September 24, 2014

Letter from the Director


This week I returned from a trip to Washington D.C. where I continued to visit with public health professionals, community center leaders, and insurance executives. I can say this - leaders are ready to take action!


Entities that incur the expense of an unhealthy population (government centers, insurance companies) are starting to realize that if vitamin D could prevent disease, then maybe it would be worth testing their population. Maybe it would be worth a new study. Maybe it would be worth some funding.


I am very excited about our upcoming seminar in December. Not only do we want to educate our doctors, nurses, and alternative health practitioners - but also include a brand new set of attendees - those whose job it is to fund and fix all the problems of their client base. Let's give them the science behind both the sun and vitamin D - and how it can prevent disease; create longer, more healthful lives; and save money for their constituents.


For now, save December 9th and 10th for the seminar - but you can register and get more details soon


Carole Baggerly


Director, GrassrootsHealth

A Public Health Promotion & Research Organization

Moving Research into Practice NOW!


Common D*action Questions


For all of you who have participated in D*action to make changes in public health policy now, we at GrassrootsHealth sincerely thank you. GrassrootsHealth has taken a novel approach in conducting and funding research by going directly to the public, actively including each of you in the process, because it was the fastest and simplest way to get the job done. This approach is quite different from other research and outreach programs. You are part of a new approach - having a "crowd" fund research. By taking part you are telling the world there is meaning behind this science, helping provide meaningful research, and ultimately change.  


To enlighten everyone on the process, we dedicate this newsletter to answering some of the common questions regarding D*action. We will describe the process, the blood spot kit itself, and Vitamin D health in general.


How does the process work?


Q:  "Now that I have joined D*action and paid for my blood spot kit when should I expect to receive it?"

After you complete the questionnaire and pay for your test, the order is fulfilled within 2 business days and shipped first class mail from San Diego, CA. It should arrive within 5-7 business days for US addresses (longer for international). If you have not received your blood spot kit by then, there may be an issue with what you entered into the questionnaire. Please be sure to check your D*action account and ensure everything is correct.


Q: "What about the cost of the test? $65 seems high for a blood test. If you are a non-profit, can I get a test for free?"


GrassrootsHealth is a non-profit organization. We do not currently receive funding from any government agency or granting organization. Instead, we are funded by donations and personal sponsors. Your $65 goes to lab processing fees and materials and all the promotional work that we do (seminars, videos, research). We are currently seeking additional funding through grants but for now, we are entirely dependent on each of you to move research into practice. Please know that we value your support and understand that without your participation, there is no D*action. 


Q: "Now that I have taken the blood spot test, how long does it take to receive my results?"


It will take about 7-10 days from the day we receive your blood spot card to get your vitamin D test results. When results are available, you will be notified, via email, to the address provided in your D*action account. Incomplete questionnaires will cause additional delay.


Q: "What about if I signed up for the whole study? How do I get the second test?" 


If you signed up for the whole study through the 5 year subscription, your blood spot kit will automatically be sent to you each 6 months with an email reminder and a deduction from your credit card. When you receive the kit you need to login to D*action and complete the questionnaire. All of your information from the previous test is saved but we would like you to reviD*action buttonew everything for any changes. Perhaps your weight changed or you have experienced decreased pain after starting the study. We would like to know. When you do get to the end, do not enter your credit card in PayPal again - we already have your payment. Simply hit the "Save and Exit" button, Then, complete the blood spot test and return it and await your results! You must complete the questionnaire, or else we can't send in the blood spot test.


Q: "Will my blood spot test expire?"


The kit itself does not expire, however for D*action data to be accurate we require the questionnaire to be filled out within 2 months of the blood spot collection date. If you delay too much in filling out the questionnaire after your blood spot date, then we may ask you to fill out another blood spot card.


 Q: "How do I do this blood spot test?"


To make the process as easy as possible, we created a 5-minute video to guide you through the process from start to finish. The video can viewed here and provides you with recommendations to successfully complete the test.


Q: One question we do receive quite often though:  "Is the blood spot on my card big enough?"


You must have at least one blood spot measuring 6mm (1/4 inch) in diameter. If you didn't get that much blood, please DO NOT drop a new spot of blood onto an existing one to try and make it bigger as that may result in inaccurate (high) test results. Email and we will mail you out another blood spot card.


What about my vitamin D results?


Q: "Now that I have started taking Vitamin D supplements, how long does it take to reach 40-60 ng/ml?"


Generally, with a constant dose, it takes about 3 months in order to reach a new steady level.  However, there are some regimens which use very high doses for a few days or weeks to push up the level more rapidly.  A new test after at least 3 months - 6 months is good - will let you know your new vitamin D level. 


Q: "What about the test, is it reliable?"


GrassrootsHealth uses  Purity LaboratoryWe provide a document  from Purity which gives  more information. Purity Labs is a participant in DEQAS, the Vitamin D External Quality Assessment Scheme and has received their  Certificate of Proficiency certifying that they have met the performance target of the assessment panel. 


 Q: "What about the D2 level that was reported with my blood spot test? What does it mean?"


D2 is sourced from some supplements and food so it is frequently very low or '4' (which is the lowest level the lab reports).  D3 is what your body makes from the sun and that's the version of the supplement that our panel recommends.


Q: "My D level seems to have changed dramatically from the last test, is that valid?"


Before questioning the test, think about what has changed in your life. Have you changed any of your supplements recently (probiotics, vitamin K, fish oil)? Over the last few months was there a period, even if only a few days, when you may have taken more than your usual dose to help fight off a cold or flu or just recover from an injury? Have you changed anything in your diet recently? Eating more or less fish, eggs, raw dairy products or fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, cottage cheese)? Any of these could be a factor in a your vitamin D level.


We hope that you found this information helpful. If you did not find your question answered here, please visit our FAQ page for more information or contact our customer service at 

Editor's Note


I would be remiss without saying "Thanks!" to all of you who participate in D*action. Not only are you taking charge of your health, but you are funding important vitamin D research.  


I was pondering what I could add to this topic and I thought about some tips and tricks for young ones. When I started this vitamin D journey my 3 children were very young - newborn, 5 and 7. As you may imagine, doing a blood spot with young ones is sometimes challenging.  


Tip #1: Have them swing their arm and play before doing the blood spot. The worst thing is pricking them and then not getting a big enough dot and having to do it again.   


Tip #2: Even though it seems counter-intuitive, do wipe the area you pricked before taking blood, it actually brings out more blood.  


And to leave you with a good picture, when you are supplementing and explaining to your children the importance of vitamin D - here is what happens. This two-year old doctor first consults with pooh bear about his vitamin D serum level, then gives him D-drops.



Susan Siljander      

Marketing Director, GrassrootsHealth

A Public Health Promotion &

Research Organization  


Moving Research into Practice NOW!



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Vitamin D for Public Health
Integrating Sunshine, Supplements and Measurement for Optimal Health


December 9, 10


La Jolla, CA



Questions and answers about D*action

View Here


Blood Spot Test  

Tips and Tricks

View Video 


Blood Spot Validation

How can we be sure the value is right?

Download PDF


D-Lightful Vitamin D

Dr. Michael F. Holick, Ph.D., M.D.

Great video to show friends who are new to vitamin D

March 2009

Watch Now


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You can prevent disease if just one more person finds out about the preventative properties of vitamin D and starts moving their blood serum levels to 40-60 ng/ml. 

Dr. Bruce Hollis  

The Role of the Parent Compound Vitamin D with Respect to Metabolism and Function: Why Clinical Dose Intervals Can Affect Clinical Outcomes

Bruce W. Hollis

J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2013

Full Publication 

Dr. Cedric Garland

Meta-analysis of Vitamin D Sufficiency for Improving Survival of Patients with Breast Cancer

Cedric F. Garland

Anticancer Research, 2014

Full Publication  



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