January 14, 2015

Letter from the Director


I am pleased to announce the first of fourteen online presentations from our seminar - Vitamin D and Public Health - Integrating Sunshine, Supplements and Measurement for Optimal Health. The seminar was held on December 9-10, 2014 in La Jolla in conjunction with UC San Diego School of Medicine. Eight scientists from our panel, as well as two public activists, gave presentations to the many supporters in attendance at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. We understand that just because you couldn't be there with us doesn't mean that you aren't eager to know what the presenters had to say, so we will be putting all the presentations online.


This week we want to highlight one of the two presentations given by Alexander Wunsch, MD of Wismar University of Applied Sciences in Germany. We profiled his talk in the December 17th newsletter. 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.


Dr. Wunsch's presentation, "Why the Sun is Necessary for Optimal Health," starts with the history of light therapy, including many pictures and descriptions of how sunlight has healed people. He then turns to today and explains the changes in our body due to sun exposure and how sunlight is synthesized. One of his main points is that when you begin light therapy it is important to transition slowly and acclimate your skin to sun exposure. If you skip this step and suddenly immerse yourself in the sun, you will likely burn. I encourage you to watch the video of his presentation; I think you'll find it very enlightening.




Carole Baggerly 

Director, GrassrootsHealth

A Public Health Promotion & Research Organization

Moving Research into Practice NOW!

Your Data Your Answers - Occupation and Sunlight 


This week we want to share D*action data with respect to how much time participants are regularly in the sun due to their occupation and whether that affects serum level or supplementation habits. As an overall summary, the GrassrootsHealth D*action cohort is comprised of over 7000 members from more than 50 different countries, although 90% are from the US and Canada. The median age is 54 years old. Roughly 2/3 of the cohort is female and 1/3 is male; 92% are Caucasian. The average vitamin D serum level is 44 ng/ml.




More than 3/4 (79%) of D*action participants perform less than 10% of their occupation outdoors. There are a number of jobs now where people can work from home or where employers encourage leisure activities at lunch - but this still wouldn't put those people in the sun for 8 hours. Only four percent of our cohort regularly spends 50% or more of their workday outside. The most common occupations that allow spending most of the workday outside are in the fields of construction, farming, landscaping, or leisure and recreation.  



Vitamin D Supplementation with respect to Occupation


We looked to see if supplementation habits were different depending on time spent outdoors as part of one's occupation. We found that those who are outside for part of their daily work are less likely to take supplements than those who do not spend any time working outside. In fact you can see that as the percentage of work performed outdoors increases, the percentage of participants taking supplements decreases. The overall difference in supplementation between those who work completely indoors and those who work over 50% outdoors is about 10%. You can also see that most people in the D*action cohort still choose to supplement regardless of time spent working outdoors.



Serum Levels of Participants Level Across Occupations


Would you expect the average serum level to be different depending on occupational sun exposure? We found the median serum level to be similar across all occupation groups. For those taking supplements, the serum level hovers around 44 ng/ml. For those not taking any supplements, the average serum level is about 30 ng/ml, regardless of occupation time in the sun.




First of all, we can be sure that our population is similar to the overall population of the US, in that most of their workday is spent indoors. Secondly, time spent outdoors as part of one's occupation doesn't seem to have an overriding effect on serum level. Occupational sun exposure is just one of several questions we ask on our questionnaire to determine sun exposure - others include average time spent outdoors, typical clothing worn, and sunscreen use when outdoors between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. - and sun exposure is just one of the factors that contribute to serum level

Editor's Note


These peeks into our data are interesting. Sometimes it is surprising, sometimes predictable. I would have expected a bigger drop in supplementation for those who work predominantly outside, but maybe they are covered by clothing or sunscreen. Or maybe the sample size (4%) is too small to note a change.


I also have the fun of announcing the winner of our Vitamin D Resolution contest. May I have a drumroll please... The winner is Dr. Eve Kimball of West Reading, Pennsylvania. With her permission I have included her resolution below. It is a great example of how a practitioner can effect change in her immediate practice and community.


Overall resolution:

For her staff (55 strong) to become "vitamin D messengers."


1)  Vitamin D tests for every staff member by January 8, 2015.

2) Staff input on vitamin D action ideas for February staff meeting.

3) Purchase Vitamin D drops and resell to patient base at near cost. Encourage patients to buy a one year supply.


Measure - They will be successful if...
1) 50% of staff become "Vitamin D supporters" by December 31, 2015. This is defined as someone who monitors their own blood level and "prescribes" Vitamin D for patients and friends.

2) At least 10% (1500) of our patients/families will purchase their vitamin D from us by December 31, 2015.


And the runner-up is Rebecca Morley, CLC, MA who works for the public health department in Missoula, Montana. She plans to ramp up her education about vitamin D and hopes it spreads like wildfire around her community. She had some great concrete plans and I am excited to hear about her success in Missoula.


Thanks to everyone for sharing your resolutions with us.


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 Seminar

December 9-10, 2014

La Jolla, CA

Why the Sun is Necessary for Optimal Health

Alexander Wunsch, MD

View Now 


 #1  Eve Kimball, MD
West Reading, PA
#2  Rebecca Morley
      CLC, MA
      Missoula, MT
Vitamin D Experts Speak out on Sunlight

Learn from the world's leading experts about "The Sunshine Vitamin" and other benefits of UV light
Watch Video Now


How do I sign up for D*action and become part of the scientific cohort?
Go Here

Other Your Data Your Answers Topics:

December 10, 2014

November 5, 2014

October 15, 2014


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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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