May 6, 2015
Letter from the Director


The focus of this week's newsletter is on cancer, which is very near to my heart since cancer was the impetus into my research on vitamin D and the catalyst behind GrassrootsHealth. If you have not heard this story yet, please view the video of the week.  


Not much has changed since 2009... and a lot has changed. The focus of GrassrootsHealth is the same. Our perspective on sunshine as a key factor in obtaining vitamin D has increased and we held a seminar just last fall to that end. (You can view the presentations online and even receive CME credits for two of them.) Doctors are more receptive to ordering vitamin D tests and many are even recommending vitamin D supplementation.  


One development since 2009 is the understanding of dosage and toxicity. In 2009, there were still many that believed 1000 IU/day was enough, including Dr. Cedric Garland as you will see in the video of the week. By the seminar last fall, it was clear that the group attending were already very comfortable with our current recommendation of 40-60 ng/ml.  


A new paper out this week described findings that an increase in vitamin D levels above 50 ng/ml was not accompanied by an increase in hypercalcemia, a hallmark of vitamin D toxicity. This conclusion is similar to that reached in a paper we published in 2011 that found no evidence of clinical toxicity despite many instances of serum levels between 50 - 100 ng/ml, and some even higher. (See sidebar)


I am continually in awe of the great research news on vitamin D. Let's spread the word and remember the sooner a person starts, the more health benefits they reap - starting preconception!




Carole Baggerly 

Director, GrassrootsHealth

A Public Health Promotion & Research Organization

Moving Research into Practice NOW!

Weak Sunlight associated with Pancreatic Cancer Risks


Dr. Cedric Garland
Dr. Cedric Garland

A paper published by two scientists in our panel has been all over the news these last few weeks. The paper by Cedric F. Garland, Dr PH FACE and Edward Gorham, PhD both of the UC San Diego School of Medicine, demonstrated that lack of sunlight, as determined by latitude and cloud cover, has a direct correlation to risk of pancreatic cancer.


Garland and Gorham are both epidemiologists 

Dr. Ed Gorham

passionate about vitamin D for cancer prevention. For this paper they studied data from 172 different countries using data acquired from GLOBOCAN in 2008. GLOBOCAN is World Health Organization's world-wide published data on cancer incidence, mortality, and prevalence.


Conclusion - 6 times the incidence of cancer in low UVB irradiance countries

The conclusion from this analysis was that if you live in a country with low UVB irradiance, due to either latitude or cloud cover, then your risk of pancreatic cancer is six times higher than those who live in sun-rich countries.    


"If you're living at a high latitude or in a place with a lot of heavy cloud cover, you can't make vitamin D most of the year, which results in a higher-than-normal risk of getting pancreatic cancer," said Garland. "People who live in sunny countries near the equator have only one-sixth of the age-adjusted incidence rate of pancreatic cancer as those who live far from it. The importance of sunlight deficiency strongly suggests - but does not prove - that vitamin D deficiency may contribute to risk of pancreatic cancer."


More on vitamin D and cancer

Both Garland and Gorham work closely with GrassrootsHealth, speaking at our seminars, participating in webinars and educating the public. Please see the sidebar for some key videos they have done on vitamin D and cancer prevention.


Video of the Week 


Vitamin D Prevents Cancer: Is it True?

Carole Baggerly, Founder and Director


Cedric F. Garland, Dr PH FACE

UC San Diego School of Medicine

June 2009


Watch Now


In this video, Carole Baggerly and Cedric Garland team up to provide a compelling introductory video on the benefits of vitamin D and its association with cancer. Baggerly explains what led her to start GrassrootsHealth and some of the key studies that show vitamin D prevents cancer.


One important part of this video is Baggerly's explanation of the disease incidence prevention chart (DIP). This is one of the best tools to explain the importance of vitamin D repletion to a person new to vitamin D. It is a graphical representation of how you can prevent disease with adequate (40-60 ng/ml) vitamin D blood levels. We have talked about this graph a lot - but maybe you have trouble explaining it to your friends and family? Watch the video and listen to the slow and thorough explanation.


Another issue addressed in the video is toxicity. Almost every newcomer you talk to will say their doctor (or some web site) said too much vitamin D is toxic. An analysis of several research studies reported no cases of toxicity at 25(OH)D levels below 200 ng/ml. Remember, we recommend levels in the range of 40 - 60 ng/ml. In addition, please see the sidebar for another new study with similar findings on vitamin D toxicity.


The second half of the video Garland describes disease prevention from a researcher's perspective. He focuses on cancer, but also touches on other diseases and common questions asked of doctors about vitamin D.


Please watch this video if you are curious how GrassrootsHealth was started, or you want to introduce a friend to GrassrootsHealth or the benefits of vitamin D.


Watch Now 

Editor's Letter 


Cancer has affected everyone in the modern world. If you haven't had it, you know someone who has. Many people have intimate knowledge of the disease. I have experience through others - a close mentor in college helped me dip my toe in the water. A very close mother-figure awakened me. My brother ripped me open. My aunt showed me strength.


I would like to reduce the amount of cancer that appears in the world. I would like more people to get their serum levels up - it might not work for all - but a good percentage would help. What if I could turn back the clock and tell one of those loved ones to take vitamin D?  


So - shout it from the rooftops! Oh, it is 2015.... Tweet it everywhere! Share on facebook! Email to your email lists - but encourage everyone you know to test their vitamin D serum levels and make sure they are up to the recommended range. You will be saving lives.


Go for it! 


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.

Vitamin D Supplement Doses and Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D in the Range Associated with Cancer Prevention

D*action data has demonstrated that high levels of vitamin D blood serum are safe.

GrassrootsHealth research
January 2011

View paper 


Changing Incidence of Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Values Above 50 ng/mL: A 10-Year Population Based Study

Daniel V. Dudenkov, MD;

Mayo Clinic Publication Open Access

Read paper and view short video 

Cloud cover-adjusted ultraviolet B irradiance and pancreatic cancer incidence in 172 countries

The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Cedric Garland, Dr PH FACE

Ed Gorham, PhD

UCSD School of Medicine
April 9, 2015

View Abstract 

UC San Diego 

Cloudy Climes May Up Risk of Pancreatic Cancer


April 30, 2015

Read Article 

Study links low vitamin D to increased risk of pancreatic cancer

Fox News

April 30, 2015

Read Now

Video of the Week 

Vitamin D Prevents Cancer: Is it True?

Carole Baggerly, Founder and Director


Cedric F. Garland, Dr PH FACE

UC San Diego School of Medicine

June 2009

Watch Now 


Vitamin D Stops Breast Cancer Cell Growth

JoEllen Walsh, PhD

Albany State University of New York

Watch Video 


Serum Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of premenopausal breast cancer

Cedric F. Garland, Dr PH FACE

UC San Diego School of Medicine

Watch Video 

View Transcript

Possible 75% less cancer deaths with vitamin D

Short D*Facts video

Carole Baggerly


Cedric F. Garland, Dr PH FACE

UC San Diego School of Medicine

March 2010

Watch Now

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