April 13, 2016

Director's Letter 
Carole Baggerly 
Director, GrassrootsHealth 

Last week, we presented the results of a study that we did with a combination of YOUR data and data from the randomized trial published in 2007 by Drs Lappe and Heaney et al.

The results showed >65% lower risk of cancer with vitamin D levels of > 40 ng/ml. 

The average level in the population is less than 30 ng/ml AND... the average person doesn't know their D level. 

The first step is to get the word out, the next is to get people testing. Next week we will launch an action program to help you sponsor others in this fight for health. 

This week, please enjoy the stories from others about how they are treating their conditions with vitamin D and remember to get yourself up-to-date. If you haven't tested your D level in the last 6 months then you are due. Click here to go to D*action

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

Treating your Condition with Vitamin D

In March we profiled how vitamin D can be used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS).  While there are not many papers documenting vitamin D as a treatment protocol, we asked you, our readers, to help us document what you are doing, to let us know how you use vitamin D to treat your condition.

Multiple Sclerosis

We had three people respond with MS. All take "a lot" of vitamin D compared to the mainstream, but as we learned last month, not very high at all compared to doses specifically targeted to treat MS.
  • One respondent takes 8000 IU/day, has a vitamin D level of 84 ng/ml, and has been without any relapses since December 2010. She used to have quite a lot of dizziness (vertigo), but the dizziness is gone.
  • Another respondent takes 7400 IU/day - her D level increased from 8 to 54 ng/ml and now her brain feels "clearer" after years of feeling cloudy all the time.
  • Our final respondent takes 4000 IU daily - says she feels better after having raised her vitamin D level from 8 to 48 ng/ml.
Hashimoto's and Lyme Disease

This respondent takes 10,000 IU/day vitamin D, along with supplemental magnesium and K2. She has been on this protocol for 10 years and has raised her vitamin D level from 18 to 96 ng/ml. Her first diagnosis was almost 30 years ago.

"Today, at 59 years old - I feel 30 again. I do not even take the thyroid meds that they put me on. Instead I use Gaia Herbs' Thyroid Support and EuroPharma's Tri-Iodine."
Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR)
(sometimes called Silent Acid Reflux or Burning Throat)
This respondent started having symptoms in 2007 and was diagnosed in 2009 with an extremely severe form of LPR. After many medications and surgery, her doctors told her there was nothing more they could do. In April 2011 she developed a progressively worsening leaking bladder and locked up shoulder blades. Because the searing throat was unbearable she could only focus on that.
In August 2011 she started taking 6000 IU/day vitamin D as an experiment. She was treating herself and did not have any reference point. To her utter amazement the leaking bladder and locked up shoulder blades completely disappeared in 24 hours and never returned. The LPR took much longer to slowly fade away, but she is presently in a type of remission. She believes that if she had taken a higher dose to start with it would have gone away faster. She currently takes 8000 IU/day and gets sunshine daily at high noon in Northern California, 38 degrees latitude (note: this latitude does not produce vitamin D in the winter months).
Her current D level is 88 ng/ml. She also notices that if her vitamin D level falls below 62 ng/ml, her LPR slowly returns. If this happens she increases her daily dose to 10,000 IU/day for three days.

"My health has done a complete 180!"

She is 64 and in the best shape of her life. She surmises she was severely vitamin D deficient since birth. Her arthritis and knees were bad, and she used to fear stairs - now she has strong legs, reduced pain, and can live a normal walking life. Gone, also, are the days of getting sick every two weeks, dark circles under her eyes, puffy skin, extreme exhaustion, poor memory, dry skin and anemia. 

"Vitamin D and sunshine have restored my quality of life."

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease of the axial skeleton. This respondent's vitamin D level was 27 ng/ml when he starting treating his condition with vitamin D in February 2015. His vitamin D level is now over 150 ng/ml, with calcium levels in the normal range. He has had significant change in his condition and his prediabetes marker has improved. He is also under a doctor's protocol.

He gets as much as 30 minutes of sun a day. He took 20,000 IU/day vitamin D for over a year to get up to 150 ng/ml and has recently down-graded to 4000 IU/day due to recommendations from his doctor and nutritionist.

Vision and General Health
(In the respondent's own words)
I follow your web site daily along with Vitamin D Council.  I am 65 years old and live in Minnesota.  I began taking 5K IU/day in 2010, and have not experienced a respiratory illness since.   In October 2012 I upped my dose to 50K IU/day for a couple of weeks, then 30K IU/day for another couple of weeks, and then 20K day for two years.  I now take 15K IU/day. 
December 2012 my hairdresser said the roots of my hair were darkening, and the following month, that hair was growing into my bald spot.  In 1988 I lost most of the sight in my right eye due to idiopathic optic neuritis.  In September 2013 I started to notice pattern and color in an area formerly without sight.  By August 2014 I had recovered nearly all the sight in my right eye, my vitamin D level 104 ng/ml.  My physician says that the optic nerve has remyelinated, and he says he is unaware of any other case where this has occurred 25 years later. 
I attribute recovery of sight to high-dose vitamin D, as nothing else has changed.  I took 5k IU/day for nearly two years without any noticeable effects other than no respiratory illness, in contrast to previous years when I had two or three colds per winter. The first evidence of darkening of hair occurred about 8 weeks after I started the 20k IU/day but continued for a couple of years.  I haven't noticed much change in the past year.  I did not notice the changes to vision until about 10 months after taking 20k IU/day - and the vision gradually improved over the next 12 months. As stated earlier, it is now almost completely back to normal. An important point is that all of the more remarkable effects occurred while I was taking doses of at least 20,000 IU per day.  I think this is important because it suggests the dosages necessary for remyelination of nerves and the duration of treatment. It doesn't happen overnight!  And, it is obvious, different effects occurred on different time tables
Hence my strong interest in the health effects of Vitamin D, and my fascination with the efficacy of very high dose D on otherwise refractory illnesses and autoimmune diseases. 

Make a Difference Today - Join D*action Research

When we first started D*action many people could not get cost-effective vitamin D tests. Now, people use D*action because they...
  • want an independent test of vitamin D
  • want a test in the comfort of their home
  • don't have insurance
  • want to support GrassrootsHealth
We have a large number of participants (blue balls), but relatively few of our participants are regulars who test 1-2 times per year (the smiley face balls). While data from each and every participant is helpful and appreciated, our research becomes more robust with each return test and questionnaire. Additional tests over time also allow us to better analyze conditions that change over time (i.e. pain, cold, flus, falling, broken bones) and see how those conditions relate to changes in serum level.

Your data has been presented to large audiences, published in journals, read by doctors world-wide. Here are some examples of how your vitamin D data has contributed to research and made a difference:
Editor's Letter
Susan Siljander
Marketing Director, GrassrootsHealth

I always enjoy hearing from participants and fellow vitamin D enthusiasts. It is enlightening. It is not scientific. It is not a double-blind, randomized control trial. But, sometimes the stories help give information... hope... ideas...

We will continue to provide as much research as possible so that you can make informed decisions. Our aim is to move research into practice, so that everyone can improve their quality of life with vitamin D - there would no longer be a need for extra research, extra effort, arguing with your doctor.

My hope is that this cancer paper hits the news hard. Hard enough that a few people will be willing to give it a try and want to start a large-scale community project. I would like to watch a community - from the beginning, over five years - and measure their vitamin D sufficiency and health outcomes. We have the infrastructure in place. We have done this world-wide with D*action. Now is the time to move it into a community, a health-care practice, a hospital.

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.

Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations ≥40 ng/ml are Associated with >65% Lower Cancer Risk: Pooled Analysis of Randomized Trial and Prospective Cohort Study
Sharon L. McDonnell, MPH et al.
April 2016

Post-hoc analysis of vitamin D status and reduced risk of preterm birth in two vitamin D pregnancy cohorts compared with South Carolina March of Dimes 2009-2011 rates
Carol Wagner, et al.
A GrassrootsHealth paper
Medical University of South Carolina
October 2015

Incidence rate of type 2 diabetes is >50% lower in GrassrootsHealth cohort with median serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D of 41 ng/ml than in NHANES cohort with median of 22 ng/ml
Sharon L. McDonnell, MPH et al.
A GrassrootsHealth paper
The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
July, 2015
Read Paper

25-Hydroxyvitamin D in the Range of 20 to 100 ng/ml and Incidence of Kidney Stones
Stacie Nguyen, MPH et al.
American Journal of Public Health
October 2013

25(OH)D Serum Levels May Provide Additional Reduction in Breast Cancer Risk
Sharon L. McDonnell, MPH et al.
A GrassrootsHealth Analysis
American Society for Nutrition, Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting
April 2014

Quantifying the food sources of basal vitamin D input
Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
October 2014
Sharon L. McDonnell, MPH et al.
A GrassrootsHealth Paper
Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
November 2013

Quantifying the non-food sources of basal vitamin D input
Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
October 2014
Sharon L. McDonnell, MPH et al.
A GrassrootsHealth Paper
Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
October 2013

Letter to Veugelers, P.J. and Ekwaru, J.P., A Statistical Error in the Estimation of the Recommended Dietary Allowance for Vitamin D.
Robert Heaney, MD et al.
A GrassrootsHealth Paper
March 2015

All-Source Basal Vitamin D Inputs are Greater Than Previously Thought and Cutaneous Inputs are Smaller
Robert P. Heaney, MD et al.
A GrassrootsHealth Paper
The Journal of Nutrition
March 2013

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