January 21, 2015

Letter from the Director


Dear Advocates,

Quite simply, the IOM got it wrong.  We have posted comments and information since the Institute of Medicine (IOM) said that the new Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 600 IU/day was adequate to achieve their recommended level of 20 ng/ml.  Our focus has always been that 20 ng/ml was not sufficient.  It turns out that there's an even more serious problem: a review of their statistical methods shows that they were not correct - 600 IU/day will not get 97.5% of the population to 20 ng/ml. Instead it will only get 50% of the population to that level.

Based on GrassrootsHealth data--YOUR data, it will take approximately 7,000 IU/day for 97.5% of the population to achieve 20 ng/ml. An analysis from Dr. Paul Veuglers of the University of Alberta on the data used by the IOM concluded that it would take approximately 8,895 IU/day to achieve the 97.5% level.

A key feature of the GrassrootsHealth data set is that we actually have data from participants that are taking 7,000 IU/day or more.  Our calculations are based on actual things people are doing.  The IOM's panel reviewed data sets where the highest level reported was 2,400 IU/day. Dr. Veuglers used statistical analysis and extrapolation to get to the 8,895 IU/day value.  Again, your participation in this project is so very important in providing thorough results for public health recommendations. 

Action items:   

1) Please help us and join with the Canadian community to sign this petition calling for the IOM to re-evaluate this data.  (The IOM project to look at the vitamin D intake requirement was funded by both the US and Canada.)

2) Share this petition on social media, help us convince the IOM to urgently address this issue. You can forward this newsletter to friends and reference more information in the right hand columns.

Thanks again for all that you are doing to help solve this deficiency epidemic.  It truly requires the active participation that you are giving it in order to make it happen.  Beyond testing, your sharing of your health outcomes is key.    


Let's join together and see that urgent action is taken!



Carole Baggerly 

Director, GrassrootsHealth

A Public Health Promotion & Research Organization

Moving Research into Practice NOW!

Changing the Research Paradigm for Nutrients


The method of introduction of new drugs or nutrients has always been the same - repeated randomized controlled trials (RCTs). After many RCTs, and many dollars later, a new standard of care is born or a new drug is introduced. The Institute of Public Health, Cambridge, UK reports it takes about 17 years for standard of care to be changed after research has been completed. Do we really have to wait that long? In our modern era of the Internet and instant gratification is it adequate to wait 17 years for a new treatment? How many people will become sick in those 17 years?


Organic & Natural Health Association (ONHA) and Venable LLP have partnered with GrassrootsHealth to define and implement a new paradigm, one that studies nutrients within a population and measures health outcomes; one that doesn't rely solely on RCTs to bring a new product or standard of care to market. These new studies should concentrate more on finding clinical relevance to complement statistical significance.


On December 10, 2014 we announced this partnership with ONHA. There will be changes in the future as we integrate nutrient research into GrassrootsHealth, but if you want to find out more, or understand why we want to take this approach - please attend a webinar this Friday, January 23rd at 2 p.m. EST.  


"Randomized clinical trials do not accomplish what's needed for companies when it comes to the legal definition of 'competent and reliable scientific evidence' and the emphasis regulators place on statistical and randomized clinical trials jeopardizes the importance and relevance of measurable evidence-based clinical outcomes," said Todd Harrison, partner at Venable, LLP, and president of Organic & Natural. "The expertise GrassrootsHealth has in population-based nutrient research embodies the paradigm shift we know is required to ensure consumers have access to safe, quality ingredients and natural products that improve health. They will provide information to individuals as to how a nutrient may be affecting them personally."


Some people may say that it can't be done, but GrassrootsHealth has effectively done this with D*action. With a cohort of over 7,000 people - we have measured the effectiveness of one nutrient - vitamin D. We ask our population to fill out detailed questionnaires and from that data and their vitamin D blood measurement we have been able to publish peer-reviewed papers that have done much to change the view of vitamin D - not the least of which is that 40-60 ng/ml is not only safe, but effective in preventing disease.


With O&N, we will be adding more nutrients to our database - to start to track other nutrients which have an effect on D and on disease prevention - specifically, vitamins K2, calcium, and magnesium.


Learn about these nutrient-based studies and how you can participate during the webinar - Friday, January 23rd, 2 p.m. EST.


Editor's Note


I signed the petition! I hope my one name will be helpful in convincing the IOM to re-open the case. And... guess what... it isn't. But when we all use our one vote to stand up for something, then it is. So, I hope you will join with me in signing the petition. It only takes a few seconds.


We have also continued to profile presentations from our seminar in December. All the talks were first class, but to go with our theme of this newsletter we are profiling one about vitamin D studies - when they work, when they don't. The talk also profiles design features and frameworks for effective vitamin D studies. I hope you enjoy these presentations.  


Have a great week!


Susan Siljander       

Marketing Director, GrassrootsHealth

A Public Health Promotion & 

Research Organization  

Moving Research into Practice NOW!

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   View our videos on YouTube   Visit our blog
Order Your Home Vitamin D Test TODAY!
Your participation in this project funds all the GrassrootsHealth research and promotion.

Sign the petition

Be part of the grassroots effort to push for a re-evaluation of the RDA for vitamin D


Every signature counts!

Sign Here 


A Statistical Error in the Estimation of the Recommended Dietary Allowance for Vitamin D

Paul J. Veugelers, MD

John Paul Ekwaru

Oct. 2014

View Here  


How Much Does it Take?

GrassrootsHealth poster

December 2014

View Here  


GrassrootsHealth Research Paper 

This paper shows that a supplemental dose of 9,600 IU/day will ensure that 97.5% of the population will achieve a serum 25(OH)D of at least 40 ng/ml. 

View Here  

Organic & Natural and GrassrootsHealth team together for more nutrient-based research


This Friday!

January 23, 2015

2 p.m. EST


Carole Baggerly

Todd Harrison

Robert P. Heaney, MD

Register Here
nullDr. Bruce Hollis

Vitamin D for Public Health Seminar

December 9-10, 2014

La Jolla, CA


Design Components of Interventions / Studies of Vitamin D

Bruce W. Hollis, PhD  

Robert P. Heaney, MD

Key components in nutrient studies

Study outcomes
Study design features
Standard frameworks


Watch Video 


Organic & Natural Health Association

View Web Site 


Organic & Natural Health Association and GrassrootsHealth Partner in Population-Based Nutrient Research to Guide Public Health Policy
View Press Release


Contact Us


Quick Links