June 15, 2017

Director's Letter  

If you see your young child about to step out into a busy street, you'd quickly 'grab' the child to get them out of the way. No questions asked, you'd just DO it!

With vitamin D, there are several areas of such urgency where we need to MOVE quickly and firmly to save those involved. Alzheimer's is coming into the fore as something whose pattern can be quickly changed and another area, the one we've been working on already, is preterm births.
  • 384,000 preterm births/year in the US(1)
  • 192,000 could likely be prevented with vitamin D in mom to at least 40 ng /ml (100 nmol/L)
  • $9,600,000,000 potential savings each and every year
$9.6 Billion Could Be Saved!
Is it time to solve this problem?  What does it take?
  1. Science - the safety of the solution (demonstrated in an RCT), the speed of the effect (9 months), a cost savings potential to motivate all involved
  2. Methodology - development of the total protocol
  3. Leadership - the readiness and capability of a Leader in an institution, Dr. Roger Newman at the Medical University of South Carolina was the first, who will be next?
Dr. Roger Newman has been leading the way since Fall 2015, implementing a vitamin D program for every pregnant patient. You can read below the status of this program. 
GrassrootsHealth is also working with Palmetto Health Richland in South Carolina and Dr. Berry Campbell, another leader in the Maternal and Fetal Medicine arena.  

"Adding a supplement as simple as Vitamin D3 into a woman's daily regimen can help her achieve a vitamin D serum level of 40 ng/ml. This serum level improves her health and the health of her unborn child. The best thing about this new protocol is that it is affordable and can be done by any woman at any time," Campbell said. "The best results come from women who have begun taking Vitamin D3 prior to becoming pregnant."
A further note: Fully 50% of all infants in the US are born under Medicaid (source Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation).  With the current challenges to the Medicaid budget, just imagine the savings of $4.8 BILLION due to something so safe, so fast, so simple as vitamin D.

We need your sponsorship dollars to help us continue to implement these projects in hospitals around the country, to save the lives and the dollars. Please help us today, make a donation (don't forget matching contributions of employers), let us know how you can help.

The time is NOW!
Carole Baggerly 
Director, GrassrootsHealth 
Moving Research into Practice NOW!


(1) 384,000 preterm births/year = overall preterm birth rate in the US is 9.6% (source:  March of Dimes Birth Report Card); approximately 4M babies born in the US yearly (source:   Centers for Disease Control); additional cost of $50,000 each baby (source:  March of Dimes )
  Vitamin D and Pregnancy

Since 2011, researchers in South Carolina have shown that vitamin D serum levels of 40-60 ng/ml during pregnancy are safe and effective.

Safe - no kidney stones, no hypercalcemia, no adverse effects. Effective - they tested vitamin D blood levels (25(OH)D) and typically raised it above 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) which later became their target. No one in the trials reached a level above 150 ng/ml (considered potentially unsafe).

    Medical University of South Carolina Leads the Way

In a bold move, MUSC Health has become the first health care provider in the nation to recommend that pregnant patients who are considered vitamin D-deficient take enough vitamin D to get to a 40-60 ng/ml serum level. The intake can be anything from 2000 IU/day up to the maximum of 10,000 IU/day.. Neonatologist Carol Wagner called it a quantum leap in clinical practice. "It's already translated into benefits for our pregnant moms," she said.

                 Palmetto Health Richland Leads by Example

We are excited to launch our second Protect Our Children NOW! project in South Carolina at the Palmetto Health Richland. Vitamin D testing and supplementation will be available at no cost to all pregnant women receiving care at the clinic. The project will include patient and health care provider education, screening and vitamin D supplements--leading to the opportunity for better health for an entire generation.  This is a wonderful opportunity to improve health outcomes and save lives, starting in utero. 
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Traditionally Living Populations in East Africa Have a Mean Serum 25(OH)D of 115 nmol/L
Martine Luxwolda et al.
British Journal of Nutrition
November 2012

2017 Workshop on Vitamin D
Vitamin D in the Prevention of Health Disparities During Pregnancy and Early Infancy
Held March 2017

Vitamin D Supplementation During Pregnancy: Double-blind, Randomized Clinical Trial of Safety and Effectiveness
Bruce Hollis et al.
Journal of Bone and Mineral Research
December 2011

Gestational Vitamin D Deficiency and Autism-related Traits: The Generation R Study
A.E.  Vinkhuyzen et al.
Molecular Psychiatry
November 2016
Vitamin D in Prevention and Therapy and Biologic Effects of Light

June 21-23, 2017
Homburg, Germany

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