July 6, 2017

Director's Letter  

Many articles recommend you get all your nutrients from food, but I agree with Dave Asprey, founder of BulletProof, and his article Why Getting Your Nutrition Only From Food is A Bad Idea.  

When asked 'can't I get all I need from foods?', my general response is 'only if you eat a lot of whale blubber!'  Most people need at least 4000 IU/day of vitamin D. Salmon has about 400 IU/serving... are you going to eat 10 servings a day?  Milk has 400 IU/quart--let's see now, that's 2 1/2 gallons of milk a day!  

With vitamin D the common line is "you will have plenty vitamin D as long as you drink milk and get outside 15 minutes a day." That does not seem to be working for the average American, as the average vitamin D level is 24 ng/ml* (60 nmol/L), well below the recommended 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L). (*NHANES data 2001-2010)

From 2009-2011 we asked about food in our questionnaire. We analyzed what foods, if any, were making people vitamin D replete. We wrote a paper in 2013 on the topic which concluded most people need more than food to reach a vitamin D level greater than 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L). They either need supplements or purposeful, regular, non-burning sun exposure. See below for more detail.

For Omega-3 Index levels which we are tracking in the D*action+Omega-3 project, we do not yet have enough data on our project to come to a conclusion on food changes. However, we reviewed a paper that did increase Omega-3 Index through a change in diet by substituting more Omega-3 rich foods for normal rations. As more people join D*action+Omega-3 we will be able to show you some information you might use as a guide about how to get to the recommended index level (above 8%) with food, supplements or both.

The GrassrootsHealth Wellness Center has launched and we believe it is a great way to get your natural products and give back to a worthy cause. If you haven't done it yet, please enter and check out your favorite products. The products are discounted and you can get free shipping for purchases over $50. Please give us feedback - Were your favorite products available? Was the pricing what you expected? Would you like to see anything else? 

Carole Baggerly 
Director, GrassrootsHealth 
Moving Research into Practice NOW!

In an earlier version of the GrassrootsHealth D*action questionnaire, 2009-2011, there was a section on diet. We used data from this section for 780 non-supplement taking participants, aged 16 years or older, to analyze food sources of vitamin D. The results of this research on vitamin D food sources may surprise you. Traditional foods may not quite give you the results you were taught in school. We found that most people can not get enough vitamin D from food alone.
Participant Story: Getting Vitamin D from Food Alone

Learn from this D*action participant about how she gets almost all her vitamin D from home-grown food. It may not be easy, but the power of D*action is having many people question how to get within recommended levels of 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L).

A group of researchers set out to try to revamp military food - wanting to swap the ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Read about the changes that improved Omega-3 Indexes to almost ideal in this research paper review.
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Quantifying the Food Sources of Basal Vitamin D Input
A GrassrootsHealth Paper
Sharon McDonnell et al.
Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and molecular Biology
November 2013

Vitamin D status of Canadians as measured in the 2007 to 2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey
Kellie Langlois et al.
Statistics Canada
March 2010

Blood fatty acid changes in healthy young Americans in response to a 10-week diet that increased n-3 and reduced n-6 fatty acid consumption: a randomized controlled trial
Andrew Young et al.
British Journal of Nutrition
May 2017

All-Source Basal Vitamin D Inputs Are Greater Than Previously Thought and Cutaneous Inputs Are Smaller
Robert Heaney et al.
The Journal of Nutrition
March 2013

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