December 17, 2014

Letter from the Director


It has been an exciting week!


We had a tremendous seminar in San Diego. In conjunction with the UC San Diego School of Medicine, nine scientists from our panel, a state legislator from Alaska and an independent public health professional who each have ongoing vitamin D public health projects, 16 supporting vendors, and a big crowd of attendees discussed the benefits of vitamin D. The content was spectacular, the discussion in the exhibit area and at meals was enlightening, and the venue was beautiful. We will summarize one of the keynote talks below; I hope you enjoy it. We did film every presentation and those will be available on our web site next year.


Last Tuesday night at a seminar reception, Organic & Natural Health Association (O&N) announced a partnership with GrassrootsHealth. O&N is dedicated to creating and promoting transparent business practices that safeguard access to organic and natural food, products and services. To this end, they will be partnering with GrassrootsHealth to sponsor nutrient research, much like we have done with vitamin D using D*action. Our initial focus will be on how vitamin D, vitamin K2, calcium and magnesium interact with one another. Understanding how these nutrients interact within the body can elevate focus on prevention strategies versus disease treatment.


As a complement to our seminar week, we published a news release, Vitamin D Experts Speak Out on Sunshine. The release includes a video which presents views from scientists in our research panel on how sunshine is beneficial and how to get it. While this might not be new information for you, it is a great video to share on Facebook. Feel free to send it all over the Internet!



Thank you!

Carole Baggerly 

Director, GrassrootsHealth

A Public Health Promotion & Research Organization

Moving Research into Practice NOW!

The Power of Sunshine 


A new member of our scientist panel, Dr. Alexander Wunsch of Wismar University of Applied Sciences, Germany, gave a talk on "Why the Sun is Necessary for Optimal Health." Dr. Wunsch is an expert in vibrational medicine and photobiology. In his private medical practice in Heidelberg, Germany, he uses systemic color therapy in combination with electromagnetic fields, body sound application, and Cranio-Sacral bodywork. He does research in the field of light effects on cellular levels and developed a number of devices for vibrational medicine, chromotherapy and electromagnetic environment testing.


The History of Light Therapy


Until the 1950's the sun was the most prescribed and most effective treatment for all ills. Dr. Wunsch presented the history of heliotherapy, including some illustrative photographs of early heliotherapy machines and the amazing successes of some of Dr. Auguste Rollier's heliotherapy patients. Here is a before and after picture of a man with lupus vulgaris who underwent light therapy with Dr. Rollier in the early 1900s.



Dr. Wunsch also presented a Rollier case study showing a young boy who had severe rickets and was weeks away from death. After undergoing light treatment, he lived a healthy life. Below are pictures of before and after therapy, as well as at different stages of his life.   




It was enlightening to know that there are many case studies and much data documenting the positive effects of the sun and light treatment. For those who read French, you can order Dr. Rollier's book and find out more about his practice.


He also presented the picture below. What do you think it is?



It is an entrance into the coal miner baths that were accessed at the end of their workday. Understanding that the miners were underground all day, the owners of the mine, wanting to keep their workers healthy and producing coal, made sure their workers still received the benefits of sun exposure (in this case sun lamps). The workers stripped down and walked in a slowly moving, single file line, into the entrance of the baths at the end of their day. Was this a precursor to today's preventative health plans? Could you see a company doing this today? Similar to lactation rooms, companies could provide areas for employees to take a "sun break" during lunch time. Would you like that in your work place?


How do you have sensible sun exposure?


A theme from the seminar was that it is important to have daily, sensible sun exposure. There was much discussion about when and how you could best get vitamin D and other benefits from the sun and most scientists tout "solar noon" as that optimal time for sun exposure. Unfortunately, the sun is not high enough in the sky, even at solar noon, in areas more than 35 degrees north or south of the equator at certain times of the year, so alternatives must be considered.   As an alternative to direct sunlight, which most would consider optimal, sun lamps or tanning beds can be available all year long and at any time of the day.


The important thing is to be safe and never burn. We all need to be educated - or reminded - on how to get enough sun, but not too much. There were two vendors in our exhibit area that showed different ways to get sensible sun. One had an app called dminder and another had a wearable device called SunFriend.


Dr. Wunsch presented the chart below as an illustration of how light therapists gradually acclimate the body to light (sun or lamp). Session 1 you only expose the feet to 5 minutes of light. Session 2, after 5 minutes of exposure only on the feet, a blanket is raised to expose the lower leg along with the feet for an additional 5 minutes. Etc... You can see that this is a very gradual process.


Editor's Note


I had two big take-aways from the seminar. My first is that I will try and get vitamin D daily - either by supplement, sun, or both. My second, and it is good to remember as I talk to others - "slow but steady wins the race." Dr. Wunsch emphasized these words and it really is counter-culture here in America. Someone we tell this to might want to start tanning, for example. However, if they have been covered up and sunscreened for years - then it isn't sensible for them to go whole hog the first week. Instead they should start really slow and get their bodies acclimated to this change.


I am excited for these works to get out to the public and see what shape they might take. Is the public ready to start paying attention to a natural cure and preventive tool that has been shining brightly on us forever?

Here comes the sun!


Susan Siljander       


Marketing Director, GrassrootsHealth

A Public Health Promotion & 

Research Organization  

Moving Research into Practice NOW!


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Organic & Natural Health Association

View web site


Definition of Light Therapy



Organic & Natural Health Association

Partnership with GrassrootsHealth

Press Release

Dec. 10, 2014

View Here 


Experts Speak out on Sun Exposure

Coordinated by GrassrootsHealth

December 16, 2014

View Press Release 

View Condensed Video 

View Full Video 


La Cure de Soleil

Auguste Rollier


French book describing Rollier's success in treating patients using heliotherapy


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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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