Published on May 29, 2020

There is an outstanding question right now in this COVID-19 pandemic of why persons of darker skinned ethnicities are literally dying at a rate 2.5 times higher than lighter skinned individuals. In some articles, the implication is made that this issue is created with socio-economic status. Certainly, any socio-economic disparity is to be acknowledged, but another factor less commonly highlighted is that those with dark skin are more likely to be vitamin D deficient. This deficiency is something we can address immediately and move forward with actions aimed at getting all people’s vitamin D serum levels up to at least the 40-60 ng/mL recommended by the GrassrootsHealth D*action Scientists’ Panel of 48 international vitamin D experts.

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Dr. Reinhold Vieth explains the concept of Paleolithic Nutrition with Sunshine and Vitamin D

For what reason could skin color have such a large effect on our health, to the extent that the mortality rate of COVID-19 is so much greater among dark skinned populations? In the video below, Dr. Reinhold Vieth clearly explains the history of the human species, our ability as a species to adapt and evolve to new environments, and how lighter skin is an example of such an adaptation in order to maintain our ability to survive and produce offspring.

Key points Dr. Vieth makes include the following:

  1. Publications of the vitamin D levels amongst the African Maasai, herders living a traditional lifestyle near the equator, showed an average of 44 ng/ml
  2. Additionally, their levels increased during pregnancy
  3. The Vitamin D Paradox: ‘African Americans Need Less Vitamin D and Calcium’ for bone health is challenged by asking a NEW Question: “What Fitness Benefit was there Favouring White Skin and LESS Bone than Blacks?” Read more here.

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Read a Transcription of the Video Here

Dr. Reinhold Vieth

Dr. Reinhold Vieth retired as director of the Bone and Mineral Group Laboratory at Mount Sinai Hospital, and is an expert on the clinical nutrition, pharmacology and safety of vitamin D. He has served as an expert adviser on vitamin D related matters for the Institutes of Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control in Washington, the American Geriatric Society and Health Canada. He has been the principal investigator on many clinical trials involving vitamin D, ranging from osteoporosis to immune health.


  1. Recognize that vitamin D supplementation and that of its co-nutrients can be implemented now
  2. For GROUPS/Community/Medical Groups’ Options
    • A community/group randomized controlled trial (RCT) following the same protocol as the one being led by the Medical University of South Carolina, with GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute working with them as an external affiliate.
    • A Field Trial with GrassrootsHealth’s standard process of Education and Testing using the unblinded protocol being used in the RCT. (Participants will get direct feedback on what their Nutrient Levels are and information/education directed to that protocol.)
      • Dr. Carolyn Dean and RnAReSet will be the first to sponsor such a protocol with an Amish population in Pennsylvania!
    • Physician’s Clinic/Office/Group-the protocol set up is similar to what we earlier introduced as the Health Coaches’ Module.
  3. Sponsors of all groups are needed to provide donations to be allocated by GrassrootsHealth as grants to the various groups to support these desperately-needed endeavors. Let us know if you are interested in being a sponsor!

We are aiming to have the protocols outlined for your review by June 5, including the total list of nutrients tested and intakes tracked. The details of how it will be implemented in your community/group will be further defined for you.

Please help us help you! One of the biggest ‘fear’ components is feeling like you don’t know how to solve a problem-we’d like to help greatly reduce those fears in your own personal life as well as your community.

As I have stated in prior newsletters, it is a great source of pride, joy, and jubilation that YOU and all of our vitamin D researchers are so involved and willing to participate! The REVOLUTION in our health due to a needed focus on the effect of nutritional imbalances is something that we are ‘dancing’ about!

Do You Have Enough Vitamin D to Support a Healthy Immune System?

We’re in a time of great crisis that could be greatly affected by making sure you and everyone you know has a serum level of at least 40 ng/ml. Help us help you.

Do you know what your vitamin D level is? Be sure to test today to find out, and take steps to keep it within a target of 40-60 ng/ml or 100-150 nmol/L! Give your immune system the nutrients it needs to support a healthy you and protect yourself from unnecessary diseases.

Through GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, you can also test your essential elements magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium, toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium, as well as your omega-3 levels, inflammation levels and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Find out your levels today! Log on to the test selection page (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.

Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!

Click Here to Access the Test Page

How can I track my nutrient intake and levels over time?

To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created the Personal Health Nutrient Decision System called

For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details.  This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels.  Check it out today!

How Can You Use this Information for YOUR Health?

Having and maintaining healthy vitamin D and other nutrient levels can help improve your health now and for your future. Measuring is the only way to make sure you are getting enough!

STEP 1 Order your at-home blood spot test kit to measure vitamin D and other nutrients of concern to you, such as omega-3s, magnesium, essential and toxic elements (zinc, copper, selenium, lead, cadmium, mercury); include hsCRP as a marker of inflammation or HbA1c for blood sugar health

STEP 2 Answer the online questionnaire as part of the GrassrootsHealth study

STEP 3 Using our educational materials and tools (such as our dose calculators), assess your results to determine if you are in your desired target range or if actions should be taken to get there

STEP 4 After 3-6 months of implementing your changes, re-test to see if you have achieved your target level(s)

Enroll in D*action and Build Your Custom Test Kit!