July 13, 2017

Director's Letter  

Is it important to try and replicate our natural state? Do you think it makes a difference in your health to eat as our forefathers ate? To get sun as they did? Or do you think we could be just as healthy staying inside, working on computers, eating engineered food? 

Sometimes these questions make me think of a mix of my favorite science fiction books. In these books everyone has the same body type; walking around in full-body Lycra suits; eating engineered meals which come from a push of a button in the wall; then walking to their assigned job in the "community". 

Is this better? Would people be healthier? Would disease be eradicated?

Maybe not.

But I would say that in that future, if it were to work, we would not want that engineered food to be based on the whim of the government, but on science. And I think the most important science would be to find out what nature intended our nutrients to look like. Not what they are now. 

Today we are bringing you the findings of researchers who have studied this for both vitamin D (ancestral levels appear to be above 40 ng/ml) and Omega-3 (there is scientific agreement an omega-3 index above 8% is a risk factor and a target for therapy with cardiovascular disease). If after reading these articles you think, "I want to ensure I am at those levels!" then remember that the only way to know is to measure. There is far too much variability in both vitamin D and Omega-3 to be able to just 'prescribe' a certain amount for optimal health. 

And how do you measure? D*action or D*action+Omega-3.

Carole Baggerly 
Director, GrassrootsHealth 
Moving Research into Practice NOW!

Should we look at ancestral levels of vitamin D to determine our target today? We report on two research papers with data from five different East African tribes. East African vitamin D levels were naturally over 40 ng/ml (no supplements)  and even higher during pregnancy (no prenatal vitamins). What can we learn from this research?

Researchers are finding that the Omega-3 Index is a both a risk factor and a target for therapy for cardiovascular disease. It is recommended to keep Omega-3 Index level above 8%. See a map of common values around the globe, and see why omega-3s aid cardiovascular disease.
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Traditionally living populations in East Africa have a mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration of 115 nmol/l (46 ng/ml)
Luxwolda MF et al.
British Journal of Nutrition
January 2012
Read Paper

Vitamin D status indicators in indigenous populations in East Africa.
Luxwolda MF et al.
European Journal of Nutrition
August 2012
Read Paper

Vitamin D and the Human Family Tree
Robert P. Heaney
Blog Post
August 2015
Read Blog

Global survey of the omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid in the blood stream of healthy adults
Ken Stark et al.
Science Direct
July 2016
Read Paper

The Omega-3 Index: Clinical Utility for Therapeutic Intervention
William S. Harris
Current Cardiology Reports
Read Paper

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