Filmmaker Tyler Perry hopped on social media to share the importance of taking a vitamin D supplement as way to protect our health during the pandemic.

The movie mogul posted a short Instagram video Tuesday sharing the benefits of the fat-soluble vitamin that is found in very few foods (such as the fatty flesh of salmon), noting that “it helps with immune and respiratory health.”

The Sistas executive producer was quick to note that vitamin D, which that can be taken as a supplement, wasn’t an antidote for the ailment.

“This is not a cure for COVID-19. Please hear me clearly. This is not a cure for COVID-19,” he stressed.

Perry went on to say that his vitamin D is low and it’s common for most Black people to experience this too due to our skin’s melanin, which blocks vitamin D produced from sunlight. And there’s a downside to this deficiency as it relates to the novel coronavirus.  

“What I read in a study out of Spain, Italy and China is that a lot of people who died from COVID were low in vitamin D,” the director said. “Listen to me, I think that if America, this entire nation, was keeping [a] recording of who was dying and if they were low in vitamin D or deficient in different areas, we would know it—but apparently no one is keeping a record, which is insane to me.”

Perry suggested that fans consult with their doctors about their levels as we continue to wade through this pandemic.

Earlier this month, this virus hit close to home for the director. On April 8, Perry shared that Charles Gregory, a long-time crew member and hair stylist “lost his battle with COVID-19.” In the Instagram caption for that post, Perry wrote that while everyone can “contract this virus. It is Black people who are dying from it in much larger numbers. This thing is real, Black people.”

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Dear Black People, Today it’s with a heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of one of our crew members. Mr. Charles Gregory was a hairstylist that had worked with us for many years. The man was warm, loving and hilarious. We all loved to see him coming and hear his laughter. Charles lost his battle with COVID-19 today. It saddens me to think of him dying this way. My sincerest prayers are with his family. While everyone can contract this virus it is black people who are dying from it in much larger numbers. This thing is real, black people. I heard a black person say, “Black people don’t get it.” That is a lie! You can get it, and you will get it if we don’t do what we're being told to do. A 26 year old black woman died the other day, a 44 year old black man died the other day, not to mention the hundreds of people that are dying every few minutes. Your age does not matter!! Your health does not matter. You could be totally healthy, and you could die! Now listen to me. You have been right by my side since I started in this business, so please hear me with your heart. I LOVE US. I love our humor. I love our culture. I love our hair. I love our skin. I love everything about who we are. All of us. And I love us all too much to watch us die on the vine because we are the last to know and we are not taking this pandemic seriously. Black people, we are at a disproportionately higher risk of dying from this virus. Please, please, please, I beg you to take this seriously. You have to socially distance yourself. That means stop hanging out, stop congregating, stop doing anything that will put not only your life in danger but also the lives of so many others. STAY HOME!! Socially distance yourself and stay alive! If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for someone you love, and for those who love you. My Mother always told me to not wait for help! Be your own help!

A post shared by Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) on

According to the CDC, Black communities are disproportionately affected by the disease. People with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, asthma, obesity and high blood pressure may fair worse than those without these illnesses when it comes to the coronavirus. The novel coronavirus has infected over a million people in the U.S. with 60,000 deaths.

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