September 16, 2016

Director's Letter 
Carole Baggerly 
Director, GrassrootsHealth 

Did you know that fully one out of every seven men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime? (source: Prostate Cancer Foundation) This is much too high.

I have a husband, as many women do, who has had prostate cancer AND treatment. I encourage any of you women, who have a husband such as mine, to make sure that your husband gets on vitamin D right now and measure their serum levels. It matters!  Please note that the men in Dr. Hollis' study reached a plateau of about 60 ng/ml taking 4000 IU vitamin D / day for a year, and, those were the ones with the biggest benefit.  We need to constantly focus ourselves on the serum level vs the intake as being the appropriate biological marker.  We will publish more on this next month.

Since it is prostate cancer awareness month, it is a good time to remind everyone about our scientists' findings on vitamin D and prostate cancer. Both Reinhold Vieth and Bruce Hollis have been involved with vitamin D for a very long time and are ambassadors at their universities for vitamin D. They have both started studies giving larger doses to study participants, something that was thought to be unsafe before 2015. (Dr. Hollis was the first to get permission to give 4000 IU/day back in 2007.)

Of interesting note,  one out of every seven men get prostate cancer in their lifetime, and one out of every eight women get breast cancer.  Approximately 200,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in a year; 250,000 women with breast cancer.  Have you noted how much advertising and time gets spent on prostate cancer vs breast cancer?  

The American Cancer Society notes funding of $88MM for breast cancer, only $42MM for prostate cancer.  While I very
much believe we need to have research for breast cancer, what's happening to the men?  How can we address this???  I'd be very interested in your comments and/or input on this.

I hope you forward this newsletter to every man in your life.

Please also continue to ask your friends to sign our petition. If you have already signed, please share it on your Facebook page. 

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


Mike Scott, 74 years young
Cedar Park, Texas

Mike's full story was
reported April, 2015. In 2010 he was diagnosed with prostate cancer (Gleason score of 7). In 2011 he had a positive biopsy for prostate cancer and decided to take 10,000 IU/day vitamin D and delay treatment. In 2012 he had another biopsy - and it came up negative for prostate cancer. 2013 biopsy - again no cancer.

Mike, how is your health now?

My vitamin D level now is 80 ng/ml (August 2016). I test every six months, so my next test is in January 2017. My blood level varies a little depending on whether it is summer or winter, but it typically ranges from 60 ng/ml to 90 mg/ml. 

My present PSA is stable. My PSA goes up and down depending on digital examination, bedroom activities, dental inflammation, or possibly even Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH). Bottom line is... PSA is not a direct test for prostate cancer, it is just the best thing we have short of invasive biopsy. (Note: Dr. Hollis comes to the same conclusion in his webinar)

What do your doctors think?

I go in yearly to my primary care physician and oncologist. My original biopsy core samples were a Gleason 7. Today its zero  - negative  for prostate cancer. I do not have another costly biopsy scheduled until 2017.

What health advice do you give young men?

I tell all men in my family over 30 to have an annual PSA test and to take 5,000 IU of D3 every day. I also recommend checking baseline vitamin D levels twice a year - winter & summer.

Vitamin D is the greatest WONDER ELEMENT I have ever used.
Video of the Week:
Vitamin D and Prostate Cancer

Dr. Bruce Hollis

Dr. Bruce Hollis received his Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science from Ohio State University. His PhD was obtained in Experimental Nutrition from the University of Guelph in 1979. He did an endocrine fellowship at Case Western Reserve University from 1979-1982 and was then appointed to Assisted Professor of Nutrition. In 1986 he moved to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) as Associate Professor of Pediatrics. 

Today, Dr. Hollis is the Professor of Pediatrics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at The Medical University of South Carolina as well as the Director of Pediatric Nutritional Sciences. He has been involved in vitamin D research for the past 35 years and has published in excess of 200 peer reviewed articles. He has had many National Institute of Health grants and currently has 2 active research project grants under the National Institute of Health.

Dr. Sebastiano Gattoni-Celli, MD, is a Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Medical University of South Carolina and a Health Research Scientist at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston. He is an expert on health disparities in prostate cancer and the Principal Investigator of several federally funded clinical studies on patients diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer and supplemented with 4000 IU vitaminD3 daily. He holds two vitamin D-related INDs from the FDA for conducting these studies and is the senior author of all peer-reviewed scientific publications associated with this research effort. 

Dr. Gattoni-Celli just received five more years of funding from the NCI for continuing his research on vitamin D, low-risk prostate cancer, and health disparities.
"Vitamin D3 supplementation at 4000 IU/day for one year results in disease regression as assessed by biopsy in low grade prostate cancer patients." -  Bruce W. Hollis

Information from March 2013 Webinar

Hollis and colleagues ran an intervention study at MUSC on 52 men who had been diagnosed with stage 1 prostate cancer. They purposely did not conduct an RCT - they wished to give everyone in the study vitamin D. They chose to give everyone 4,000 IU vitamin D / day for one full year while they were on a "wait and see" approach with their cancer.
The overall result was that the majority (almost 60%) had a reduction in tumors (but no change to PSA) as opposed to doing nothing (they compared against non-participants and historical data). Of the 52 men, 15 (29%) went from a Gleason score of 6 to a Gleason score of 0.
This study also took skin color (race) into account. There were 37 Caucasians, 14 African Americans, and 1 Asian. The webinar shows a graph of how, over the year's time taking 4,000 IU/day, the African Americans and Caucasians reached the same vitamin D level (a mean of 60 ng/ml) - but the African Americans started at about the value of the Caucasians. (Graph below - dotted line is African Americans, solid line is Caucasians.)
Is 4000 IU/day the right amount?

The study above showed promise, but do note that at the 12 month mark, while the mean was 60 ng/ml, there is a big disparity in 25(OH)D levels. There is one as low as 38 ng/ml and one near 95 ng/ml. It is important to test your level and, for prostate cancer, we would recommend a goal of about 60 ng/ml. 

Information from November 2014 seminar
Since this talk was part of our seminar - Vitamin D for Public Health - Integrating Sunshine, Supplement and Measurement for Optimal Health - Hollis starts with a good background of vitamin D levels, skin type, and how hard it was to create research studies with therapeutic doses of vitamin D.
Hollis' institution, MUSC, has a large population of African Americans so he gave some skin type reminders. Hollis explains that a person with darker skin needs about 10 times as long in the sun as a person with fair skin, and that one minimal erythema dose (enough sun exposure to make you pink) is about the same as taking 20,000 IU of vitamin D.
Hollis always emphasizes the importance of daily D3 intake, because it is the D3 in the blood, not 25(OH)D, that diffuses into the prostate cell. D3 has a half life of approximately 24 hours, so it needs to be replaced daily to keep high levels of D3 circulating in the blood.  Within the prostate cells, D3 is metabolized into 1,25 hydroxlase (1,25(OH)2D).
Hollis describes the study done at MUSC about 24 minutes into the video. With 4000 IU / day they showed reduced prostate tumors in almost 60% of the participants.
He also explains the follow-up RCT where they gave either 4000 IU/day or a placebo to men diagnosed with prostate cancer who were being scheduled for a prostate removal. 

Over the two month wait, participants were given either 4000 IU/day or a placebo. They enrolled 27 men - 10 African Americans (AA) and 17 European Americans (EA).  Hollis shows pictures of the scans, which are analyses of gene activity in the different prostate samples. This study found big differences in the genes of AA vs. EA prostates. AA had an over expression of genes related to inflammation, which is most likely why AA prostate cancer arrives earlier in age and progresses faster. They confirmed that vitamin D does affect expression of genes related to inflammation, especially among AA men.
His conclusion is that circulating D can greatly affect the prostate gland AND it is very important to take daily vitamin D. 
Editor's Letter 
Susan Siljander 
Marketing Director, GrassrootsHealth

I do have a husband over 30 and this newsletter is a great reminder, that even though his D-level is within the recommended range (40-60 ng/ml), it would be best if he took his D daily. (He is unable to get outside during his work day for a D break). So, I will heed the call and remind him to take his vitamin D daily and to aim for about 60 ng/ml.

On another front, I was excited to start our petition to petition the US Breastfeeding Committee to change the DRI for breastfeeding women to 6400 IU vitamin D per day. As of writing it is almost 900 strong. While I do not know how many signatures will make our government take action, I would feel better if we were in the thousands, not the hundreds. How can we pass the 1000 barrier? The only way I see is to get out to the normal OB, lactation, and pregnancy community. Not those that are already on the natural forefront. 

Could you help? Do you have a contact at a hospital, OB practice, pregnancy or lactating web site or Facebook page? Please share this information with them, or send us the contacts. This information needs to hit the mainstream - our childrens' lives depend on it!

Have a great week.

Susan Siljander
Marketing Director, GrassrootsHealth
A Public Health Promotion & Research Organization  
Moving Research into Practice NOW!

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Order Your Home Vitamin D Test TODAY!
Your participation in this project helps provide answers to your D questions and funds all the GrassrootsHealth research and promotion.

Stop Vitamin D deficiency now! Raise vitamin D DRI to support breastfeeding mother and baby.

Los Angeles
Saturday, October 1
9am - 4pm

Dr. Joseph Mercola
Carole Baggerly
James LaValle
Charles Chen

Gleason Score
The Gleason grading systemis used to help evaluate the prognosis of men withprostate cancer using samples from a prostate biopsy. A Gleason score is given to prostate cancer based upon its microscopic appearance. Gleason scores range from 2 - 10, 2 being very low risk and 10 very high risk.

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is present in small quantities in the serum of men with healthy prostates, but is often elevated in the presence of prostate cancer or other prostate disorders. PSA is not a unique indicator of prostate cancer, but may also detect prostatitis or benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Digital Examination Examiner inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to examine the adjoining prostate.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a noncancerous increase in size of the prostate.

Dr. Sebastian Gattino-Celli, MD is running a RCT to further explore the conclusions found in their 2013 study. 
It will include 200 men - 100 taking placebo and 100 taking 4000 IU/day of vitamin D. The study will follow those individuals for 1 year as they watch their prostate cancer (low risk, wait and see approach). 
Results should be published in 2018-2019. 
Vitamin D Reduces Prostate Cancer Associated Lesions
Reinhold Vieth, PhD
University of Toronto

Randomized clinical trial of vitamin D3 doses on prostatic vitamin D metabolite levels and ki67 labeling in prostate cancer patients.
D Wagner et al.
University of Toronto
Intervention with prostate cancer patients - dividing them into 400 IU, 10000 IU, and 40000 IU / day.
April 2013

Vitamin D, Prostate Cancer and Health Disparities
Bruce W. Hollis, PhD
Medical University of South Carolina
Webinar with Q&A
March 2013
Watch Now

Results of a Prostate Cancer/Vitamin D Trial: Effectiveness, Safety, Recommendations
Bruce W. Hollis, PhD
Professor of Pediatrics, College of Medicine
Medical University of South Carolina
Seminar presentation
November 2014

Vitamin D3 supplementation, low-risk prostate cancer, and health disparities 
Bruce W. Hollis et al. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology July 2013 

Transcriptome differences in prostate cancer highlight racial disparities, vitamin D Article, Science Daily July 2016 

Finally: Missing Link between vitamin D, prostate cancer Science News October 2014 

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