October 29, 2014

Letter from the Director


As Vitamin D Day (November 2) approaches, we can all do our part to help spread the word about this deficiency epidemic. I hope you all take a moment to review some of the basic facts about vitamin D below and then share the information with others. Maybe you can affect change in your family, in your neighborhood, at your school, in your workplace. There are many things that you can do to help this grassroots effort.


One thing I would like to ask is that you invite your doctor to our upcoming seminar - Vitamin D for Public Health - Integrating Sunshine, Supplements, and Measurement for Optimal Health.  This seminar provides continuing medical education credit for people in the medical field, and would be a great way to affect change in your community. After your doctor learns the benefits of vitamin D sufficiency for disease prevention - they can then bring it back to their practice and move research into practice!


I hope you will take the opportunity to spread the word about vitamin D on Vitamin D Day - though, why wait, spread the word today! - and I hope that we will see some of you, or perhaps your personal physicians, at our seminar in December.


Sunnily yours,


Carole Baggerly 

Director, GrassrootsHealth

A Public Health Promotion & Research Organization

Moving Research into Practice NOW!

Vitamin D Day
Sunday, November 2, 2014

What is Vitamin D Day?


This Sunday, November 2nd is Vitamin D Day, a day to recognize that vitamin D deficiency is a real health problem and is a worldwide problem. Use this day to either re-commit to testing your vitamin D levels and getting enough vitamin D - or if you know you are in good standing - to tell others about the benefits of vitamin D.


Facts about Vitamin D

  1. Vitamin D comes primarily from sun exposure or supplements. Few people will get an adequate amount of vitamin D from their diet. The GrassrootsHealth panel of scientists defines vitamin D sufficiency as a blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the range of 40-60 ng/ml.
  2. Scientists and doctors agree that at least a third of the world is vitamin D deficient. You won't know until you get tested, but most of our participants are very surprised to find out that they are indeed deficient even if they had been supplementing under their doctor's advice.
  3. If you don't get frequent moderate sun exposure or take a vitamin D supplement, you're likely deficient in vitamin D.
  4. Moderate midday sun exposure is great for making vitamin D. See the sun chart below to see if your region can support sun exposure. If it can - use the guidelines below or make sure you stay out only about half as long as it takes for your skin to start to burn.
  5. Vitamin D supplements are a good option to get the vitamin D you need. The average GrassrootsHealth D*action participant with a blood serum level of 40-60 ng/ml takes about 4,000 IU daily.
  6. Vitamin D is important for many things, including your bones, heart, respiratory system, brain and disease prevention. Research has shown that keeping your blood serum level between 40-60 ng/ml can prevent 83% of breast cancers and 66% of new cases of type I diabetes. Click on the Disease Incidence Prevention Chart, authored by GrassrootsHealth scientists to see how serum level relates to disease prevention.
  7. Consider getting tested for vitamin D. Join D*action and you can test from the comfort of your home and help fund research about a vitamin D replete community. Most of our D*action community ends up getting their blood levels between 40-60 ng/ml.

What Can I Do to Spread the Word?

  1. Join the vitamin D thunderclap - Log into the thunderclap and it will automatically post or tweet for you on Vitamin D Day. 
  2. Like or share the Vitamin D Day web page with family, friends, and work associates. 
  3. Invite some people to your house for a vitamin D talk. You can use one of the many videos in the GrassrootsHealth videos section (a good one to start with is D-Lightful Vitamin D by Michael F. Holick, MD, PhD, Boston University).


Editor's Note


Vitamin D Day is a good time to re-think your vitamin D strategy. When were you last tested? Do you know your vitamin D level? Does everyone you care deeply about know their vitamin D level?  


If you get your blood tested regularly through your doctor - you may ask them to add a vitamin D test to your blood panel, but watch out. I have told this to many a friend who then comes back and tells me their doctor told them their level was "fine." I asked what the serum level was and they didn't know. So, if you go through your doctor - ask for the serum level. Many doctors feel that 20-30 ng/ml is "fine" because that is the level that supports bone health (consult the disease chart above). But we want ourselves and our loved ones to be in the disease prevention area - so we need the numbers-your serum level should be at least 40 ng/ml!


Of course if you are a D*action member you not only find out your serum level, you are also supporting education and research to move science into practice and ultimately end the vitamin D deficiency epidemic.


What will you do on Vitamin D Day?



Susan Siljander      

Marketing Director, GrassrootsHealth

A Public Health Promotion & 

Research Organization  

Moving Research into Practice NOW!



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Vitamin D Day
Disease Incidence Prevention Chart
August, 2012
D-Lightful Vitamin D
Video by
Michael F. Hollick, MD PhD
Boston University


D-Lightful Vitamin D
Video by
Michael F. Holick, MD PhD
Boston University
Vitamin D Thunderclap
Register to post on
Vitamin D Day

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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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