May 13, 2015

Director's Letter 


Institutions Don't Lead-- Individuals DO


Please watch the video of Dr. Heaney's interview with Dr. Mercola about the vitamin D RDA. In it, Dr. Heaney mentions several times,


"I think moving control out of the hands of an establishment into the hands of the general public carries a long way toward substantial improvement in public health because the official apparatus move with glacial slowness." 


The key thing that GrassrootsHealth has aimed to do from its inception has been to create a sustainable REVOLUTION in health with vitamin D through providing information and tools to individuals to make their own decisions, i.e., to 'manage their own health'. With your ongoing attentions, we are extremely pleased to see that direction is indeed working!


Where do we go from here? How else can you take part/help in making this D-revolution happen in our lifetime?


We are launching a very targeted project, the Protect our Children NOW! (POC) project to work at a community level (not just with individuals - another stage in the revolution) in Charleston, South Carolina with the partnership of some key institutions and their leading individuals:


Rebecca Engleman

Marketing Director

Select Health of South Carolina
Managed Care Insurance Company

Dr. Greg Barabell
Medical Director
Select Health of South Carolina

Dr. Eric Schlueter


Eau Claire Health Center
Federally Qualified Health Care Center

Dr. Roger Newman

Director, OB/GYN Residency Program

Medical University of South Carolina


More organizations are coming on board each and every week to support this project. Further, we now have people in the Montana area ready to start, courtesy of Mary Pittaway, a public health activist, and we have a beginning in the state of Alaska through Representative Paul Seaton. All include individuals who are part of BIG institutions, ready to lead the change in their communities.


The foundation of this project is the scientists who have done the basic research to demonstrate the effectiveness of vitamin D in pregnancy.  Drs Carol Wagner and Bruce Hollis of the Medical University of South Carolina are true leaders here.


How can you help? This POC project can be done anywhere. Its aim is to enroll 500 pregnant women in a vitamin D testing and supplementation program and, to demonstrate the health outcomes (expected 30-50% reduction in preterm births) and take the results to ALL the local community leaders to make immediate changes for all, not just the 500 women enrolled. Results are expected! A true 'pay for performance' project - and, it's short, safe and inexpensive! Let us know if you can help start such a project in your community. We'll help you!  Contact Jen Aliano, Project Manager, for more information. 


Thanks to all of you for your ongoing sponsorship of our international D*action project, those in our Breast Cancer Prevention project (more coming on this one very soon) and all our associated supporters.


The D-REVOLUTION is happening!




Carole Baggerly 

Director, GrassrootsHealth

A Public Health Promotion & Research Organization

Moving Research into Practice NOW!

The Real RDA for Vitamin D is 10 Times Higher Than Currently Recommended


Dr. Robert Heaney, research director for GrassrootsHealth, was interviewed by Dr. Joseph Mercola about the mistake in the current US RDA for vitamin D. Please watch and share this video. It has some great resources including: "story at a glance" for those that want a quick synopsis; an abbreviated video (20 minutes); the complete interview (40 minutes); and the transcript. This topic is important!


As Dr. Heaney mentions in the interview, institutions move with glacial slowness. So, we need to act now for our own benefit. The good news is that for a single person or a single medical practice, this is relatively easy. You find out your vitamin D level and adjust your supplements or sun exposure to get within 40-60 ng/ml. Many doctors, after they have seen a few patients with success using higher doses of vitamin D, learn to use it for their entire practice.


Heaney presented a great analogy -- thinking about our vitamin D blood level as a bank account. It is important to know how much we have in our account (i.e. your vitamin D level) so that we know what we can draw out (i.e. energy, healing, basic bodily functions) and how much we need to put in to replace it (i.e. sun, supplementation).


But Heaney does not feel this is enough. He is passionate for the government to realize and correct their mistake, and not so that we can be right and they can be wrong. He would like the government programs that rely on this RDA to provide the nutrients that are necessary to their constituents. These programs include: military meals, Meals on Wheels, feeding the elderly, and the school lunch program.


The goal of an RDA is stated to be the amount needed to meet the nutritional need of 97.5% of the population. The IOM concluded that 20 ng/ml would meet the nutritional needs of people. This is a value that cures rickets, but is not what GrassrootsHealth research panel recommends. We recommend 40-60 ng/ml for preventive health.


Heaney does a great job of reviewing the history of the IOM's conclusions. He explains Paul Veugelers' paper and how Veugelers showed that the IOM made a mathematical error in determining the RDA.  


He also explains the GrassrootsHealth analysis of D*action data which led to a different paper that demonstrates the RDA should be 7000 IU/day to get 97.5% of the population above 20 ng/ml - the level set by the IOM as the target for adequacy. (GrassrootsHealth research panel recommends a level between 40 - 60 ng/ml to maintain good health.)


Please watch this video and share it or tweet it to your friends and family.


Watch Interview
Video of the Week 


Is Daily Dosing Important?

Bruce W. Hollis, Ph.D.

Professor of Pediatrics, College of Medicine

Medical University of South Carolina


Watch Now  


Dr. Bruce Hollis Dr. Bruce Hollis received his Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science from Ohio State University. His PhD was obtained in Experimental Nutrition from the University of Guelph in 1979. He did an endocrine fellowship at Case Western Reserve University from 1979-1982 and was then appointed to Assisted Professor of Nutrition. In 1986 he moved to the Medical University of South Carolina as Associate Professor of Pediatrics. Today, Dr. Hollis is the Professor of Pediatrics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at The Medical University of South Carolina as well as the Director of Pediatric Nutritional Sciences. He has been involved in vitamin D research for the past 35 years and has published in excess of 200 peer reviewed articles. He has had many National Institute of Health grants and currently has 2 active research project grants under the National Institute of Health.  


In addition to needing the right amount of vitamin D it is important to get vitamin D daily if you want to prevent autoimmune diseases such as cancer. This video explains how vitamin D is used in two different systems:


1. The endocrine system - maintains calcium homeostasis and bone health. This system uses the metabolized form of vitamin D called 25(OH)D which has a half life of three weeks. All the studies on bone health have been successful based on dosage, not frequency, because of this long half life. For bone health, as long as you take a mega dose every three weeks, you will remain healthy.


2. In the autocrine/paracrine system - vitamin D is delivered to non-skeletal systems such as breast, colon, and prostate tissues and helps affect autoimmune disorders, cancer, cardiovascular disease and infections.  In this system, vitamin D goes into a cell and helps regulate cell growth. The vitamin D metabolite responsible for this process, 1,25(OH)D, has a half life of less than 24 hours, meaning frequency of dosing matters when you want to prevent or fight disease.


Editor's Letter 


I had an "aha" moment when writing this newsletter this week. What if the RDA was adjusted, not just to 7000 IU/day - but to require the constituents of government programs (school lunch, elderly, military) to test and achieve blood serum levels of 40-60 ng/ml?




Would autism be reduced? Would there be much less disease? Would there be less absenteeism in school and work? Would there be less falls in the elderly?


GrassrootsHealth doesn't want to just study this problem - we want to DO IT! Please come alongside us and tell as many people as possible about GrassrootsHealth. Ask them to join D*action. Find a women's health center near you that wants to participate in our Protect Our Children NOW! project. You are part of the solution!


Thank you for your support,



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.

Story at-a-glance

The Institute of Medicine's (IOM) recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin D underestimates the need by a factor of 10, due to a mathematical error. 


IOM posits that a vitamin D serum level of 20 ng/ml is adequate, but many researchers believe that is too low; 20 ng/ml has been shown to be inadequate even for prevention of osteomalacia.


To ascertain your ideal dose, you need to test your vitamin D level. Aim to get above 40 ng/ml, and take whatever dose you need to reach and maintain that level.


Watch Interview 

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

Risk Assessment for Vitamin D
John N. Hathcock
Am. J. Clin. Nutrition
January 2007
View Here

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 

Effortless Healing

Decades of Dr. Mercola's experience, now all in one place

Sidestep illness
Shed excess weight
Help your body fix itself

Read about the book here or order on
Video of the Week 

Vitamin D Dosing Interval

Bruce W. Hollis, PhD

Medical University of South Carolina

August 2014

Watch Video


The Role of the Parent Compound Vitamin D with Respect to Metabolism and Function: Why Clinical Dose Intervals Can Affect Clinical Outcomes

Bruce W. Hollis, PhD

J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2013

Read Full Publication


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