February 4, 2015

Letter from the Director


So much is going on that I want to share with you.


First of all, there is the highlight of this newsletter - our new Disease Incidence Prevention (DIP) chart for pregnancy! Our initial DIP chart has been instrumental as a communication tool in clinics, doctor's offices, and community centers across the country. It is a quick way to see how vitamin D levels can improve health outcomes. This new chart focuses on pregnancy and the child and is a great way to visually share the key research that we have written about in the last few newsletters.


Next, our scientists are all over! I mentioned last week that four of them were at a conference in Canada. Coming up, Dr. William Grant and Dr. Michael Holick are speakers and on the scientific board of the International Symposium Biologic Effects of Light to be held June 11 - 12 in Homburg, Germany. The symposium is sponsored by Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center, and Saarland University Medical Center. On-line now, our research director, Dr. Robert Heaney, was interviewed by Dr. Joseph Mercola in a 30 minute video on Mercola's web site.  


Finally, with the recent attention on the inadequate RDA of vitamin D, GrassrootsHealth would like to get the IOM's attention to correcting their analysis. Four scientists on our panel have authored a letter that uses previously published data from the GrassrootsHealth cohort to demonstrate that the recommended RDA should be 7000 IU/day to get 97.5% of our population to 20 ng/ml. We would like to publish this letter with open access and are seeking your help to fund the $1500 cost. Will you help fund this paper? Every amount helps.


Thank you for all of your grassroots efforts. Let's keep flooding the world with the message of sunlight and vitamin D.




Carole Baggerly 

Director, GrassrootsHealth

A Public Health Promotion & Research Organization

Moving Research into Practice NOW!

Video of the Week 


Vitamin D, Sunshine, Optimal Health: Putting it all Together



Robert P. Heaney, MD, is a clinical endocrinologist specializing in nutrition. Until 2014 he held the John A. Creighton University Professorship. He is world-renowned for providing nearly 50 years of advancements in our understanding of bone biology, osteoporosis, and human calcium and vitamin D physiology.  He is the author of three books and has published over 400 original papers, chapters, monographs, and reviews in scientific and educational fields. At the same time, he has engaged in nutritional policy issues and has helped redefine the context for estimating nutrient requirements. Dr. Heaney also currently holds the position of Research Director at GrassrootsHealth.


In this talk from our December Seminar, Dr. Heaney covers four basic points with respect to optimal health:

  1. Why is vitamin D important?
  2. How does it work?
  3. Where do we get it?
  4. How much do we need?

Dr. Heaney explains that vitamin D acts as a mechanism to help cells function and heal. It is important to get our bodies into a healing, nutrient-rich state, not to wait for disease to set upon us and then diagnose and fix the problems. It is also important to pay attention to the micro-nutrients that are co-factors for vitamin D, as these are also needed for proper cell function. Vitamin D blood levels below 40 ng/ml are not adequate for most of our body systems.

Vitamin D Effects on Pregnancy


GrassrootsHealth, in conjunction with key scientists, has just published this Disease Incidence Prevention (DIP) chart, focused on pregnancy. It is based on eight papers on preterm birth, pregnancy disorders, and common childhood disorders. It is a visual tool which quickly highlights how vitamin D can prevent some level of many common pregnancy disorders and alleviate some common and costly early childhood outcomes.


 Click on chart to enlarge 


Why is 25 ng/ml important?


The 25 ng/ml 'reference level' used on the chart is a representation of the average value of vitamin D in the US population.  (Currently numbers are actually lower.)  Using this value for comparison, you can see how much raising vitamin D serum levels would affect the general population.


We are affecting our children


Most of you would probably not be surprised to hear that vitamin D also benefits the child in utero. This chart has the childhood data on the same page as pregnancy conditions and highlights studies that have shown how a mother's vitamin D level during pregnancy has affected the health of the child.  


What is also especially interesting is that the effect extends beyond infancy, e.g., asthma in young people, and language and cognitive difficulties reported during school years.


What would happen at 40 ng/ml?


This chart demonstrates that at about 50 ng/ml common pregnancy conditions and some childhood conditions would be lessened. There is a substantial reduction in risk of preterm births achieved by getting pregnant women to a serum level of at least 40 ng/ml, and it was demonstrated to be safe as well.   


There are additional benefits, as shown in the chart, when levels reach the physiological range of 40-60 ng/ml.  These research observations are key to our outreach to communities to engage in a Protect our Children NOW! project in their community.. to get pregnant women to test their vitamin D levels, for everyone to be educated about vitamin D, and to reach an end result of healthier moms, children and reduced healthcare costs.   


outdoor-lg-family2.jpg How to use this chart 

  1. Make sure you know your vitamin D level.
  2. Share the chart with your friends, with your physicians, to make them aware of the effects of vitamin D.
  3. Encourage pregnant women to test and get educated about vitamin D.
GrassrootsHealth is committed to the health and safety of our next generation. We will keep this chart updated with new research as we go forward.

Take care of yourself AND future generations.

 Editor's Letter 


I feel like we have been giving you a lot of information lately. It might be a lot to keep up with unless you work full time with vitamin D. So...


If you only have time for one thing, I would recommend you send a link of this Pregnancy DIP chart to everyone you know that is pregnant or has young children. Share it on Facebook. Let's see if this can spread like wildfire around those women and men who are in their child bearing years.


If you have time for a second thing, I would recommend viewing Dr. Heaney's interview with Dr. Mercola. It is a succinct interview on a topic that involves us all. Share with friends, watch it in the lobby of the DMV while you wait in line...


Finally, it is February.... How are you doing on your new year's vitamin D resolutions?


Have a great week.


Susan Siljander       

Marketing Director, GrassrootsHealth

A Public Health Promotion & 

Research Organization  

Moving Research into Practice NOW!

Order Your Home Vitamin D Test TODAY!
Your participation in this project funds all the GrassrootsHealth research and promotion.

Spread the Word!

Help fund a new publication confirming the IOM was wrong in their 600 IU/Day RDA.

Call to public health officials to designate 7000 IU/day as the RDA.

A minimum of $1500 is needed to fund this publication.




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   

Vitamin D for Public Health Seminar

December 9-10, 2014

La Jolla, CA


Vitamin D, Sunshine, Optimal Health: Putting it all Together

Robert Heaney, MD

Creighton University

Watch Now 


Watch Interview
Do You Need a Vitamin D Supplement to Maintain Ideal Levels

Interview with Dr. Joseph Mercola and Dr. Robert Heaney


Disease Incidence Prevention Chart

Updated 08/24/2012 

A chart showing how vitamin D serum levels are related to the prevention of many diseases including cancers, falls, heart attacks, diabetes, and several others.  

View Here 


Disease Incidence Prevention - Pregnancy


A chart showing how vitamin D serum levels are related to the prevention of pregnancy-related complications and early childhood illness.

View Here 


Share this newsletter on Facebook! Click on the top left social share buttons to share this entire newsletter. 


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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