October 1, 2014

Letter from the Director


At GrassrootsHealth, October is "Breast Cancer Prevention Month."


We are all aware of breast cancer. We don't need a special month to be aware. With one in eight women diagnosed with breast cancer - most of us have had close contact with breast cancer. Let's change our focus this month - let's prevent breast cancer. Let's reduce the number of women with the disease. We know how - a vitamin D serum level of 40-60 ng/ml reduces the chance of breast cancer by 75%.


What has GrassrootsHealth done with this knowledge? First we educate. We tell the world so they can act on the research - information, in some cases, that has been available for several decades. Then, we investigate. We have an on-going breast cancer prevention study for women 60 years or older, without cancer. This study has helped us gain data and further our understanding of breast cancer occurrence in a vitamin D replete community; preliminary results have found it is indeed reduced.


What can you do with this knowledge?  


1. Let others know how vitamin D can prevent breast cancer. Please check out our new "Beginner's Corner." After you tell someone about vitamin D and the topic of the newsletter, this box will have first-timer information for them to reference.


2. Help yourself and your family by:

  • Getting your daily dose of vitamin D - through the sun (from 10 am to 2 pm) or through supplements.
  • Testing - join D*action or our breast cancer prevention study to test your vitamin D and ensure it is 40-60 ng/ml.

Thank you for your support,


Carole Baggerly


Director, GrassrootsHealth

A Public Health Promotion & Research Organization

Moving Research into Practice NOW!

How Does Vitamin D Prevent Breast Cancer? 


The Research


Studies from researchers on the GrassrootsHealth scientist panel have shown that there is a correlation between vitamin D serum levels and breast cancer.


Cedric Garland, Dr. P.H., F.A.C.E., UCSD School of Medicine, studied  1200 healthy women with low vitamin D serum levels three months before diagnosis of breast cancer. Those with the lowest levels of vitamin D experienced a risk three times greater than those in the highest level group. This study does not establish a relationship between breast cancer and vitamin D but it points to a relevant window of time for cancer prevention in the last three months preceding a tumor diagnosis. This is a critical time for the growth of the tumor as the tumor is actively recruiting blood vessels necessary for tumor growth.


A study at Creighton University indicated that a dose of 1100 IU/day of vitamin D along with calcium helped women to raise their average serum vitamin D level to 40 ng/ml (from a baseline of 30 ng/ml) and prevent 4 out of 5, or 80%, of all invasive cancers including breast cancer, accompanied by a 50% reduction in mortality for those already diagnosed.


10-min Interview: Does Vitamin D Prevent Cancer?

How does it work?


Dr. JoEllen Welsh, Empire Innovations Professor at University at  Albany, State University of New York and GenNYsis Center of Excellence in Cancer Genomics, explains the biological mechanisms of how vitamin D targets the behaviors that distinguish a cancer cell from a normal cell. View the video "Vitamin D Stops Breast Cancer Growth" (see References sidebar). Briefly, vitamin D helps to regulate hundreds of normal cell processes, including cell growth and differentiation, protection from DNA damage, immune system response in breast cells, cellular metabolism, and cell death. When not properly regulated, any of these processes can contribute to growth and proliferation of cancer cells.


GrassrootsHealth Breast Cancer Study


GrassrootsHealth has been advocating vitamin D to reduce breast cancer since its inception in 2009 but the medical community is slow to respond. In fall 2011, we launched a new breast cancer study, to parallel our D*action study. The study is open to women 60 years or older and free of cancer at the time of enrollment (they may have had it in the past). Participation includes a home vitamin D test and an online health questionnaire to be completed each 6 months for a period of 5 years. We have 3 cohorts: International, Northwest Arkansas, and Canada.


As of our most recent analysis, 839 of 844 women remain cancer-free and have a median 25(OH)D serum level of 50 ng/ml. Five women have been diagnosed with breast cancer; four of these women had 25(OH)D values below the median. Overall there was an 80% reduction in breast cancer among those ≥50 ng/ml compared to those <50 ng/ml.  Click here to view the full poster.  


The study is ongoing and with your help, we can bring research into practice and prevent breast cancer through vitamin D.


Editor's Note


After writing this newsletter, all I can say is... scream it to the world! Tell everyone you know. Tell mothers with 3 year old daughters. Make your mother take supplements or garden everyday at noon. We do so much for our health, and yet something as simple as vitamin D goes ignored.


I hope you tell 2 women in your life about vitamin D and how it reduces the incidence of breast cancer. I hope you use the Beginner's Corner to send them information to shock them and make them act. I hope you follow up a month later and ask about their vitamin D level (ask them to get tested).  


It is important to all women - in utero, 1 year old, 10 years old, teens, young adults, mothers, grandmothers. Please tell the women you love.


Susan Siljander      

Marketing Director, GrassrootsHealth

A Public Health Promotion &

Research Organization  


Moving Research into Practice NOW!



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Free Seminar
Integrating Sunshine, Supplements and Measurement for Optimal Health


San Diego, CA

December 9, 10

8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Vitamin D-Facts
Breast Cancer
7-min video on prevention
August 2011

Mammography or Prevention?
Letter to the NY Times
Cedric F. Garland, Dr. P.H., F.A.C.E.
December 2009

Vitamin D Increases Breast Cancer Survival
Press Release
March 2014

Is Daily Dosing Important?


August 2014

View Now 


Vitamin D Stops Breast Cancer Growth

JoEllen Welsh, Ph.D.

Dept of Biomedical Sciences

Albany State Univ., NY

April 2013

View Now 


Low Vitamin D Link to Breast Cancer

January 2013

Press release

Read Here

Breast Cancer Survival with Vitamin D

View Full Article 


Vitamin D and Calcium Reduce Cancer Risks

Published Paper

June 2007

View Full Article


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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. 


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