March 9, 2016

Director's Letter 
Carole Baggerly 
Director, GrassrootsHealth 

Last week's news was eye-opening, wasn't it? Dr. Cicero Coimbra's treatment may not be the panacea for MS, but it is a treatment and we will be studying it. GrassrootsHealth has the translational research methodology to take all the patient data Dr. Coimbra has amassed over his 16 years of treatment and figure out if it is beneficial. Is there harm in so much vitamin D? Is there harm in reducing calcium for prolonged periods of time? Is there harm in taking patients off their MS drugs? 

This week we are presenting two success stories from the Coimbra Protocol. Both Brazilian women. Both with long-term success. Both are so excited to have their lives back that they dedicate time and resources to tell others about this treatment.

But maybe you don't have MS. Maybe you have another condition. We would like to hear from you! We would like to know how you are battling your disease with vitamin D. Is it working? Is your doctor on board? Please take a moment to give us your comments. We will summarize the results in a future newsletter. 

The more we band together, the more evidence we can give you on what a vitamin D resplendent life looks like. Please take advantage of our REJOIN special (tests under $50) to get your latest vitamin D level, and equally important for everyone - give us your latest health data through the questionnaire. By having up to date information on our 10,000 participants - this allows us to analyze and publish the scientific evidence about vitamin D. 

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

Overcoming MS - Ana Claudia

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

My name is Ana Claudia, and I'm 47 years old. I'm from Brazil but I have lived in the US for the past 20 years. Currently I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

How did you hear about GrassrootsHealth?

I found the GrassrootsHealth page through vitamin D articles on Facebook.

How was your health before using vitamin D?

About eight years ago, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I was 40 years old. My first flare up was very aggressive and it affected pretty much my whole body, from the neck down. I felt tingling and numbness on many parts of my body, I lost control of my right arm, I had weakness on my left leg. I was very sick for many months. Even after starting with the prescription meds, I didn't feel I was getting any better. Actually, I was getting worse. 

It was then that I found out about a treatment being prescribed in my home country by a neurologist called Dr. Cicero Galli Coimbra. This treatment involved high doses of vitamin D. At the time I did a lot of research about it, liked what I found, and decided to try. After I started taking high doses of vitamin D, my symptoms stopped getting worse and then slowly disappeared. 

One by one, my problems reversed, and my MS went into remission. I have been on this treatment for almost 8 years now, and have had no further problems with MS. No flare-ups, no new lesions or disease progression, as shown in my MRIs. Actually, my last MRIs, done in May of 2015, showed that my lesions are shrinking. I no longer feel any fatigue or heat intolerance, which are two very common symptoms in people with MS. I'm completely healthy and full of energy, and I couldn't be happier with this treatment. 

How much vitamin D do you take? Do you go out in the sun?

I take 60,000 IU a day and also enjoy the sun whenever possible.

What is your vitamin D blood level?

My levels are high but I don't know exactly how high because the lab where I do my tests only lists >200 ng/ml. The high levels of vitamin D are not considered a problem, instead we watch the calcium level. I follow a diet with no dairy or calcium enriched foods, and every 6 months have a round of blood and urine tests for calcium levels, liver, kidney and thyroid function, etc. My test results in these 8 years of treatment have been within normal range. Before I started the treatment my D level was about 42 ng/ml.

What would you recommend to others who are in a similar situation?

I recommend that patients that suffer from autoimmunity get all the information they can about the importance of realistic doses of vitamin D for these diseases. Once they are well informed about this treatment, it's easy to understand the need to keep higher levels of vitamin D. Today, there are thousands of patients following this protocol in Brazil and other countries, many of them for over 10 years, with amazing results and no side effects. Currently there are more than 40 doctors prescribing it.

How do you tell others about vitamin D?

I'm a member of about 50 Facebook groups and other online health forums. I try to give at least one hour of each day to talk to others about my experience so far, and encourage them to get informed about high-dose vitamin D. Until recently I've been mostly in groups and forums from Brazil, but now I hope this treatment becomes known by patients everywhere.

Thank you for sharing your story, Ana. We wish you further good health!
Book Review: 
Multiple Sclerosis 
and (lots of) 
Vitamin D

Ana just published a book on her experiences and it is available on Amazon. This book recounts Ana's experiences with MS and her treatments under Dr. Coimbra in Brazil.

Why did you feel you needed to write a book?

I wrote this book because for years I have tried to talk about the Coimbra Protocol in English speaking groups, but it has been extremely difficult since most people don't like watching videos with subtitles, and don't want to take the time to use Google Translate to have access to Dr. Coimbra's interviews and patients' testimonies. I kept waiting for more information in English to become available, until I realized that maybe I should open the way, by writing about what I've learned, following the Coimbra Protocol for the last eight years.

Who did you write it for?

To all patients with an autoimmune disorder. This treatment really is about balancing the immune system and halting its misguided attacks. In the book, there are testimonies of improvements for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and Crohn's disease. This treatment is just as effective for these diseases as it is for MS.

Do you see it making a change in the MS community?

I hope it does.

The MS community in Brazil has been through great changes since the Coimbra Protocol became known, so I don't see why the same thing couldn't happen in the US. In Brazil, it was the patients' demands that encouraged more than 40 doctors so far to start prescribing it. The same is now happening in Italy, Portugal, Spain, and other countries. When patients become aware this exists, when they realize how safe and effective it is, that's when they have the power and confidence to present it to their doctors. It's a slow process, but things have to start somewhere.

How do you hope this helps others with MS? Especially those that can't go to Brazil for treatments.

Four years ago, a young woman from Italy contacted me through Facebook. She had found out about Dr. Coimbra and wanted to go to Brazil for a consultation. I and other members of our groups gave her all the information and reassurance she needed. She went to Brazil and started her treatment. She has had amazing improvements since then, and has been telling others in Italy about her experience. Today, this young woman has created the biggest Italian FB group for MS, with over 11,000 members. Through her, other Italian patients went to Brazil, and through them, two Italian doctors have reached out to Dr. Coimbra and are now prescribing the protocol in Italy, making it accessible to thousands of people in Europe. 

The same thing has happened in Portugal, Croatia, Spain, Argentina, and Peru. So, while not everybody will be able to travel overseas for this treatment, some people will, and sometimes, one person is enough to bring about the change we need. I hope this book will help with information. Only when patients and doctors are aware of this option, it will be possible to make it available here in the US.

"UNLESS someone like YOU cares a whole awful lot, NOTHING is going to get better. It's NOT."

Participant Story

Nayra's MS Adventure, as told by her Mother

Sixteen years ago, when Nayra was 10 years old, she started having symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). It took three painful years to get it properly diagnosed and during this time she had multiple relapses, her MS was progressing. When she was finally diagnosed, they initially prescribed her copaxone, a painful daily injection. You can imagine - this was not suitable for a 13-year old. During this time I started to research MS. As I researched, I got more and more depressed. How could a life of disability be in store for my young, beautiful daughter? How did she get such a serious, incurable illness? 

One day, I met a neurologist who had MS. She couldn't walk without the aid of canes and had difficulty speaking, but she gave me the name of a YAHOO group where I could get answers to some of my questions.

Another mother from that YAHOO group reached out to me and changed my daughter's life. She also had a daughter with MS and she told me about Dr. Cicero Coimbra. She explained her daughter's treatment and the marvelous care she was getting from Dr. Coimbra. I scheduled an appointment right away.

Our first visit lasted almost four hours, with detailed explanations of the treatment and what we could expect from it. We left full of hope and with a prescription for Vitamin D and some other supplements. As soon as we left the appointment, Nayra said she would never take the injections again. Dr. Coimbra had told us that it made no difference if she kept taking copaxone or not; it was up to us. Vitamin D would balance Nayra's immune system, and the disease would go into remission.

This was in 2003, Nayra has been on high doses of vitamin D for 13 years now. She has never taken another injection or steroids and the best part is that she has not had another relapse. Over the initial months Nayra's fatigue was gone; she enrolled in the school's indoor soccer team. She started walking to school again. Every part of our lives improved.

Initially appointments with Dr. Coimbra were three months, then every six months, and finally annually. Thus the years passed, with dose adjustments, regular lab tests, taking the supplements, following the specific diet required by the protocol, and most importantly, taking the vitamin D (she currently takes 65,000 IU/day).

When Nayra was 18 she lived for two years in Italy by herself, and never had any symptoms. She goes through her life as any other young woman; she studies, works, travels, rides her bike, does sports, goes to the gym. And takes her vitamins. One recommendation that Dr. Coimbra really insisted upon was that she should do everything possible to avoid stress, because stress and anxiety can trigger relapses. With vitamin D and no stress, there's been no relapses for all these 13 years. Nayra has a completely normal life. She's a beautiful, lively, healthy young woman.

In the beginning of 2015, Dr. Cicero requested MRIs so we could compare them to the previous images. And what a surprise! All the lesions on her brain and spinal cord were gone! There was only a small, almost imperceptible lesion on the brain. I am thankful to God that I was given information about Dr. Coimbra - he has given us back our lives.
Editor's Letter
Susan Siljander
Marketing Director, GrassrootsHealth

I hope you enjoy this newsletter as we continue our series on multiple sclerosis. I love to hear these success stories. It is great to hear people energized by the changes in their life, how they help others.

In effect, that is what GrassrootsHealth has always been about. Furthering good health and prevention through research - initially vitamin D. We will expand to research and analyze more nutrients, more conditions. I am very hopeful that we will use our translational research methodology to spread the word.

Thank you for your feedback in our survey and also for your continued support of D*action.

Have a great week,

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.

How do you treat your condition with vitamin D?

Answer a few short questions on how you treat your condition with vitamin D.

We will summarize the results in a future newsletter.

Find it on Facebook

Many of these web sites are not in English - but you can use Google translation to read the posts and comments

Esclerose Multipla - O Tratamento (Brazil)
16,500 members

Per un'altra terapia - 
Vitamina D per la SM 
e per le malattie 
autoimmuni (Italy)
11,700 members

Multiple Sclerosis -Vitamin D
560 Members

Esclerosis Múltiple 
Latinoamérica - Altas 
Dosis de Vitamina D (Latin America and Spain)
560 members

Only Under Doctor Supervision

This newsletter is in no way intended to encourage or push patients to begin high dose Vitamin D therapy without the opinion and consent of a medical doctor. Health risks can be serious and may involve toxicity, other drug interactions, or organ damage. 

Doses over 10,000 IU/day, if not managed properly may cause irreversible damage of renal function or cause other medical complications. 

It is important to understand that doses of vitamin D are specifically calculated by Dr. Coimbra based on individual patient parameters during the medical examination. Therefore, it is necessary to seek treatment with high dose vitamin D from an experienced medical doctor.

New Book

Book on the Coimbra Protocol for multiple sclerosis and other auto-immune diseases. 

Follow one women's journey to healing, and read other success stories.

Video Story

Watch this video story from Clarice Catalda - about how she regained her life through the Coimbra Protocol - her MS is completely in remision.

Is Vitamin D Inadequacy in Early Life an Instance of the "Barker Hypothesis"?

Robert P. Heaney, MD
Research Director, GrassrootsHealth
Creighton University
Nutrition Today
January/February 2016

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