, MartinClinic.com and sign up for our news letters. Every Thursday morning, you do a Facebook live, so people can go in there and ask you a ton of questions there. We also have a private Facebook group that we just started not too long ago. We haven't done a lot with it yet, but we have a lot of exciting things we're going to be doing in the future in there. So you can go to our website as well and join our private Facebook group. We do have our staff in there answering a bunch of questions and it's just a great way to kind [00:24:00] of get your questions answered as well. So again we want to thank you for listening and have a great day.