November 25, 2015

Director's Letter 
Carole Baggerly 
Director, GrassrootsHealth 

Thank you for being a part of GrassrootsHealth, whether you started out with us at our first seminar in December of 2008, or just found out about us today, we appreciate your support and your own efforts to spread the word about vitamin D. 

GrassrootsHealth was established to get the message of vitamin D beyond academic journals, out to people who could put the existing information to use in their own lives or the lives of their patients, family, and friends. While more research and information may still be needed to better understand the details of how vitamin D works, the information that is already known should be shared and put to use without waiting 17 years or longer (it has already been 35 years since the Garland brothers first published their observation of the association between higher vitamin D levels and lower rates of colon cancer!). How many painful diagnoses of cancer, diabetes, pre-term birth, or several other diseases might we prevent during those 17 years?

This year was a big one for GrassrootsHealth - it marked the first time a major medical institution, the Medical University of South Carolina, partnered with GrassrootsHealth and changed its standard of care to include vitamin D testing, supplementation, and education for all prenatal patients. This is the first step to changing lives, changing our health care system, moving research into practice.

As you read this newsletter please think about those friends and family members who could benefit from one of our three studies: Protect Our Children NOW!, Breast Cancer Prevention, and general D*action. Would you be willing to sponsor 6 of them? Please see the section on our D*advocate program for more information.

Finally, as 2015 comes to a close, please consider GrassrootsHealth for your year-end giving. As a 501(c)(3) organization, your donations are tax deductible and would go towards initiatives that further our ability to engage in public outreach for vitamin D,  more projects, more information sharing, and funding of programs such as Protect our Children NOW! Contact me if you want to take on one of these initiatives with your company - or donate here for an end of the year contribution.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Carole Baggerly
Director, GrassrootsHealth
A Public Health Promotion & Research Organization
Moving Research into Practice NOW!
Thankful for our Participants

When you order a vitamin D test from GrassrootsHealth, you might think you are getting your vitamin D level checked - but that is not all. While you do get that very important piece of information to help you manage your own health, you are also taking part in crowd-funding major research in vitamin D and helping to move research into practice. With your help, we are now starting to see some institutions initiate a change in standard of care to include vitamin D testing and supplementation.

There are three different projects that are active within GrassrootsHealth.

  • Started in 2009
  • 9194 participants
  • 64 % female / 36 % male
  • Mean age = 52
  • Mean 25(OH)D = 45 ng/ml

There have been many newsletters that have crunched data from this project in different ways - by age, gender, latitude, sunlight exposure, and exercise frequency. One of the most compelling analyses that has come from this study was that no one supplement amount can be recommended. The chart below shows that vitamin D serum level varies WIDELY by supplementation amount. To truly solve vitamin D deficiency you need to:
  1. Test
  2. Change supplement level or practices
  3. Test again

repeat until it is where you would like, or within the recommended 40-60 ng/ml range.

Click to Expand

Breast Cancer Study
  • Started in 2011
  • 1979 participants
  • All women over 60 and cancer free at time of enrollment
  • Mean age = 66
  • Mean 25(OH)D =  48 ng/ml
In an analysis of data gathered through mid-2014, 839 of 844 women remain cancer-free and have a median 25(OH)D serum level of 50 ng/ml. Five women have been diagnosed with breast cancer; four of these women had 25(OH)D values below the median. Overall there was an 80% lower rate of breast cancer among those ≥50 ng/ml compared to those <50 ng/ml.

Click to Expand

Protect our Children NOW!
  • Started in 2015
  • 20 participants
  • All women 18 or older, starting at 12-17 weeks gestation
  • Mean age = 33
  • Mean 25(OH)D = 38 ng/ml
Note: Many of these participants were already aware of the importance of vitamin D and taking 4,000 IU/day at the time of enrollment and are not the typical pregnant women as portrayed in the 2nd chart below.

The work of Drs. Wagner and Hollis at the Medical University of South Carolina has shown that vitamin D replete women (> 40 ng/ml) are more than 50% less likely to have a preterm birth than women who are vitamin D deficient (<20 ng/ml). This evidence has been published in multiple papers using data from two randomized control trials. Preterm birth and many complications in pregnancy and early childhood could be prevented, see our pregnancy disease incidence chart.

Click to Expand

This research along with the chart below, which shows that only 7% of women have levels of vitamin D recommended for pregnancy, demonstrates how urgent it is to move research into practice in OB practices and hospitals.

Click to Expand

The Gift of Vitamin D Become a D*advocate

Do you have a passion for vitamin D? Are you wondering what to give your friends and family?

You can accomplish both by becoming a D*advocate. We are running a special until the end of this year which is the best offer for home vitamin D tests on the Internet --  for $300 you will receive:
  • Six vitamin D test kits
  • A letter you can customize for your recipients explaining the power of this gift
  • Six  5,000 IU bottles of Bio-Tech Pharmacal vitamin D
This is a retail value of $492, so you are getting over a 40% savings by buying now. If you would like us to ship separately to your friends and family, for $350 GrassrootsHealth will send your packages for you. Take advantage of this offer today!

Become a D*advocate today!
Editor's Letter 
Susan Siljander 
Marketing Director, GrassrootsHealth

I hope you learned something from this summary of our research. GrassroostHealth provides a great service to the community with its at-home vitamin D tests, but that is not our reason to exist. We are much more than that. We want to provide a service, and in return you provide us data we can use to help change the world - to move research into practice. It is very costly to run randomized control trials (RCTs) and many would not use the high supplementation levels that are necessary. It is very powerful to have your data, the answers to your health outcomes and your vitamin D serum level - to investigate and analyze different ways. We then work in conjunction with our scientists to publish papers with the hope of moving this research into practice--your answers!

So, with this summary - know that there are people you could introduce to one of these trials. You could start them on a way to a healthier life, and also help provide data for ongoing research into how vitamin D can solve a host of health problems - at a fraction of the price. Think about giving these tests to your friends or family as a holiday gift - 6 tests for $300, including a bottle of vitamin D from Bio-Tech Pharmacal and  letter explaining your gift. This could be the perfect gift for the person who has everything. Do they need another sweater? Another gadget?

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving with friends and family,

Susan Siljander
Marketing Director, GrassrootsHealth
A Public Health Promotion & Research Organization  
Moving Research into Practice NOW!
Order Now
Your participation in this project provides information for your answers to D questions and helps fund the GrassrootsHealth projects.

Happy Thanksgiving 

From the 
GrassrootsHealth Family
Join the
Protect Our Children NOW!
Vitamin D Forum


Ask and browse questions about how vitamin D will protect your pregnancy and the future health of your child.

Join NOW! 

Open to any US woman, 18 years or older, at 12-17 weeks of pregnancy

November is Prematurity Awareness Month

The United States has one of the highest rates of preterm birth of any industrialized country.

Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death.  

YOU can help solve the vitamin D deficiency epidemic by throwing a D*party!

What is involved in being a host?
  • Host a get-together
  • Educate on the benefits of vitamin D
  • Offer enrollment into our D*action Study
PLUS, the host has the opportunity to earn a free gift from GrassrootsHealth, and one for each of the D*party attendees.

is Vitamin D Awareness Month
"November is an important time for Canadians to examine their vitamin D levels because lack of this essential vitamin can have a negative impact on every Canadian's health - young or old, healthy or not,"
-- Dr. Reinhold Vieth.
First GrassrootsHealth project. Anyone can participate.

Join Now

Breast Cancer Study 
Project for women 60 years or older who don't currently have breast cancer.

Find out more 

Protect our Children NOW!
Project for women over 18 who are just starting their pregnancy.

Find out more

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