Published on February 24, 2022
Tune in or read and share the conversation between GrassrootsHealth’s Founder Carole Baggerly and Richard O of TalkToMeGuy
GrassrootsHealth was recently featured in an interview with founder Carole Baggerly and TalkToMeGuy Richard O of Sound Health Radio!
What really caught the attention of TalkToMeGuy was the announcement of the new Children of the World D*action project, based on the statistic that 93% of children in the general US population have vitamin D levels below 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L), 16% of whom are below 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/L). This is a LIFETIME of risk associated with vitamin D deficiency for these children, and it is easy to fix and avoid.
With over 30 years experience, Richard Olson is a determined researcher and experienced alternative practitioner. His interesting mix of right brain intuition and left brain education guarantees a transformational and entertaining experience. You will find this interview between Richard and Carole an absolute delight!
What was Talked About on the Show?
00:29 Radio Show Introduction
3:41 Introduction to Carole Baggerly and D*action
6:14 Carole’s Personal Experience with Breast Cancer – vitamin D research and the start of GrassrootsHealth
11:16 Food Sources of Vitamin D – can we get enough just from food?
12:58 Why Are We So Deficient? We are meant to get vitamin D from the sun
20:21 How do You Know if You’re Getting Enough Vitamin D? The importance of testing – do not accept that the same intake fits all
21:03 Is Vitamin D Dangerous? How dangerous is it to NOT take vitamin D?
24:44 Recommended Intake for Babies, for Breastmilk
29:25 Vitamin D for Children and Pregnancy – Setting up health for life
40:12 Getting Tested as a Participant with GrassrootsHealth – Setting and achieving nutrient goals as a Citizen Scientist
46:41 Why Vitamin D RCTs Have Not Worked
47:51 Most Children are Not Getting Enough Vitamin D – Enroll your children in the Children of the World D*action project to make sure your children do get enough!
50:46 What Other Nutrients Work with Vitamin D?
55:44 Vitamin D as we Age
59:18 Closing with Action Steps
INTRODUCTION Sound Health Radio Show
0:00:29.1 Richard TalkToMeGuy: Greetings everyone, this is the Sound Health Radio Show where we talk about the crossroads of the environment and our health. I’m Richard TalkToMeGuy, and Sharry Edwards is always at work on the soundhealthportal.com. To get more information about the Sound Health Portal and see the work that Sharry is doing, I suggest going to the soundhealthportal.com, scrolling down to the bottom of the page, looking for the video tab and watching a demonstration where Sharry will be on a webinar or Zoom or something, doing a live workup with somebody. And then you can see the flow of the work where they take the voice, a recording of the voice, it runs through the software, breaks it down into its various pitches and notes and tones, but it’s on a computer, it’s not just somebody hearing it, it’s run through a software. And then that workup, you will see the pie charts which Sharry has come up with, which I think are great. ‘Cause it makes the data visually easy to see, like she now has a chart where it will show you that here’s the thing you wanna look at now that may in fact cascade into affecting other things whether it be the methylation cascade or assimilation.
0:01:49.6 RT: You can have something that’s elevated and it may be elevated because you’re not assimilating it, or it may be elevated or too low. A lot of the things can look some way, but all have to do with the same thing, either about assimilation or not getting everything assimilated, that works as a total what I’ll call “Food Group”. So I recommend going to soundhealthportal.com and scrolling down and watching one of the video demonstrations that you find of interest. Because the display on the sound health portal is really wonderfully exciting compared to the old days when we lugged around laptops and printed out massive reports of numbers that we had to figure out. So go there to soundhealthportal.com. To hear and share replays of the show about 20-30 minutes after you hear the outro music. You can go to talktomeguy.com, just like it sounds. And at the bottom, usually about 30 minutes, you’ll see on the episodes, you’ll see this at the top with all the links that we refer to and show notes and anything that Carole and I talk about today, ’cause it’s a lot to talk about.
0:03:04.1 RT: You can also when you’re there, if you scroll down to the bottom of the show notes, you’ll see that there’s a player right there, so you’ll be able to listen to it directly from the site. And it’s designed to be very friendly to mobile devices or laptops or anything like that, as well as regular computers on the browser. But it was really designed so many people listen to stuff on mobile devices that it really works well there, and at the bottom corner of the show notes is a little microphone, and if you wanna make any suggestions or any kind of information you wanna know, just leave me a voice message then I will get it and I will get back to you.
Introduction to Carole Baggerly and D*action
With that, Carole Baggerly is founding director of GrassrootsHealth, a 501c3 non-profit public health promotion organization with the direction of moving research into practice. She’s the leader of the D*action project, an international project, co-designed by Dr. Cedric F. Garland of UCSD School of Medicine, and member of Moores Cancer Center.
0:04:11.8 RT: This organization’s (GrassrootsHealth) mission is to move research into practice now, to move the population into an orientation of health and prevention versus fixing an illness. GrassrootsHealth has introduced new methodologies of field trials, with testing and education to get valid real-world information about how nutrients actually perform and how to move beyond the limitations of randomized controlled trials. The organization is guided by a panel of 48 of the world’s leading researchers in Vitamin D, and now other nutrient researchers. The key implementation innovation in this project is the use of the field trial, a formalized methodology approved by an institutional review board used by participating individuals. The group has initiated the Nutrient Research Institute to enable testing and analysis of many nutrients together to see how they work with each other, which they do. Carole joins us today to discuss moving research into practice NOW. Welcome, Carole.
0:05:22.7 Carole Baggerly: Thank you very much, I’m absolutely delighted to move research, knowledge and everything else into practice.
0:05:31.4 RT: I know. It’s such a radical idea. I think it’s such, Well, I was gonna save this for later, but I just have to say it’s such a radical idea of thinking of the body as a system and thinking, “Oh, these nutrients work together, wow.” So we’ll get back to that. So, we’ll get back to that.
0:05:49.7 CB: How about that?
0:05:50.4 RT: I have to say for the listeners, I was really kind of stunned that I looked up the last time we talked, and it was in 2013. It’s like, what happened to those nine years? Where did that go? That’s amazing.
0:06:06.4 CB: We’ve done lots of work.
0:06:08.9 RT: Lots of work. You’ve been busy, you’ve been really busy.
0:06:11.2 CB: We have, we have, we have.
Carole’s Personal Experience with Breast Cancer – vitamin D research and the start of GrassrootsHealth
0:06:14.6 RT: How did Dr. Cedric Garland’s research change your life or the direction of your life? It seems like that was a real… From everything I’ve read and listened, it was a really life-changing time.
0:06:29.4 CB: Oh, totally. Having cancer was a life-changing time and then finding as anybody who has had or has cancer will tell you, it is a life-changing experience. Dr. Garland’s information, when I found out about it, while I was already two years into trying to figure out what I could do about the breast cancer I already had, when I talked to a public health person, she said, ‘he’s been working on it for over 10 years, he published data about it 10 years ago. And I talked to a public health person who introduced me to him, and she said. “Carole, he’s rather quite discouraged because nobody’s paying attention,” and I said, “I am”. And it just hit me with how basic things, because they aren’t according to some approved protocol or somethings are ignored!
To Garland and Ed Gorham who worked with him from the Naval Research and Training Center, have done the work to lay the foundation for vitamin D is the key to a lot, a lot of very significant things, and it can be prevented. And one of the key things that he had, even then, and what they call smiley curves, showing a deep incident occurrence down in around the equator of at least 80% less than up around the Northern United States.
0:08:07.4 RT: Wow.
0:08:08.5 CB: This is hundreds of thousands of people, this isn’t just a few people, so you have to pay attention to something more than a clinical trial. Anyway, you can tell, it changed my life, I can’t stop talking since.
0:08:23.0 RT: That’s okay. And back to the new nutrient research group, is it or Institute? As I say, we were talking about back stage, and I’ve done about 400 hours of shows plus another four years of terrestrial radio, and I think it’s just wonderful that I’m beginning to see people such as yourself, thought leaders, ’cause you’ve been doing this since 2007. Is that correct?
0:08:52.0 CB: Yes, that’s when we established the organization, right?
0:08:54.9 RT: Wow. It’s very exciting to see people talking about this idea that many nutrients together, to see how they work with each other. That is such a radical thought, even today, and it blows my mind.
0:09:11.2 CB: It really is. One of the things that became there, like we worked at the beginning of our organization, we worked extensively with Dr. Robert Heaney, to us, who was a total leader in this co-nutrient thing and has published many papers, but one of the things that was really… We’ve all known that calcium and vitamin D interact with one another for a long time, and there were other people that’s saying that’s all that matters. And then another incident in life, my husband had a very serious encounter with atrial fibrillation, and I ran into, meaning I didn’t climb the mountain and go see them, it was not that blessed. Anyway, the comment was that, we can stop that with magnesium. I said, What? I’m a believer, just believer. And years ago, we did, and it works, and there we now test not only vitamin D, but we test people’s magnesium level, we can test Omega 3, which is another major contributor to health, and seeing these things and plotting them one against another is absolutely phenomenal because they don’t interact linearly as they were. Okay? So to know how it works for you, every single person out there listening, it’s extremely important to do the testing, but then to take a look at the results of not just your test, but that of others, so you can see, here is where I sit, because every person is unique and that’s we’re just not the same. Think of this.
Food Sources of Vitamin D – can we get enough just from food?
0:11:04.7 RT: Really, but we’ve seen movies about all being the same, and I’m not wild about it. So I think that’s really important. And well, I’ll jump to this. Setting aside whale blubber, what are really good sources of Vitamin D we could be consuming in terms of foods to start with? And can we get it? And that leads to the, and can we really get enough in our food?
0:11:33.3 CB: Food issue. I really don’t know. It’s kind of a food issue with regards to like they use mushrooms and they radiate them and they then get vitamin D in them, but that’s a mechanism to do that, and that’s fine. There are very few foods that have Vitamin D in them. Yes, that stuff that grows on plants in the water.
0:12:09.5 RT: Oh, Plankton or algaes.
0:12:12.7 CB: Algae. Algae has vitamin D in it, but those are kind of rare sources in terms of the general populace and I’m still very much with, hey everybody!
Why Are We So Deficient? We are meant to get vitamin D from the sun
So I think the big source of Vitamin D for us is still to learn to use the sun, and then ultimately beyond that, I think the other key thing is for the society as it were, to develop mechanisms such as lights, such as ways to deal with what we have done to ourselves by changing our lives. I would really like to talk for a minute right now about why we’re so deficient, may I slip to that?
0:13:02.0 RT: Please.
0:13:04.5 CB: Because there are so many people, doctors and everybody that say, well, I’m not in the sun a lot, or who cares, or no I’m not, and/or if they take some sort of supplement to become less deficient, and I ask them how much and they tell me how much. It’s like I don’t laugh, but it’s like that’s not anywhere near enough, not anywhere near enough. So why are we deficient? We are deficient because as a human being kind of society, we came inside and we came inside very few years ago compared to the evolutionary time of a human body. It takes the body a million years, 100,000 years to really change. And it does change, and we have seen many evidences of such stuff. So basically, we just walked inside, we came inside factories, we’ve also accepted something that is contrary to what we now know and have published, which is like the sun’s rays, the UVB rays, which create the vitamin D in your skin, basically they get through the atmosphere between about 10 and 2, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and if you stay out of the sun during that period of time because you’re afraid of melanoma, you’re missing what’s good about the sun.
0:14:44.1 CB: There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and that’s why we have a sunshine month every May, May, so as long back again to the sun for a second, as long as you don’t burn, right? You’re good, you’re really good. So do not put on a lot of sunscreen, do not get rid of it. But the population at large will not get enough because those people are not going outside. There was a study done of aboriginal people five years ago, 10 years ago in that time period, and they went to see what are their vitamin D levels, and surprise surprise, they are in the 40-60 nanograms per milliliter, 100-150 nanomoles/liter range. So if you have people along the equator outside all the time with very little clothes on, that’s what they get to be. Now, you take that same person that’s down there and you move them away to the North pole, it’s not same, and haven’t accommodated for that, and it’s not a blaming thing, it’s not a whatever, it’s like our bodies, this system of stuff that we carry around really needs attention from a developmental kind of point of view, but it also needed that attention like with the magnesium, with the omegas and stuff that we’re just now learning about, it’s exciting because of all the people that participate in our projects, but anyway.
0:16:25.3 RT: And I know, I know from… I’ve done a bunch of shows with Stephanie Seneff about many subjects from glyphosate to hormones, and toxic, a phrase I coined a long time ago about total toxic load, meaning all the stuff that we’re exposed to from the environment, and she is very, very, very extremely, in the best of ways, pro ‘be in the sun’. Not all the time, necessarily. As we’ve talked about, you develop a tan, what’s called a tan. I know that’s sort of not as vogue as it used to be, but develop a tan. You don’t have to be chocolate brown, you don’t have to be Jack LaLanne brown. But develop a tan. That’s a good marker. This is just my opinion, but I think having a tan is possibly a good marker of Vitamin D levels, people who get some sun. Go ahead partner.
0:17:19.6 CB: One of the things that I may interject here is that there actually have been research done and it has definitively shown that people who are out in the sun and get a tan, You’re ready for this? Have less, less melanoma than those who stay out of the sun.
0:17:44.0 RT: [laughter] Wow.
0:17:46.9 CB: That is true. And it has been published.
0:17:49.5 RT: That’s amazing.
0:17:50.5 CB: And if you think about all the night workers that get sick and so forth and so on, and it’s very much out of the sun, again, don’t burn. That is key.
0:18:01.4 RT: Well, I think part of what… I can’t remember who that was. But back in the way back machine. There was an advertiser that had a little girl running away from a dog and had tan lines and she was supposed to be smearing stuff on it, I just can’t remember who the marketing campaign was, and we got into the, you know, ‘cover yourself at all times’. When you go to the beach, now you see moms just covering their babies from head to toe with sunscreen and not allowing them to get the sun exposure because we got this fear factor of the sun was this deadly thing that was gonna cause yada, yada, yada. And you’re really helping it with GrassrootsHealth, I think really getting people to understand. Hey, maybe the sun is not the problem, I actually think, again, this is my opinion. I think that putting the goo, the various kinds of potentially what I will call creepy sunscreens on your skin and then photo driving it with the sun rays in the heat is really tricky. I’ll just say tricky, I have bad words. And I think developing a tan is a much better way of being protected from the sun.
0:19:16.2 CB: There are very few people…
0:19:16.4 RT: Do you have a thought on that?
0:19:18.4 CB: Oh of course.
0:19:20.0 RT: Yeah. Yeah.
0:19:22.1 CB: There are very few people that don’t benefit from the sun, and they are extremely white-skinned people. And I met some of them in New Zealand when I was over there a couple of years ago, really, really, really white. But other than that, you can measure your skin color and type and all of that and get an appropriate exposure time. Again, we’re talking about evolution here, the skin and the bodies have changed, the pelvis has changed, that’s why women have different types of babies and different types of problems when delivering babies. It’s all tied together, and it’s beautiful. Thank you.
0:20:11.5 RT: It’s all tied together. I know it’s a radical idea, it’s all tied together. I’m gonna jump to… Go ahead.
0:20:18.7 CB: Oh, I’m sorry.
0:20:20.0 RT: No, please.
How do You Know if You’re Getting Enough Vitamin D? The importance of testing – do not accept that the same intake fits all
0:20:21.1 CB: In order to know what to do about it, we still have to test, we cannot accept, and this is one of the things I would encourage all users and listeners to this, do not accept that the same intake or dose fits all, it doesn’t, it doesn’t, it doesn’t. It varies by a factor of six based on many factors. One of the major ones with no surprise tends to be weight, but please make sure you test or have somebody test your vitamin D. And of course, that’s what we do to help people. But it’s just not the same for all.
Is Vitamin D Dangerous? How dangerous is it to NOT take vitamin D?
0:20:58.7 RT: Right. I’ll ask the counter-question, is Vitamin D intake dangerous? Wasn’t Vitamin D one of those… There was… I know vitamin A was always like, “Oh, your liver will blow up. Your eyes will pop out of your head,” kind of thing with vitamin A. Is Vitamin D in any way from your research dangerous to take?
0:21:28.2 CB: I would like to shift that question from my point of view and say, is not taking vitamin D dangerous? How dangerous is it not to take Vitamin D? Back again to our mention of… There was something published by [0:21:47.8] ____ saying that something like over 90% of the children’s population is deficient. Deficient. Less than 40 nanograms per milliliter, which is what we consider in our scientist… Consider sufficient to do the development of all of the body functions. So, if you’re not paying attention to that, that means those children with their deficiency will not properly develop their hearts, they will not develop their athletic abilities, they will not develop other things that… Anxiety is affected by Vitamin D, believe it or not, and just go down the list. So, the cost of not taking it is serious, so you have to do it safely. And is there any problem back again with the safety issue? Every case that was reported of any kind of hypercalcemia, which is what was used to determine too much, the person was taking more than 30,000 IU a day, which is very unusual, and had been doing so for many months, or, and this is all that I have heard about in the last few years, a manufacturer had been somebody, generally a private person, says, “I want you to build or create a new product for me, and I want it to be 5000 IU per tablet,” or something like that. And accidentally the manufacturer makes it 500,000 IU a capsule.
0:23:34.0 RT: Wow.
0:23:34.5 CB: That has happened on several occasions, and the taker of it, after some time taking it, has gotten sick. But the good news is the solution to this is to stop taking it.
0:23:48.6 RT: That’s so radical. Oh, just stop taking it, wow.
0:23:53.5 CB: So, I wouldn’t play with it, but it’s like you don’t have to be that frightened. And the other thing is, the Mayo Clinic published last year, I believe it was, it could have been the year before that, during the intake of vitamin D, people reporting intake and whatever has gone up very substantially, and there were no people reporting any toxicity. And that’s thousands of people through the Mayo Clinic. So, again, it’s hypercalcemia, and unless somebody has some unique disease, it would be very unusual. So, let’s stop worrying about the hazard of taking and start talking about the hazard of not taking.
Recommended Intake for Babies, for Breastmilk
0:24:42.2 RT: Right. And this is still in the same category, but I wanna jump to asking you about in Finland, I think I read, I can’t remember, while I study in research for a guest such as yourself, I’ve listened and read so much, I can’t remember which way I’ve seen it or heard it. But I heard you, or I’ll say I heard that in Finland they’re giving infants 1000 IUs from birth. And at first I wanna ask, in the Americas, Do pediatricians recommend vitamin D? And what is it considered to be a regular dose for infants in the United States? And what were the results?
0:25:26.6 CB: In the United States the standard of care is about 400 IU, which is very small. For an infant it’s generally okay, for the first six to 12 months, it’s alright to do 400 IU, that’s not recommending it as optimal, right? It’s what has been the standard of care. With regards to 1000 IU, that’s fantastic, for infants even because the way that infants tend to get their… Whatever it is, they are administered it by their mothers or somebody who forgets. This is not a criticism, it is a fact. It’s hard to remember to get people things on a regular basis. If the mother is nursing the baby, then that’s more regular, hopefully. [chuckle] And there, again, she as a mother needs to make sure she is taking, intake-wise, at least 6000 IU per day to have enough vitamin D in her breast milk. And if she does that, then everything’s cool. So 1000 IU a day is fine for Finland, and Finland actually has healthier children than we have had in the US. And they at the 1000, or actually they have had more than that in the past, they had zero cases of type 2 diabetes by the time the young person was a little older person about 30-years-old.
0:27:08.7 RT: Wow.
0:27:10.6 CB: So it affects, back again too, it’s not just right now it affects, it affects long term.
0:27:18.8 RT: That. And so I wanna go back to the breast milk for a moment. So if the mom doesn’t have decent levels, then the baby getting the breast milk is not getting enough from that nutrient. So the moms need to be aware of that?
0:27:34.8 CB: Yes, definitely, definitely.
0:27:36.6 RT: Okay.
0:27:37.7 CB: And they need to be aware that 6000 IU a day is what I am saying, and I am real, and it is not harmful to the mom or the baby.
0:27:47.0 RT: It might even be beneficial for the mom. Wow.
0:27:50.1 CB: How about that?
0:27:50.8 RT: How about that? She’s not just a milk machine, she’s also having an immune system herself. What a riot. Once again, it’s a win-win for everybody. And I wanna jump slightly to testing and ask about, because I hear these sort of mixed back and forth. When you get reports back or you hear people talk about vitamin D levels, we hear it talked about either in serum levels. Some people call serum levels, some people talks blood levels. Could you just clarify that for me, the difference between serum and blood levels? What is serum?
0:28:28.1 CB: The serum actually is a biological component of the blood, but abreast of general population or even in medical offices, serum and blood aren’t necessarily separated in non-biological talk.
0:28:47.4 RT: Okay.
0:28:47.8 CB: Meaning, I’m not sure it means anything different to the person who is talking about it. But the actual measure is of the serum, which is a component of blood.
0:28:58.9 RT: Okay. All right. Thank you. I kind of thought so, but I thought I’m talking to an expert, let’s find out.
0:29:06.8 CB: For the vitamin D that we talk about is the 25-hydroxyvitamin D. So that’s actually what you would probably see on the lab report is 25(OH)D.
Vitamin D for Children and Pregnancy – Setting up health for life
0:29:22.0 RT: Okay. And we’re going to jump, because I think this is such a great thing. I saw over the Valentine’s. I saw the promotion, the grassrootshealth.com (.NET)promotion on children. And I think this is an amazing project because I think a great gateway for people to understand that so many of the benefits of vitamin D is to have them begin to engage it with their children, and eventually will be like Finland, in the sense of healthy kids, like reduced amounts of diabetes and other conditions. So please talk about this great promotion of Children of the World Project.
0:30:06.6 CB: We initiated a new focus project. I mean, all the components of what we are doing are there with essentially all of our vitamin D projects, but we wanted to focus on the children, like the personal story. The personal story is almost always key to the initiation of major new events. I got a call from one of our scientists actually, that we do research with all the time. And he was shouting, “Carole, this has got to stop. This is too much. I just read about 1000 children dying, dying in the hospital. In the hospital.” They were already admitted to the hospital, that they were dying of COVID. Children.
0:30:57.5 RT: Wow.
0:30:58.7 CB: And we knew that we had already published papers from other showing that if your vitamin D serum level is over 50 and ideally 60 nanograms per milliliter, you might get sick, but there have been no reported deaths. Man, we’re standing there shouting saying, “We can’t let these children die for something so simple.” And I said, “We’ve gotta do it. We’ve gotta do it. I don’t know how to do it,” meaning every new project takes a lot of whatever. But the key thing to me was something we had already done about protecting, we called it Protect Our Children NOW which still goes on. But there has been an increase over the years in the premature death rate. Imagine.
0:31:55.1 RT: Wow.
0:31:58.4 CB: Premature birth rate, I’m sorry. The increase in premature birth rates. They’re dying less because they capture them with that, but they don’t have fewer preterm births. And it’s totally the matter of getting the mom’s serum level up, and we demonstrated that with a project we did at UCSD and published again. But what was interesting is that the rickets, which we’ve talked about in the past, which everybody has with children, that’s the tip of the iceberg. That not having rickets might be solved by 20 nanograms per milliliter, but there is a lifelong impact on asthma, cancer, cardiovascular, pain, diabetes. I mean, it’s not just rickets, our whole bodies. Just like we need water, we need sunshine.
0:32:51.3 RT: Mic drop. End of show. [chuckle] We might need sunshine. And I was gonna ask you about the rickets ’cause again, I heard or read you saying that. That it was like, What? Rickets is kind of on the rise? How is that possible in this day and age? But you just explained all that. It’s “Wow.” Sometimes I’m just amazed that where we’re at in areas like, “What?” That’s all I gotta say. “What!”.
0:33:24.3 CB: It’s a little hard. One of the things I was trying to figure out, amongst other reasons, why is it so hard? And part of the hard, which I do understand, is right now our best fix for almost all of these nutrient things, a lot of “some kind.” if you take a look at what it really takes to change a diet, to change a lifestyle, to change all of this, it’s mammoth! It’s absolutely mammoth! And it’s a multi-decade who knows change, Alright? You don’t change somebody’s life long diet overnight, but you can give them a supplement. And if you can convince them to take it. [chuckle] In many cases, we do. But then taking a handful of supplements is strange. And it is strange, but I also know, since I’ve been working at this close to 15 years, what it takes to change a lifestyle. And while I ate differently than many people to start with, I didn’t have much to change. I’ve seen with different things happening in my life and others that, it’s more than you think to expect somebody to totally change their eating pattern in time enough to get their vitamin D, their magnesium and the omega-3 level up to help them prevent a heart attack, it isn’t going to happen. So I plead with all of you who are supplement takers at the present, bear with it. It will change. [chuckle] Thank you so much.
0:35:21.5 RT: Well, I would add into that, that that was part of what we were talking backstage. I had an herb store with partners and a national mail order catalog in the early ’80s! All herbs. And we had the largest collection of botanicals in the western United States, along with some encapsulated and we would also custom capsulate. And part of what drove me the craziest is I would sit and talk with somebody and possibly put together a blend that I thought was good for them. Man, I read everything from Pharmacopoeias in the old days when pharmacopoeia… That was a physician at the pharmacist’s reference book, a lot of the formulas were herb blends because that’s how they originally got a lot of medicine. It was through herbal extraction. And so I’d put together a very good, not real complicated. Sometimes too complicated, I realized years later. But it was this very tricky word, “compliance” and all that meant was take them regularly. It wasn’t like you had to go walk 10 miles a day. You just had to open the paper bag, take the capsules out, take two a couple of times a day. And a lot of times people would come back and say, Yeah, I notice the difference, but I stopped taking them. And it’s like I would hear that, it would just blow my mind! “I saw a difference, but I stopped taking them because I forgot or I got bored” Whatever the reason is.
0:36:53.3 RT: And it’s just the same thing like you say, it’s the idea that rickets could be resolved by 20 IUs of vitamin D is mind-blowing. So I’ve been a supplement taker from the early days of herb world forever. So when I’m with people who I’ve been trying to get vitamin D into their life for a long time. And it’s like, “Well, you know, There’s always some whiny, like, Why not? [chuckle] So it’s really a…
0:37:25.4 CB: There was a… Go ahead.
0:37:28.0 RT: No, no, you go ahead.
0:37:33.0 CB: The change or something like that. Once upon a time, I was a physics major, and I was invited to a session with some male physics teachers, who were trying to figure out how to get more women into physics. Well, I was a candidate for that question. And they were talking about what to do in high school and what to do here, here and here, and I said, You’ve got it all wrong. And they looked at me kind of funny, and I said, “It starts at home. It started with my father, alright? He told me when I was, I don’t know what grade I was in, seventh grade, probably, in that era, I came home one day and I had a C on my report card. And he said, Why did you get a C on your report card? [chuckle] And I said, Well, everybody else did. [laughter] And he said, “You’re not like everybody else.” And all of a sudden, all of a sudden, believe it or not, I believed in myself. I believed in myself. And since that point in time, I have believed in everybody, I think everybody in this whole wide world can educate themselves, can learn more, can take care of themselves and the joy of health, but they have to be provided the tools, and they don’t even know they’re missing them.
0:39:06.0 CB: So that’s what’s exciting to me about this children’s project is, here is an avenue to get this started at a much earlier age with groups of parent children working together so that this isn’t started when they’re 20. It’s started when they’re 2 or 3, 4 or 5. And they grow up in their classrooms, so it’s what they learn about. And the next part of that is to develop the tools that are appropriate for everybody and for young people. I had the privilege of being trained in and running a Montessori school. That is ideal.
0:39:47.9 RT: Wow.
0:39:48.3 CB: That’s what needs to be done with health. We need to develop the models, the puzzles, the funny things for the integration of all the body parts for health. I mean, it’s ready and waiting.
0:40:05.4 RT: It’s available. Operators are standing by.
0:40:10.7 CB: That’s right.
Getting Tested as a Participant with GrassrootsHealth – Setting and achieving nutrient goals as a Citizen Scientist
0:40:11.8 RT: But kind of, at GrassrootsHealth, you can go and you can… I wasn’t gonna go here because I wanna come back to talking about kids, but do talk to us for a moment about you can go to GrassrootsHealth.com and you…
0:40:25.5 CB: Dot net, dot net.
0:40:26.7 RT: Oh, pardon me, dot net. And you have put together kits. I don’t mean you personally, like up at night and late like an elf making kits, but you have kits for people to get testing. Talk about some of those tests and how that will give people foundational information of like, “Wow, I had no idea I was that low.” Talk about some of the tests.
0:40:44.5 CB: Thank you. Thank you. The one that we started with, back again to when something is significant like this, and to me, I think it’s partly the science approach, if you don’t test something when you’re telling somebody you need to change it, if you don’t have a measure of it, what you want to change, you don’t have any incentive provider, other than the personality of somebody, you also don’t have… What’s so important is to say, “Did you achieve your goal?” If you didn’t test before, you can’t say, “I got there.” Right? It doesn’t happen. And my husband and I both have developed things with self-paced education, and that’s what we’re talking about with this whole Vitamin D thing, as well as the omegas, as well as magnesium, as well as all of this, you test. And in the meantime, you hopefully have learned a little bit about why you’re even interested, and there’s a lot of stuff on our website about that. Back again to my mentioning the AFib, and the preterm births, and the breast cancer, on the positive side, athletics, there’s just so much.
0:42:01.7 CB: So, why are you there in the first place? We do address, and then also the many tests that we give. I think currently we have about somewhere around 20 different tests that we offer. And I don’t have those fast enough on my brain to run down, but I hope that those of you who are listening will take a look and see what’s out there, and they’re all done with blood spot tests. You do the finger prick and drop the blood on the card, and then send it in to us, and we do our thing, and get it off to the lab. And, oh, I do have one thing. May I talk about testing just a minute? This is really key.
0:42:44.9 RT: Yes, please.
0:42:45.9 CB: Anyway. [laughter] We get reports sometimes, not just from us, but from other people saying they don’t like doing lab tests because they’re unreliable, and the reason of unreliable word in their mouth is that they did it yesterday, let’s say, for example, it was 45 and then they did it again and it was 56 or something. And so the testing isn’t good. And then you say, “What time of day did you test?” Or “How frequently do you take your supplements?” And all of a sudden, it has come to light that the time of day that you take it (the test) is a big driver. We had a case study done by somebody who bloodied their hands at the kazoo every single day, okay?
0:43:46.0 RT: Wow.
0:43:46.4 CB: Three times a day doing five tests each time, each time.
0:43:52.3 RT: Wow.
0:43:54.4 CB: For I think it was a month to see what happened. And every single set of tests showed about a 20% increase in the value of vitamin D at noon time compared to the morning and the evening. All right? So it’s not the testing lab, it’s the body. The body is doing that, furthermore, and this is a single incident, so it’s whatever, But prior to the onset of a really bad cold, a day prior, the vitamin D level tanked. So was that used by the cold? I don’t know. We need more on that one. But the idea that our serum levels increase by as much as 20% at noon, this is something we now tell people. “I don’t care when you take your vitamin D test, but just do it the same time, every time you do it.”
0:45:00.3 RT: Oh, be consistent.
0:45:02.4 CB: Yeah, oh, yeah.
0:45:02.9 RT: That old thing, that old grind, be consistent.
0:45:06.4 CB: So many people are working at this. I mean, all the people that participate in their projects, they’re giving to the world, and I’m not even sure they really realize how much information they’re enabling the rest of the world to have with their participation. So this is a very special thank you to all of them.
0:45:27.8 RT: It is a really wonderful thing with the field trials, I think… Well, I know we’re gonna do at least another show if Not a half a dozen. [laughter] That’s one of the things that GrassrootsHealth, [chuckle] that’s one of the things that GrassrootsHealth I thought was really cool way back in the wind machine when I discovered you, was this idea of field trials. You’re actually gathering real-world information from real people living real lives, not a controlled, double-blind, none of that sort of thing. Real-world test, and then looking at all that and researching down from that. That’s such a radical idea. It’s like the idea of the book, the longevity study, where they actually looked at cultures. Now, there might have been some gaming there, but that’s a different show, but they looked at different cultures and saw how they were all doing based on the diet that they had in their culture, and that’s why I think this is such a great way to find data versus, once again, back to lab rats in controlled situations. I’m not anti-rat, rats. Actually, I have quite, quite pro rats.
Why Vitamin D RCTs Have Not Worked
0:46:41.6 CB: Yeah, there’s no way that any RCT could capture as many different things as we do, like 15,000 people, they couldn’t afford it, they could not afford it, they can’t even afford to carefully monitor two nutrients, much less five, six or seven that people track with tests. Now, a field trial is… RCTs have different phases. This is actually a phase for RCT, it has a structure, it has specific questions that have to be answered, have to be, and there are some that are optional, and we measure what it is we are… We lay out the research protocol before we do it, and then we evaluate it according to rules that we lay down, Dr. Heaney helped us lay down with how to evaluate nutrients. So this is not a, I don’t wanna call it just an observational trial, but it’s a long way from just an observation trial, it’s a population study, and it’s a very formal one.
Most Children are Not Getting Enough Vitamin D
0:47:51.7 RT: Yeah, that’s very exciting. I was gonna go to a different question, but I wanna go back to children for a moment, and I will put the link to this page at GrassrootsHealth in the show notes, you have an article that’s Most children are not getting enough Vitamin D, is your child? And so, once again, this is sort of for me, kind of related to the children of the world project is, let’s start with the kids.
0:48:24.5 CB: Exactly.
0:48:25.3 RT: Like Finland. So would you talk just a bit about that, children are not getting enough?
0:48:34.1 CB: Well, if we make the assumption that most adults aren’t getting enough, it is not too surprising that children aren’t getting enough, I think. Really, there is this a sense of logic to it here, but tell me what you would like me to focus on. There are just so many thoughts here, I just…
0:48:57.2 RT: I know I can’t… It’s like a box of marbles. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to just pass that box of marbles to you.
0:49:01.5 CB: No, that’s okay, that’s okay.
0:49:02.2 RT: ‘Cause it’s a lot. ‘Cause I have this page up, let’s just talk about this part that blows my mind that 93% of children in the general US population, they have vitamin D levels below 40 ng per milliliter.
0:49:20.2 CB: Right.
0:49:21.1 RT: Really, how is that possible? Don’t we have to go out of our way to not have vitamin D level of some kind? That’s amazing.
0:49:29.0 CB: No, no, you can just be inside and they’re playing computer games and/or covered up all the time. And these children are sufficiently young that they are totally in an era of inside living and computer games and things that keep them inside, whereas at least earlier, we had periods of time when children are outside playing baseball, football, whatever, and now they’re inside with the computers. So we have a whole generation of people like that, so we’re gonna see more of that. I think I mentioned somewhere, I don’t know, there are 72 million, million, 72 million in the US, children below 18, and that’s what that population was measuring, and out of that, if you take the 93% or 90%, you’ve got 67 million that are deficient. So we have an opportunity, we meaning all of us have an opportunity to save the world. Help us do it. It’s just kind of like, we’ve entered a new era.
What Other Nutrients Work with Vitamin D?
0:50:44.4 RT: Right. And how do magnesium or vitamin K2 affect our vitamin D levels or actually, also, I would go the other way, how do our vitamin D levels affect our magnesium or vitamin K2 levels in a certain way there’s that dance between all of those, and what are some of the other nutrients that are key co-factors with vitamin D? I know that’s a big question.
0:51:14.8 CB: Well, let’s see, I don’t think we have two more hours.
0:51:17.6 RT: No.
0:51:20.7 CB: The first one that I think we paid attention to actually was the omega-3, and partly because there is enough data to show that it is necessary for heart health and many other things, and we have even measured how much it takes of whether it’s a DHA component of the omega to do what a dose-response kind of relationship, and fish oil is what this is part of a lots of people, and this makes a big difference. If you think again, what are the nature, components, foods, and/or substances anybody could eat?
0:52:13.9 RT: Yes.
0:52:15.4 CB: Well, fish has gone away, again, from being a substance that everybody eats to only that which a few people eat. Furthermore, they tend to buy rather expensive food and they don’t see that it has any value other than fish, and anyway, so the fatty fish is really a main component of the omegas and it’s really from the farming of the different kinds of fish which has depleted the things people get on the market from having that.
0:52:55.7 RT: Right.
0:52:56.9 CB: So we’ve measured that and what it takes, and one of the things that has been really important with all of our measures has been, how much it takes of the intake of whatever it is we’re measuring, tends to be much, much higher than people expect? Meaning they need to take a lot more. They think, “Oh, I’m taking this fish and I’m eating this once a week.” Well, I’m sorry, but you have to eat it twice a day. So you think of yourself as this survival-type person. You need water, it needs to be clean. You need the fatty fish which needs to be somehow or somewhere, and the vitamin D, of course. And then people don’t know about magnesium but magnesium is a mineral. You need that, so think about eating lots of rock. [laughter]
0:53:49.3 RT: Yeah.
0:53:49.4 CB: It’s all of these things. Put yourself in an ancient world and not-yet-humanized, in the sense that we are today. What on earth would you be eating? Well, everything you were eating then, you need now. Why? So that’s what’s really exciting to me.
0:54:12.3 RT: And do we get benefit from grass-fed, grass-finished, and I’m very specific about the way I say that because I think that’s important that it be grass-fed and grass-finished, no grains. Are there fats in there that are beneficial for vitamin D?
0:54:30.9 CB: Richard, I’m not knowledgeable enough to answer that for you.
0:54:37.4 RT: Okay.
0:54:38.2 CB: I know that how anything is fed matters but I don’t wish to answer something like that for me.
0:54:46.2 RT: Okay. It’s okay. We’ll get back to that.
0:54:49.4 CB: You can do this. Oh, I have one other major thing here. Both vitamin D and it seems to be the sun or the UVB, for sure, as well as the omegas, have a very significant impact on seasonal affective disorder. People get really depressed, even suicidal, which you may have heard about, especially in the winter time in places like Alaska and whatever where they just don’t see enough sun for a while and trying to find ways to get them, not just vitamin D, but even some of the sun’s rays, whether it be artificial or whatever is really important. So back again to aging and location, that’s another important component.
Vitamin D as we Age
0:55:44.5 RT: Okay. And speaking of aging, since I’m doing that, seems faster these days but not really. It just seems like it sometimes, that as we age, do we need greater levels of vitamin D? Well, actually, this is a two-part question. Do we need more? Is part of that affected by our ability to assimilate? Are there things that we can do to aid the assimilation of the vitamin D as we take it?
0:56:13.3 CB: I think that there might be one or two things we don’t totally know yet, Richard, don’t you think?
0:56:18.7 RT: Okay. Yeah, just a couple.
0:56:20.5 CB: I think that the aging part is of the essence. For example, I have a very good friend, Dr. Bill Sears, a pediatrician who has run a beautiful clinic for a long time, and we met with him and he said, “Carole.” He was very puzzled because his vitamin D level wasn’t what he thought it should be and I asked him what he ate, what he took, what he whatevered. And at that point in time, I think he was 75-ish or 70 or in that range, alright? And Bill is quite thin, and I said it is quite possible that even though you’re outside, you’re not absorbing through your skin enough to get enough vitamin D because there’s not enough of the kind of fatty tissue in your skin that helps the skin absorb the vitamin D, right? Probably the aging part. And all of a sudden, he saw that very quickly and he started taking vitamin D supplements and eating more fish and his vitamin D level went up, and so that was good and we see a lot of that, in terms of aging. The other part of aging is if people take even vitamin D and the omegas, again, the arthritic issues really get down played so it takes a lot out of the connective tissue to be healthy and so if they don’t have that in their bones or whatever, then it hurts a lot more and they end up taking pain pills which we’d like to help them avoid.
0:58:10.3 RT: Right. And is there a relationship with vitamin D and magnesium? Again, I heard you talking about pain…
0:58:18.4 CB: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.
0:58:19.3 RT: Pain reduction and vitamin D and magnesium, I think. Please talk about that.
0:58:27.2 CB: Trying to think of what… Well, let’s see. I don’t think my husband wouldn’t be alive without both of them, so no. That’s my statement of emotion. [chuckle]
0:58:37.8 RT: Okay.
0:58:42.9 CB: There is evidence that magnesium helps vitamin D be absorbed, alright? And I do not have that in front of me. And get it in the bones and all the healthy things it needs to be in, but there is such evidence. Same as with the other things that vitamin D ties to all of them.
0:59:10.2 RT: Okay.
0:59:11.1 CB: Not strong as I’d like to end with on that one, Richard, other than, we need them all and join us in learning the more things. How’s that?
Closing with Action Steps
0:59:18.9 RT: Right. Well, as we move toward a close, is it does go back to the Nutrient Research Institute looking at that opening thing about what are some of the other nutrients that are key co-factors with vitamin D. That we’re actually a system. Everything works together and as you joked and said, “Maybe just a couple things we don’t know,” that it’s really a system. So the idea of, Oh, I’m not sure yet, but my view is, again, my opinion is, if we’re not sure, I would always lean toward if we don’t have actual trials yet showing this, I would still lean toward taking magnesium and vitamin D because, “Oh, wow, my levels of vitamin D are a little high and my muscles are a little too relaxed. I hate when that happens.” I mean, I’m joking, but it’s just like, Why not? Why not?
1:00:23.8 CB: The why not is a very good question. The other thing is that’s why we developed… Literally, that is why we have developed a software product to be used with all of our participants called MydataMy answers. You find out. You research with your body with your response to these nutrients. How does it work for you? And you can compare it immediately to how it works for everybody else in the population. So by becoming what we have tagged a citizen scientist, you’re not just taking it. You’re taking it and you’re getting answers to how does it work for you. And that’s key to us.
1:01:08.7 RT: Look forward to the baseball cap from GrassrootsHealth that says Citizen Scientist. I love that.
1:01:15.9 CB: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for the participation. I very much appreciate spreading your word.
1:01:25.4 RT: Well, you’re definitely coming back. It might be a monthly thing. I can’t tell yet, [laughter] we’ll talk after the show ’cause there’s so much here from the kind of research that GrassrootsHealth has been doing since ’07, which sounds very far away, and for some people that was very far away. And I love the trial gathering data paradigm because I think it just makes so much sense. It’s real-world experience. We’re not in labs. We’re being exposed to stuff in the world. Let’s look at that and see what our bodies respond to. Wow.
1:02:04.4 CB: Well, I would love to throw out for consideration for your… Whatever it is, for all of those people that are listening to this, talk to me guy kinda show over the next month or something, if there’s a way to get those enrolled and see how they show up differently than somebody from some other type organization, we’ve got lots of organizations, Richard. So if you wanted to kinda take a look there, that’s also very exciting.
1:02:36.4 RT: It’s very exciting, the idea of being part of this, as you say, becoming a citizen scientist, I love that idea of people actually participating in their own health. Wow. In their own health care. Oh my god, what? It’s a revolution. I’m very excited.
1:02:55.7 CB: Thank you.
1:02:56.2 RT: Where would you like people to find out more about your work, your research, what you’re up to, everything about Grassroots, all of that?
1:03:06.9 CB: They can always go to our website, grassrootshealth.net. And that’s generic, but there’s a lot of things to choose from there. And if you did grassrootshealth.net/children, you would get something else which would lead you more quickly to the information about children. And we will have some new placards about that within the next week, probably.
1:03:35.8 RT: Great, okay. We’ll definitely do another show about that ’cause I think that’s such a great gateway of getting people to see, “Oh, my child is healthier and my immune system is stronger, and look what they do in Finland.”
1:03:49.9 CB: There you go. There you go.
1:03:51.7 RT: It’s wonderful. Thank you so much, Carole.
1:03:53.9 CB: I love them too. Don’t forget the love part.
1:03:55.1 RT: Go ahead.
1:03:56.1 CB: Can we get to talk to you later? Thanks for having us.
1:04:00.4 RT: You bet. And everybody else, have a great rest of the weekend, and we’ll see you next week. Bye-bye.
Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D (and Sunshine) for Your Health Concerns?
Having and maintaining healthy vitamin D levels and other nutrient levels can help improve your health now and for your future. Choose which additional nutrients to measure, such as your omega-3s and essential minerals including magnesium and zinc, by creating your custom home test kit today. Take steps to improve the status of each of these measurements to benefit your overall health. You can also track your own intakes, symptoms and results to see what works best for YOU.
Enroll and test your levels today, learn what steps to take to improve your status of vitamin D (see below) and other nutrients and blood markers, and take action! By enrolling in the GrassrootsHealth projects, you are not only contributing valuable information to everyone, you are also gaining knowledge about how you could improve your own health through measuring and tracking your nutrient status, and educating yourself on how to improve it.
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)