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You STILL need to be taking vitamin D.

vitamin D

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared anything about vitamin D. Primarily due to Minnesota Attorney General, Ellison, issuing a Cease and Desist Order to me for doing so back in March and April 2020. I was explaining that it is a tool to improve immune system amid the new virus running amuck. Turns out, threatening your license DOES tend to curb your communication.

However, by now, you’ve seen articles, stories and science that supports vitamin D helping people avoid serious complications for COVID. So, I’m not saying this, but you’ve likely read that elsewhere. I AM saying that you need vitamin D for all kinds of functions in your body. You still need it. Not because of covid. You always did need it. You’ve always been deficient. You just didn’t know it.

Why are we deficient?

We are apparently so crazy that we live at this latitude of ice and snow. We live so far north the sun doesn’t shine on our skin for dang near 9 months out of the year! What is wrong with us?! That is the main reason we are deficient. (Surprisingly, Vitamin D levels in the San Diego population are also low…. because they avoid the scorching sun there)

You know sun exposure creates vitamin D3 in your skin. But, we don’t expose our skin outside all winter. You need 20-40 minutes of mid-day sun and it’s the UVB rays, the same ones that cause sunburn, that create D. So, even when you can do this, you don’t want to overdo it without conditioning your skin to time in the sun. If you do overdo it you run the risk of damaging the epithelial cells and creating a cancer risk in the future, if you DON’T maintain the level of D that protects you from skin cancer. Ironic isn’t it? If you expose yourself to UVB, but don’t do it regularly, this can increase your risk of skin cancer. And as an aside, sunblock will not protect you from cancer. We use more sunblock than anybody and we have the highest rates of skin cancer. Also in that vein and vitamin D, we drink more milk than any other population and have the highest level of osteoporosis. (Something is wrong with the information we’ve been fed. ) Lastly, you need to avoid taking a shower and washing the vitamin D off your skin for 24 hours to allow for its absorption. Culturally, most of us shower daily. So, that doesn’t help our D status.

Fortunately, you can supplement or eat your way to optimal vitamin D levels that lower your risk of cancer, viruses, coughs, colds, etc… also increase your bone density, decrease frequency of muscle spasm, lower risk of depression and more. The list of benefits is long. So, you want to stay in the optimal zone for D3 and this is higher than “normal” in the medical office. D supplements are everywhere and there isn’t a huge difference. Some are more absorbable but what I’ve noticed is the math doesn’t work. A more absorbable form that provides 50% more absorption usually costs 200% more money. I’m tragically practical. I would simply take more “less” absorbable to save money. But, that’s just me. As for food, it’s animal products.

What IS the normal zone?

We need to talk about RDAs. In the US, the RDA is the minimum amount of a nutrient you need daily. If below, you will develop disease. In the case of D, the “normal” level in medicine is set just above that which prevents rickets or bone softening. There’s a huge chasm between rickets level normal and protecting from cancer, virus and depression normal. I have never tested anyone not using a supplement that has tested above 35ng/ml. Normal for medical practitioners is 25-30. That is typical, but not normal. And we’re after optimal. That number is north of 60. If you have had any type of cancer, you should consider keeping closer to 100ng/ml.

Can you get too much?

Yes, I’ve never seen it. It takes an extraordinary amount to do this. Generally something in the 50,000 per day for a couple of weeks or more. You can take 50,000 IU at one time and do it once per week. Though, long before covid, this has been shown to be not as healthy as taking 5,000 daily. That is the typical dose for adults. For children, 1,000 IU per 25lbs of body weight.

Most people taking 5,000IU will boost their levels to near 50ng/ml. But, people with digestive issues, leaky gut etc… will need 10,000 per day to get there. As noted earlier, we recommend staying in the 60-70 range. You will not know what you are doing without being tested. You can add the vitamin D level test to your yearly lab work. As a stand alone test, it’s kind of spendy, about $60. As an add on to regular testing of cholesterol, white, red blood cells iron, thyroid etc… it will be only an addition $30 or so. If you don’t have a resource for this, here is a link to a lab that you can get the testing done:

Choose two tests, the Comprehensive Wellness Profile (CWP) and add vitamin D. That gets you yearly basic labwork plus vitamin D. No appointment necessary. You pay online and show up at the blood draw site. Nearest for most is Crosstown and France Ave. There’s another in the northwest Twin Cities. There is not a site on the east side of town. Once you make the drive though, it’s pretty easy in and out. 5 minutes.

Vitamin D necessity isn’t new.

I’ve been taking it for years for the immune system benefit. It works on the innate immune system which is your first immunity. Not the adaptive system, which is when your body reacts to pathogens and “builds” antibodies for the next encounter, like what vaccines are designed to alter. D improves the primary system. Keeping adequate D levels mitigates inflammation. You may recall reading at some point that inflammation and covid are like gasoline and fire (the cytokine storm I’ve written about in the past). Again, I’m not saying vitamin D will treat, prevent or alleviate covid. It has been shown to help everything else. You decide whether it’s worth your time and energy to take it daily. It is extremely inexpensive for its utility.

There are a few things I rely on personally. Though detractors of natural healthcare have in the past accused me of saying vitamins or supplements can treat disease instead of medicine. I have never said that nor do I believe it. I have never spoken of supplements in this fashion. And, I have not traditionally used a bunch of vitamins myself. I use a few things regularly to maintain optimal health, not treat disease.
They are probiotics, fish oil, D, B complex. Since COVID, I’ve added zinc, C and quercetin occasionally.

As you know, we’ve been here seeing people since covid arrived. We have never closed. We have never denied anyone care who needs it. No staff has been sick or tested positive. Very few of our practice members have tested positive and fewer have suffered through covid. No one who comes in to get adjusted has died. No one who has been coming in regularly has been hospitalized. We see a few hundred a week and since covid, probably 500 total. If you use the general population stat for positives, we should have 25 positives at least. We have less than 10. If you use the Mayo Clinic’s staff numbers we should have about 60 positives. I think we’ve got it right.

The government has done all kinds of things it believes prevents cases or transmission. As you may have guessed, I disagree with this approach. The virus is here to stay. You can’t hide from it. You can distance, mask, wrap yourself in bubble wrap if you will…. but one day you will be exposed. Because of that, I think a better approach would have been to start working on people’s resistance to disease while doing all the lockdown, masking, distancing. But absolutely zero has been done in this regard except for healthcare practitioners like myself and I know a couple others who have also been persecuted and license threatened for doing so. Senator Scott Jensen, a physician you may have heard of, and another wholistic MD in the metro have also been under scrutiny from the medical licensing board for speaking of this approach.


Why would government and their departments single out doctors trying to keep people healthy? Why wouldn’t they study the healthy people to figure out why they are not testing positive and succumbing to covid?

It has been said, medicine is the study of disease and its treatments. This is not the same as the study of health and its cause. There IS a cause for health. It is predominantly lifestyle choices. Yes, you can have bad luck. That is 5%. 95% of health or disease experience is lifestyle results.

The media is fond of pointing out that “healthy people” are getting covid and dying. This just isn’t true. You already know the term “comorbidity”. That term would have been unknown to most prior to 2020 and covid. You know it means that people who are already sick, diseased and other health problems may struggle with adapting to covid-19. And, that is true. Also people with immune senescence, older people whose adaptive immune systems do not respond as quickly as younger people. That allows time for the virus to damage many cells and create an insurmountable assault on their bodies. Those people are dying. Lots of them.

It is frustrating to see this play out. I’m not saying taking vitamin D can save any single person. But, we DO know that whole populations with adequate D levels do better with the flu and now we know, do better with covid. Less severe cases, less hospitalizations, less ICU and less deaths.
Exactly what is being promoted with the so-called vaccines (gene therapy)?
Why wouldn’t the government promote healthy things that decrease sickness and death? Why only drug company’s products? Why the awfully expensive, difficulty to administer route rather than the cheap easy route? Why aren’t they alerting people to the lifestyle choices that are making covid worse? I’m not talking about getting closer than 6 feet or going out to a restaurant. I see masked overweight inflammation prone people at the supermarket every time I go. Their carts loaded with soda. Cases of soda. Not a single serving. CASES !!! That doesn’t even begin to describe the rest of the shopping cart choices.

I don’t know the answer. If you’ve read this far, you are in the minority and likely doing what you can to stay healthy. I thank you on behalf of the rest of the public. Your efforts are far more effective than masks and distancing. The best way to not spread covid is not get it yourself. The best way to do that is not wrap yourself in bubble wrap but improve your immune system.

Thank you for all you do for others. You are truly the caring in our community.

Dr. Barrett's signature

PS. Do NOT take your vaccine card to Krispy Kreme for a FREE immune system busting donut.

1 Join the Conversation

  1. Donald Lence says
    Apr 16, 2021 at 1:52 PM

    the lead virologist from Ohio, I believe his name is Dr. Ryan Cole, trained at the Mayo Clinic has said that there is no such thing as a flu and cold season, that there is a vitamin D deficiency season. He also shares the same view as you Dr. Barrett.

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