It’s time. GrassrootsHealth has more than 10,000 people who have joined the D*action campaign since January, 2009 to participate in our worldwide project to solve the vitamin D deficiency epidemic. Progress is terrific, but very, very slow. We have been looking for a grassroots way to get people involved in one specific community that could get results quickly and, take their message to the local public health officials to literally demand action for everyone.
In October, 2011, "Vitamin D Supplementation During Pregnancy:Double-Blind, Randomized Clinical Trial of Safety and Effectiveness" was published by Hollis & Wagner in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, Vol. 26, No. 10, October 2011, pp 2341–2357. This study very clearly showed that not only was 4000 IU/day taken by pregnant women safe, but, getting the vitamin D level in the blood to a measure of 40 ng/ml (nanograms/milliliter) was necessary to maximize the production of the active form of vitamin D which influences the growth of the fetus.
My immediate reaction was “There’s no time to waste! Why not stop the problems caused by the vitamin D deficiency before they start! We CAN do it.” By getting a pregnant mom’s vitamin D level up to 40 ng/ml, we can reduce the incidence of preterm births (the #1 killer of infants), influence the health of the pregnant mom herself and, set the stage for a much lower incidence of early childhood diseases associated with vitamin D deficiency. Further, we can demonstrate to the local community and their leaders a relatively quick action (pregnancy only lasts 9 months—we can certainly do the data analysis in a few months after that) and, we can literally “march on city hall”.
It has taken us several months to put the campaign together. We chose San Diego solely due to the proximity to our organization/people to make it happen. The project could be run anywhere there’s a community leader ready to take it on. We have a well defined program to enroll at least 1000 pregnant women at about their 12th week of pregnancy and will be testing their vitamin D levels at 12 weeks, 24 weeks and at birth. In addition, we will carefully monitor many health outcomes to see what the differences are between this group and the general population. Then, we’ll get our 1000 moms updated with the results and pursue the next public health steps very aggressively! There is absolutely NO need for this problem to continue to exist when we can safely take action today.
There have been 289 studies published this last year alone about vitamin D deficiency and children showing many associations with immune system development, asthma, critical illness outcomes, bone health, dental health, colds and flu. The list goes on. There is absolutely NO excuse to wait. We hope you, as a person interested in your health and that of your relatives and friends and businesses will actively support this project, both through endorsements and sponsorship funding. We can all make a difference! Thanks so much for your contributions of time, efforts and funding.