August 10, 2016

Director's Letter
Carole Baggerly
Director, GrassrootsHealth

SCREENING is key to knowing what to do.  We are initiating a community screening campaign to build awareness, to take action.  As we go around the country, we have many individuals who are now knowledgeable about their vitamin D, but, NO big community groups taking action as fast as they could.  Please work with your friends, workers, community to initiate such an awareness campaign where you live.  LIVES can be changed, helped by vitamin D today. 

Please let us know how it goes for you, for your community.  (We have a video by Dr. Robert Heaney, 'Why Test' that is an excellent piece for review and/or sharing. )


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

Vitamin D Screening A Community Effort

As Carole says... we can't wait!

Many of you know your vitamin D level, but if you don't know the specific number within the last 6 months, then you are due for a test. Click here to get a test from GrassrootsHealth.

Start a vitamin D revolution in your community. We have a new vitamin D screening campaign that allows any business to offer vitamin D test kits to their community.  Where is the location in your community that is the hub of health information?
Ideas include
  • Coffee shop or restaurant
  • Vitamin or health store
  • Chiropractor/Acupuncture/Massage office
  • Pharmacy
  • Retail outlet
  • Health club
Approach the establishment with this idea. Let them know about vitamin D deficiency. Some great tools to bring are the vitamin D FAQ and our disease incidence prevention chart. Explain what they would receive the following: 

  • 5 or more test kits (which they would purchase and resell)
  • Poster and educational materials
  • Coupon offer for that outlet

If they are interested, email Susan with the contact information and we will follow up and ship them their materials.

First time exposure to vitamin D education and testing
Just imagine... you walk into your local store and there is a poster telling you to SCREEN TODAY - you might be deficient and at risk for disease!  So, you pay for a test, take it at home, and fill out a questionnaire.
About a week later you get an email telling you your results are ready and to log in to your account to get your actual vitamin D level (25(OH)D) and a reminder of the optimal level (40-60 ng/ml). You also get a coupon for that store - so you can return to buy more product or services at a discount and to discuss your vitamin D level.
The community builds...
As more and more people test, the store will get a summary of the (de-identified) results. They can post the outcome for that community. Most likely that health community will realize a large portion of their group is deficient and at greater risk for disease. As more and more people test and raise their D levels the community may notice
  • fewer colds and flu
  • less pain
  • reduction in arthritis 
While not noticeable overnight, here are some of the key research findings  about the difference vitamin D can make
  • 67% less cancer (for women)
  • 50% less diabetes
  • 70% less falls in the elderly
  • 50% less heart disease
  • 59% less preterm birth
  • 13% less gestational diabetes
  • 71% reduction in post partum depression
  • 70% reduction in common colds (for baby)
  • 20% reduction in asthma (for child)
Contact Susan if you would like to offer vitamin D screening in your establishment or you would like us to contact a likely candidate in your community.
Health and Wellness Initiative for Employers

Another community that benefits from healthy members is your workplace. What would be the talk around the water cooler if all employees were provided a free vitamin D test kit and asked to participate?
What was your level?
Did it hurt when you pricked your finger?
Did you watch the GrassrootsHealth videos on sunlight?
How much do you need to raise your level by?
How are you going to do it?
Want to go for a walk at lunch and get some sun?
Which supplement did you buy?
A year later... in an executive meeting...
I can't believe absenteeism is down!
Our employees are connecting through their daily lunch walks.
I had several employees thank me personally for providing that vitamin D test.
Did you see that report from GrassrootsHealth - before and after numbers?
How does it work?
Screening can be a company-wide initiative. Since vitamin D deficiency allows people to be more susceptible to colds/flu, low energy and depression, raising vitamin D levels can lead to greater office productivity!
This low-cost/high yield health and wellness initiative could be done in stages, depending on the size of the company. The cost per test is $65. We recommend a tiered approach, whereby they pay $975 per month to test 15 employees at a time. Every employee would be tested and we would provide vitamin D education materials so all employees could understand the benefits of raising their levels to the optimal range (40-60 ng/ml). We would also provide a report to management of the (de-identified) levels within their company.
Over time, it can take about 2 months to raise a level, the company would see the benefits of a workforce with higher vitamin D levels. The company could even opt to test again in 6 months and run a contest for the biggest change or the person who most closely estimates their new level.
If you know an employer in your community who would be willing to participate please give their contact information to Susan.
How Many People are Vitamin D Deficient Today?

The vitamin D status of the US population from 1988 to 2010 using standardized serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D shows recent modest increases
Rosemary L. Schleicher et al.
National Center for Environmental Health,
Centers for Disease Control, US
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
July 2016

The paper above gives an in depth analysis of vitamin D levels in the US adult population as reported in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). NHANES was started in the 1960s and assesses the health and nutritional status of the US population through surveys and physical examination (including 25(OH)D levels). This paper reports standardized information about temporal trends in the vitamin D status of the US population.

GrassrootsHealth was founded in 2007 and from 2007 to 2010 this paper shows modest increases in vitamin D use. Did all of our information and your grassroots efforts help? We hope so, as we can see that while almost 90% of US adults are still below the target range of 40-60 ng/ml, between 2001 and 2010 there has been a slight increase in adult vitamin D levels.  The latest data set (2009/2010) shows twice as many US adults have vitamin D levels ≥40 ng/ml in 2009/2010 (11.3%) compared to 2001/2002 (5.7%).

Click to expand
Compare this data to our GrassrootsHealth cohort, a group of individuals who have received vitamin D education and know the importance of levels within 40-60 ng/ml. You can see the blue curve, GrassrootsHealth, has a much higher average level of D.

Editor's Letter
Susan Siljander
Marketing Director, GrassrootsHealth

This is an exciting time for our communities. I have been going out to our small community of Encinitas and asking for retail businesses to participate. I have found the best luck with those retail businesses that are small, don't have to go up the corporate chain, and are health minded.

Many businesses understand the importance of providing a valuable service, and in turn the coupon/offer brings those customers back (which is always a goal with any business - the more repeat/regular customers the better).

So, now is the time to join our grassroots effort - to be the feet on the street in your community. If you could just ask three businesses, maybe one will be interested, and you can send it our way

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.

Sun protection (including sunscreens) to prevent basal cell carcinoma and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma of the skin

Guillermo S´┐Żnchez et al.
University of Bogota, Columbia
Cochrane Review
July 2016

This review analyzed one RCT of 1621 Australians who applied sunscreen daily or occasionally over 4.5 years. They found no more risk of basal cell or squamous cell cancer with intermittent use of sunscreen over daily use.

The vitamin D status of the US population from 1988 to 2010 using standardized serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D shows recent modest increases

Rosemary L. Schleicher et al.
National Center for Environmental Health,
Centers for Disease Control, US
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
July 2016

Why Test Vitamin D!?
Dr. Robert Heaney
Creighton University
GrassrootsHealth Research Director
March 2013

This webinar, with Carole Baggerly and Dr. Heaney, explains the importance of measuring your vitamin D levels. 

Click here to receive weekly news from GrassrootsHealth.

Scientists' Call to D*action
48 international vitamin D researchers join in promoting immediate public health action on vitamin D through achieving serum levels of 40-60 ng/ml.
Updated 8/11/2015

Disease Incidence Prevention Chart
A chart showing the required vitamin D serum levels for prevention of many diseases including cancers, falls, heart attacks and diabetes and several others. 
Updated 8/24/2012

Moving Research into Practice
A summary booklet of key vitamin D research findings by GrassrootsHealth

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