Editor’s note: This press release is sponsored by Unilab and was handled by BrandRap, the sales and marketing arm of Rappler. No member of the news and editorial team participated in the publishing of this piece.
Unilab Inc. has launched a webinar series that seeks to discuss relevant health issues and questions from the public, to help the audience understand the role of vitamins and proper nutrition in the immune system, and overall health, especially amid the continuing threat of COVID-19 and other diseases.
Organized by the Unilab Vitamins Division (Enervon, Conzace, and Forti-D), the e-talk amply titled “Doc, Okay Ba ‘To?” and hosted by the acknowledged King of Talk, Boy Abunda, featured Dr. Joseph Adrian Buensalido, Infectious Disease Specialist; Dr. Naheeda Mustofa, Internist and Clinical Nutrition Specialist; Dr. Maricar Esculto-Khan, Internist-Registered Nutritionist Dietitian; and Dr. Monica Therese Cating-Cabral, Internist and Endocrinologist.
The first episode, dubbed “Return to Normal” aired last November 20, had three of the doctors talking about how nutrients boost natural protection against the COVID-19 virus as restrictions are slowly being eased.
“Our bodies need go foods that give energy, grow foods that build up our bodies, and glow foods like vitamins to regulate and maintain our bodies by protecting our cells,” Dr. Esculto-Khan said.
The medical experts explained that vitamins is a large group of nutrients, divided into two subgroups. The B-complex vitamins, folic acid, and Vitamin C are classified as water-soluble, while Vitamins A, D, E, and K, are classified as fat-soluble.
Dr. Mustofa said that a good balance of both types of vitamins is the best for a sound immune system. She also added that these vitamins and antioxidants protect our cells from further damage and aging caused by free radicals.
Now more than ever, people should avoid letting their guards down when it comes to practicing the minimum health standards. As the government eases lockdown limitations, taking vitamins and practicing safety protocols are encouraged by the doctors. Even when fully vaccinated, these practices remain to be important to help ensure that we stay protected as more people are out and about during this return to normal.
The doctors emphasized that holding talks such as Dok, Okay Ba ‘To series with medical experts are meant to guide the public in choosing the right information to avoid fake news, especially when it comes to health and wellness.
In the second episode aired last November 27, the medical experts focused more on the importance of a specific vitamin, “Vitamin D: The Vitamin of the Decade”.
Vitamin D has been known to be the vitamin for strong bones, and in this eTalk, experts discussed how Vitamin D goes way beyond bone health. Not only does it help in strengthening one’s immunity, it also helps with our life’s longevity as it keeps vital organs healthy – preventing, and managing chronic diseases.
“Kailangan natin ng araw, para makagawa yung ating katawan ng Vitamin D. Para siyang all-around helper or coordinator sa ating katawan, [We need the sun for our bodies to create Vitamin D. It’s like the all-around helper or coordinator of our body],” Dr. Buensalido said.
There are a lot of studies about how Vitamin D assists other nutrients in promoting the optimal performance our vital organs.
Boy asked the medical experts to discuss how people can get enough Vitamin D if they are cooped up in their homes and without much exposure to the sun. The host also had the doctors expound on the importance of Vitamin D in the fight against COVID-19 and why it should be made an integral part of our lifestyle.
The doctors responded that Vitamin D deficiency is an issue in the country, noting that 49.2% of Filipino urban workers are still Vitamin D deficient despite being in a tropical country with enough sunlight.
Getting enough Vitamin D was more difficult as we went through prolonged periods of quarantines and lockdowns. On top of this, it was noted that people with darker skin have harder time generating Vitamin D.
“Hindi masyado nakakalusot yung araw if we have darker skin [The sunlight does not penetrate well if we have darker skin],” Buensalido emphasized. This is why it would help if we take supplements to get enough Vitamin D.
A triathlete, meanwhile, shared that while he was exposed to the sun most of the time, he was still found to be Vitamin D deficient. Josel Garcia said that he became better as an athlete upon taking Vitamin D supplements.
The doctors said the recommended dosage is 800IU of Vitamin D for healthy for most adults, especially the older people.
“Ang dami pang roles ng Vitamin D na minsan hindi natin alam, [There are other roles of Vitamin D that we might not know about],” Doc Naheeda said.
Doc Naheeda emphasized that Vitamin D can help us mentally, as mood swings and anxiety might also be caused by Vitamin D deficiency, as she stressed the many benefits that can be derived from this vitamin in boosting not just physical, but also mental health.
Dr. Cating-Cabral also emphasized that we should start taking Vitamin D as early as we can. Pregnant women should particularly take Vitamin D.
The experts’ message to the public is to continue to eat healthy, take vitamins every day, and observe proper safety protocols even when vaccinated, especially since more people are going out with the easing of lockdown restrictions. Proper diet, exercise, and vitamin supplementation also not only helps with boosting our immune system, these also make our bodies healthier and stronger in the long run.
As both episodes received positive feedback from netizens across the country, Unilab e-talks will continue this year with more informative and interesting topics that can help families live a healthier life.
etalk episodes can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/Unilab/videos/981298099133979 – Rappler.com