Taking Vitamin D to Your Community
By now you are convinced that making the world vitamin D sufficient will change the healthcare landscape, and more importantly change lives! You signed up for D*action, completed your questionnaire and submitted your vitamin D test; you are part of a study - and you understand what vitamin D sufficiency means to your health. Inevitably, this has led to discussions with family, friends, and co-workers. Most likely, you have convinced at least a few from your sphere of influence on the importance of vitamin D.
GrassrootsHealth is now ready to make a bigger impact...starting with children.
Our Children Need a Good Start
During the last decade, Dr. Carol Wagner, M.D., has studied more than 1000 pregnant women in the Charleston, South Carolina area. She found that 75% of African American women were vitamin D deficient (< 20 ng/ml), as were 33% of Hispanic women, and 22% of Caucasian women. She also conducted studies which varied the amounts of vitamin D supplementation (400 IU, 2000 IU, and 4000 IU) given to pregnant women and showed that 4000 IU (10 times the amount in prenatal vitamins) was not only safe, but also necessary to achieve a healthy level of vitamin D hormone during pregnancy.
What does that mean? Based on her research, Dr. Wagner states that approximately 50% of the comorbidities of pregnancy, including preeclampsia, preterm labor, infections, and gestational diabetes, appear to be directly related to vitamin D deficiency. "When you lump all of these (comorbidities) together you find that, in the women who were on 4000 IU compared to 400 IU, their risk of these comorbidities in pregnancy was half," states Dr. Wagner, a lead researcher, pediatrician, and neonatal-perinatal medical expert.
Cost to the Community
If you are not ready to act yet, maybe you need some dollars and sense. According to the Health and Human Services Agency, there are 4 million births each year in Canada and the U.S.. Pre-term births account for about 10% of Caucasians and sometimes as much as 18% of African Americans. 40-50% of pre-term births could be prevented with vitamin D. That means 223,000 babies each year (600 babies/day) would no longer be born early. According to the March of Dimes, there are $50,000 in healthcare costs associated with each pre-term birth - that is a savings of over $11 billion dollars a year in U.S. and Canada.
Are you ready now?
Protect Our Children NOW!
Protect Our Children NOW! is a novel approach to taking the vitamin D story out to the community. The project is focused on pregnant women, letting them know that they are at risk for vitamin D deficiency, and to say, "You have a choice. You can find out what your vitamin D status is and make a difference in your life, and the lives of your children. You are not dependent on hearing it from your physician, who may or may not tell you."
Protect Our Children NOW! is our campaign to start local, community projects in your area. The campaign will seek to enroll a group of pregnant women, measure vitamin D levels throughout pregnancy, and see the difference vitamin D sufficiency can make.
GrassrootsHealth is prepared to provide the science, guides, education, analysis, and promotion - while the community provides the participants and the results. Funding for the start of a program will either come from participants (crowd-funded) or from a grant. Insurance executives, public health officials, community centers are all starting to sit up and take note.
Who will be the first to act?
Where is the *action?
GrassrootsHealth has developed a platform that will kickstart Protect Our Children NOW! in your community based on scientists, results, guides, participation, education, analysis, and promotion.
We have a panel of 42 scientists that work with GrassrootsHealth. They research vitamin D with respect to many different fields of medicine. These scientists not only continue their own research and publications, but also have access to GrassrootsHealth data to publish more findings about vitamin D health.
The impact of vitamin D on pregnancy is demonstrable, has short term results, and high impact. While some aspects of optimal health from vitamin D can be hard to measure, such as reduction in pain and inflammation; whether or not a baby was born pre-term is easily measurable. Protect Our Children NOW! will facilitate short-term community projects that produce measurable results.
We have software and guides that participants can use to take charge of their health. Participants use our guides to answer questions and track the lifecycle of the study (i.e. during pregnancy). These guides are also printable so that the participants can take them to their health practitioner(s).
Each community provides the funding for the research and testing done in that community. In turn community members have access to an online system that allows them to track their health status and feeds data into the study.
GrassrootsHealth continues to be the leader in vitamin D education - through seminars, webinars, and publications. When a community project is started, there will be education specific for that group of participants - both live and on the Internet.
Our D*action data has already had significant results which have been published in major medical publications. As we launch more Protect Our Children NOW! community projects, we can confirm that vitamin D sufficiency affects pregnancy. With the results from just a few projects, we fully expect the data gathered will hit the medical journals and OB's will take notice.
GrassrootsHealth will continue to promote vitamin D sufficiency in both the "grassroots" and medical communities - making headway and moving science into practice faster than ever before.