November 1, 2016

Correspondent on the Ground 
Christine French
Analyst, GrassrootsHealth 

It's been an exciting couple of days at the American Public Health Association (APHA) meeting and expo, and looking forward to the next couple of days!
We've been talking to a lot of people at our booth and around the conference about vitamin D and cancer prevention. We've found that while many are aware of vitamin D and know that it is important for good health, very few have ever had a vitamin D test or know their level. So, the first part of the message is sinking in, but we still have more work to do to raise the level of awareness of the importance of testing.

Our Halloween treat was to sit in on a presentation by Dr. Joan Lappe on some data from her recently completed randomized clinical trial - the first RCT of vitamin D to look at cancer as a primary outcome. She found a significant reduction in cancer risk for those in the treatment group versus the placebo group, and when analyzed by serum level, the difference between those who reached the highest levels (over 50 ng/ml) vs. those in the lowest group (less than 30 ng/ml) was staggering! Can't wait for this study to be published so that we can share more details with you!

Thoughts from Carole Baggerly, Director GrassrootsHealth

At our first APHA exhibit, back in 2008, many people came to our exhibit, but most actually derided the potential impact of vitamin D. That has not happened at all, this time! We have found much awareness of "vitamin D," but there's still a long way to go with learning more about serum levels and the fact that serum level is the relevant measure. We really appreciate anyone's input as to how to further clarify that message to the public.

Vitamin D Day
November 2, 2016

 Vitamin D day was created by the Vitamin D Society and is co-sponsored by both GrassrootsHealth and Vitamin D Council.

Participate in social media
  • Change your avatars or Facebook cover photo using images from the Vitamin D Day web page.
  • Download and print handouts and posters. Bring your favorite to work with you and hang it in the lunchroom.
  • Join the "thunderclap" -  pledge to support vitamin D day.

Great beginner materials

This web site has great beginner materials including a short video, vitamin D myths (too much is bad for you!), and vitamin D facts. Some have much text - others are graphical. Peruse the web site and find some that work for your audience. 


Share on social media. Print out and bring to work or to friends - you could change a life! 


It is important to be within the recommended range of 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L). So... what is the call to action for these new recruits? To test their level. It might be cheaper/easier/faster to test at home - and they can feel good that their health information is going to research, so send them to our D*action page.
The Sunshine Calendar
Courtesy Vitamin D Council

Vitamin D comes from the synthesis of UVB radiation, which is less than 5% of the solar light spectrum. Depending on the time of day and time of year - there may not be enough UVB to produce vitamin D. The UVB strength is dependent on your latitude, and thus all cities in the same latitude have similar UVB exposure (barring pollution or fog).

To read this map find your location; which latitude lines are you within? Then, read across - from January to December to see what months you are able to produce vitamin D. Red dots mean good UVB availability, orange is moderate availability, yellow is low, and clear is non-existent. Which months can you get vitamin D from the sun where you live?

Also remember that you need to be out in prime hours, 10am - 2pm, or when your shadow is shorter than you.
Survey Results
Cold and flu survey - fall 2016

Our September 7, 2016 newsletter reported on how vitamin D can prevent colds and flu. In addition we asked you - our participants - to fill out a survey about your experience with having higher vitamin D levels (the average vitamin D level in our D*action cohort is 44 ng/ml - 110 nmol/L) and your experience with colds and flu. 

Here are the results
  • 143 people completed the survey.
  • About half (52%) were less than 65 years old and half (48%) were 65 years or older.
  • 70% were females and 30% were males.
  • The median serum level was 57 ng/ml among those who tested in the past 3 years.
  • The median intake of vitamin D was 5000 IU/day.

What about the flu?

  • 17% reported being vaccinated for the flu during the 2015-2016 season
  • 7% reported experiencing the flu in the 2015-2016 season (WebMD cites a general population incidence at 5 - 20%)
  • There were no significant differences in flu rates by age, gender, or vaccination status
  • Of those who experienced the flu, 40% had been vaccinated.
  • The median serum level for those who experienced the flu was 50 ng/ml vs. 57 ng/ml for those who did not experience the flu (significant at the 72% level); the median vitamin D intake was 5000 IU/day for both.



A number of people commented on the fact that they have not experienced the flu in the many years since taking vitamin D.  Many people reported less frequent illness, reduced symptoms, and shorter length of illness since taking vitamin D.

Editor's Letter 
Susan Siljander 
Marketing Director, GrassrootsHealth

We wanted to send this news out in time for vitamin D day. Since you are an avid reader - please help spread the word by downloading the thunderclap image (bottle cap) and telling people to go to: 

These images are near the bottom of the page (scroll down). Then you can right click on the image to save it to your computer or phone. Then, go into Facebook and save it as your cover photo for one day. 

Have a great week!

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

Order Now
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.

We've Won an Award!

GrassrootsHealth is speaking and participating at this year's American Public Health Association (APHA) annual meeting and expo. 

You can still participate through online sessions - check out the website for options.

GrassrootsHealth booth


Global awareness starts with understanding more about vitamin D deficiency. 

Download handouts and FAQs on vitamin D to share with friends, co-workers, family. 

We've Won an Award!

The American College of Nutrition has selected GrassrootsHealth to be the American College of Nutrition's Humanitarian Award recipient for 2016. 

This special award acknowledges an individual or organization who has worked selflessly and effectively in the broader field of nutrition to benefit humanity. 
Please attend ACN's annual conference, November 9-11, 2016, San Diego, CA.

Share your story
Make a difference

Fred Hutch, a company dedicated to curing cancer, HIV/AIDS and other disease through research, has a web page to submit your story.

If you have been freed from a debilitating disease - cancer, fibromyalgia, MS - through vitamin D - please submit your story. 

Recap of Cold and Flu

Participants with vitamin D levels ≥ 40 ng/ml reported 41% fewer cases of the flu and 15% fewer colds than participants with levels <20 ng/ml. 

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