August 19, 2015

Director's Letter
Carole Baggerly
Director, GrassrootsHealth

Vitamin D's role in Evolution? 

Our highlighted article this week is from Dr. Robert Heaney about the role vitamin D has played in the evolution of our species. This is data associated with the Barker Hypothesis which was published in 1994 indicating that poor nutrition during pregnancy affects the health of at least the next 2 generations. Dr. Kent Thornburg of OHSU has studied the health of the placenta and demonstrated that one can predict the rate of heart attacks for a newborn when then are 50 years of age based on the health of the placenta. Stunning!  This is certainly one of the reasons our Protect our Children NOW! project to raise the vitamin D serum levels of pregnant women is so important.  Please take a look at Dr. Heaney's information and take a look at your family, friends, acquaintances to see how you can share this health information.

And, please make use of our resource, Ask a Scientist, to ask any questions you have related to the blog.

Vitamin D in Rhyme
Relax for a minute and kick off your shoes
You'll learn something about vitamin D
Keep reading to find out what it can be
Rhymes are a great way to tell stories and remember information, especially for children. We're happy to share with you a children's book about the benefits of vitamin D. We have come a long way - the existence and consequences of vitamin D deficiency are being discussed outside of scientific journals and research conferences; it doesn't get much more mainstream than a children's book.

In this edition, we created a sidebar, Best Tools to Use, which has links to our most effective handouts. 

We have also published responses to your questions from last week and give our sincere thanks to researcher, Dr. William Grant, for his time in answering those questions.
Carole Baggerly 
Director, GrassrootsHealth
A Public Health Promotion & Research Organization
Moving Research into Practice NOW!
Blog of the Week
Vitamin D and the Human Family Tree  

null Robert P. Heaney, BS'47, MD'51, is a clinical endocrinologist specializing in nutrition. He is the John A. Creighton University Professor Emeritus. 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 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 blog, Dr. Heaney reviews some of the evidence presented by Leonard Greenfield, a physical anthropologist/paleontologist at Temple University, as he presents a persuasive case for a critical role of vitamin D, both in shaping the evolution of modern humans, and in explaining the disappearance of the Neanderthals.
Could it be that vitamin D deficiency led to the demise of the Neanderthals? As populations moved northward out of Africa, a reduction in available sun exposure would have led to a loss of skin pigmentation to enhance synthesis of vitamin D. As they continued to higher latitudes and areas covered by clouds, additional vitamin D from food sources would have become increasingly important. While Homo sapiens developed cultural practices for fishing and eating the meat of marine mammals, giving them food sources for vitamin D, Neanderthals did not.
Where does this lead? What are the consequences of one group having a more adequate vitamin D status than another? Read the blog and find out.
Book Review
Dinosaur Douglas Has Fun in the Sun!  

Author Heather Maisner joined forces with Paediatric Consultants at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital (England) to tackle the problem of vitamin D deficiency in a new, dynamic way. Dinosaur Douglas Has Fun in the Sun, written in rhyme and illustrated by street painter and artist Alex Godwin, is the first fun picture book to encourage children to spend time in the sun, while taking care not to burn. It also helps them learn which foods are rich in vitamin D.

"I was really impressed with the way the children were able to connect to the books ... even about something as complex as Vitamin D. The discussions that resulted were really fruitful. The themes, covering healthy lifestyle choices, are unlike any that I have been able to find for children in a fictional text, so I personally found it really useful." - Kimberley Buchanan (Teacher, Greenside Primary School, London W12)
Editor's Letter
Susan Siljander
Marketing Director, GrassrootsHealth

The average age of D*action participants is 54 years old and many of you have grandchildren. You found out recently about the benefits of vitamin D and have used it to help improve your quality of life. But what about your children or grandchildren? Maybe your children haven't embraced the benefits of vitamin D yet, leaving them and their children vulnerable - so maybe this children's book could help. Maybe it is the story you read to your grandchildren whenever you babysit? Maybe it is a present you give to them?

I have known about the benefits of vitamin D since my third child was born - so she has had sun or supplementation her whole life. And.. propaganda works! Here is a picture of her around 2 years old "playing" with Winnie the Pooh - giving him his daily vitamin D drops.

Please notice the sidebar, Best Tools to Use, it has resources that succinctly explain the benefits of vitamin D. Just choose one - email or post on social media and explain it.

Thanks for all of your help!
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.
Questions answered by
William B. Grant, PhD
Sunlight, Nutrition and
Health Research Center

Does Vitamin D strengthen or weaken bones?

Vitamin D synthesis

Should I stop supplementing if my test reports a high level of vitamin D? 

Diabetes affects over 9% of the population.  

What if we could prevent diabetes?

GrassrootsHealth found 60% lower incidence rate of diabetes with vitamin D levels above 40 ng/ml.

We need to tell the world!

Donate today to make our publication OPEN SOURCE (everyone can read it).  We have an open invoice for $3000 to pay for that access. We will be happy to highlight any commercial sponsors in our next newsletter as well.

View Paper

Questions Answered by
Robert P. Heaney, MD
Professor of Medicine
Creighton University  

If you have a question about vitamin D and the human family tree - click here

We will publish the answers in a future newsletter.  
Open to any US woman, 18 years or older, at 12-17 weeks of pregnancy


D*certified Practitioners

Take two CME courses online to become D*certified

Register today 

Vitamin D Deficiency In Modern Humans and Neanderthals
Leonard O. Greenfield, PhD
Professor of Anthropology
Temple University 
Order Book 

Sign up for our Newsletter!
Click on the image above to receive weekly news from GrassrootsHealth. 

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

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

View our videos on YouTube
Contact Us