December 30, 2015

Director's Letter 
Carole Baggerly 
Director, GrassrootsHealth 

Your last chance this year--the fees paid for the vitamin D test cover less than 50% of what it takes to provide our research and public health outreach.

Please consider being a sponsor of GrassrootsHealth to increase our capabilities of moving research into practice--NOW!

Coming soon: YOUR Nutrient Profile

As noted earlier, the most frequent question we get is 

"How much (D) do I take?"

The second most frequent group of questions are 

"What else do I need to take?  Magnesium?  Vitamin K?  Calcium?  In what combination? Why?"

We don't know.  No one knows.

We do know that all of these (and other) nutrients are important, and, interact with one another in helping our health. 

With your participation, however, we can use your shared information about what other nutrients you take, how much, when, in what form, even what brands you take to start analyzing the data for everyone to answer questions about the impact of your combination on
  • pain
  • cancer
  • cardiovascular disease
  • colds/flu
  • falls
  • diabetes
  • arthritis
  • many, many more conditions

Due to your concerns and even the total industry information needs, we will be initiating a pilot early this coming year to capture Your Nutrient Profile data as part of our questionnaire for our ongoing analysis.  It is an optional piece, but your information can greatly help us all get more information about how nutrients impact our health.  Soon, we will also add a food questionnaire (food, of course, being a terrific source of nutrients!).


I hope you will participate in this pilot, send us your feedback to help us make it easy to use, and, guide us in the type of information that you find useful to use!    


Welcome to the NEW YEAR--full of health, information, and sharing.  I look forward to continuing to work with you all. 




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

Your Data
Your Preferences 

As we move towards reporting on more nutrients, we wanted to review what you told us was important to you. Back in June of this year we asked you, our D*action participants, what nutrients you were interested in, and what health conditions you were interested in preventing.

We also did some research to find out what is happening in the market. We used data from, whose mission is to identify the best quality health and nutritional products through independent testing. Every year they survey over 10,000 people who take supplements to identify trends. Their survey (2012) had respondents who were predominantly over 45 years of age (87%), and female (55%). On average, the respondents take 7 different supplements daily. The following table shows some of their findings along with ours.  

We compared the top health conditions you told us interested you with the percentage of the US adult population (2012) who had been diagnosed with that condition. This data is collected as part of the National Health Interview Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

We would be remiss when posting on these topics not to show our disease incidence prevention chart. While you may have seen it before, this chart is such an important tool to visually explain (and remember) why vitamin D sufficiency is so important. Many of these conditions you expressed interest in are on the chart. The colored boxes show what research has told us about disease reduction due to vitamin D. You want to keep your vitamin D level to the right of those boxes.
Vitamin K... Another Calcification Nutrient to Consider?

In early 2014, we hosted a webinar with Sarah L. Booth, PhD, Director of the Vitamin K Laboratory at Tufts University, to provide you with a scientific understanding of how vitamin K is processed in the body and the results of key studies on vitamin K. The information is still useful today, so if you missed the original airing, or need a refresher, here are some of the highlights.

FAQs on vitamin K and D with Dr. Booth

What is the best form of K to consume and how much should I consume?
  • At this time, I feel that there is not enough data to promote one form of K over another. Most of the research has been done with K1. I think it is important to have them all.
  • Consume K through a varied diet with emphasis toward plant products.  
  • The evidence to support a need for additional K supplementation is still very weak. (Per CBaggerly: this is why we are adding a nutrient profile to our questionnaire)
Is it important to consume vitamin K with vitamin D supplement?
  • I don't yet see any evidence to support the need for taking supplemental K if you are taking supplemental vitamin D.
What is the right balance between calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K?
  • Work with your physician to measure your levels of calcium and D and determine your need for those nutrients.
  • Obtain vitamin K from a balanced diet.
Dr. Booth recommends eating a diet rich in vegetables and plant oils. She believes this will provide more than adequate vitamin K.
Webinar Summary

Dr. Booth does a thorough job in this webinar explaining that there are different forms of vitamin K (there are 13!), how vitamin K works in the body, and reviewing important results from several studies, mostly with vitamin K1.  She reviews the dietary sources of different forms of vitamin K, explaining that we get K1 from green vegetables and plant oil, and K2 from natto and dairy sources.

The current US dietary recommendation for vitamin K intake is 90 micrograms/day for women and 120 micrograms/day for men. To give you an idea of how much that is - there are approximately 90 micrograms of K1 in cup of broccoli.

If you take oral anticoagulants (Warfarin, Coumadin), it is important to know that vitamin K in any form, and particularly in the form of MK7, will interfere with its action.

There have been some articles about calcification and how it could be caused by excessive vitamin D without sufficient vitamin K. She explains, through studies and diagrams, how that works and alleviates any fear of taking vitamin D.

Much of the webinar is based on summaries of different vitamin K studies - both observational and RCT, both with and without vitamin D and calcium. Her final recommendation is to take vitamin D and calcium and to get K from your diet.

Per CBaggerly: As you can see here, this nutrient has so much attention and as many of you know, has several different viewpoints.  It is our objective to use the very large size of our cohort to help address the questions raised by Dr. Booth.

Watch webinar

Editor's Letter 
Susan Siljander 
Marketing Director, GrassrootsHealth

While vitamin D is important, it is not the only nutrient or strategy that we use to improve our health and prevent disease.  I use other supplements, try to eat a healthy diet, practice daily prayer and exercise. I am not currently battling a disease, but if I were - there would be other tools in my arsenal.

GrassrootsHealth is in the process of expanding our research and education to other nutrients and you will reap the benefits. Scientifically-based information about other nutrients will be developed, and you will have opportunities to be part of more at-home testing and investigation to help you better track your own health profile.

Let's bring MORE research into practice!

Wishing you a happy new year and much health in 2016.

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.

Vitamin D Council
Interview with Carole Baggerly
A Closer Look at the GrassrootsHealth Project
Protect our Children

D*advocate Program

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

For $300 you will get:
  • 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

Approximately 80% of pregnant women are vitamin D deficient.

Protect Our Children
NOW! is a project to protect pregnant women and their babies from vitamin D deficiency and its health consequences. Deficiency is easy to avoid through education, regular testing and supplementation.

Learn more

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

Survey Results of the Most Popular Types of Supplements
Feb 2013 - Results of 2012

Summary Health Statistics for US Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2012
Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control

Vitamin K... Another Calcification Nutrient to Consider?
Sarah L. Booth, PhD
Associate Director and Senior Scientist
Director, Vitamin K Laboratory
Tufts University

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