Published on March 26, 2021
Video Friday: Healthy Society Series: The Health Benefits of Vitamin D and Solar UVB, presented by Carole Baggerly, Joan Lappe, Carol Wagner, and William Grant
It’s Video Friday! This is a video recording (includes PowerPoint slides!) of the podcast hosted by the Commonwealth Club, which aired on March 9. It features GrassrootsHealth Founder and Director Carole Baggerly, along with Drs. William Grant, Carol Wagner and Joan Lappe, as they discuss evidence of vitamin D’s important health benefits, including those for pregnancy, cancer, and COVID-19.
Please take a moment to watch and share the video along with our detailed information below.
Watch the Video
After watching the video, be sure to make note of our added details below.
Vitamin D for Cancer, Pregnancy, COVID-19, and OUR Health
Here is a quick summary of what this video discusses, along with additional information and details about vitamin D:
- Vitamin D is needed by virtually every cell in the body, and is essential for hundreds of processes each and every day. It is able to modify our genes and enhance the functioning of all types of cells, tissues and organs, contributing to the health of the musculoskeletal system, dermatological system, reproductive system, respiratory system, cardiovascular system, and to cognitive and mental-emotional wellness. A deficit in vitamin D can lead to impairment or disease in each of these systems – from brittle bones to heart disease, cancer and dementia.
Carole Baggerly, Founder and Director of GrassrootsHealth (4:24)
- Carole Baggerly founded GrassrootsHealth after learning about vitamin D while researching solutions to help her own body fight breast cancer. At the time, it was difficult for an individual to get their vitamin D level tested, even through their own health care provider. Now, the GrassrootsHealth cohort is the largest self-sponsored, self-testing research project (citizen science!) to have collectively achieved massive awareness of the value of vitamin D.
- The incidence rate of breast cancer has barely ‘budged’ over the last couple of decades, as the number of women (and to a lesser extent men) being diagnosed has stayed the same. While the number of lives saved has increased due to improvements in treatment, there has been close to zero effort and research implementation put into prevention, where our energies would serve the most good. This is despite the fact that we know vitamin D could make a huge difference!
- The disease burden for breast cancer, Type 1 Diabetes, preterm births, and atrial fibrillation is enormous and unnecessary when considering the benefit that could be achieved by implementing nutrient testing, education, and supplementation programs to help with prevention – especially with vitamin D.
Dr. Joan Lappe, PhD, RN, Professor, Creighton University (17:46)
- Dr. Joan Lappe reviews the evidence connecting vitamin D to cancer. According to the American Cancer Association, an estimated 1.9 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2021 with over 600,000 cancer deaths.
- Vitamin D has several cancer-fighting properties and evidence has been published by many scientists including Drs. Garland and Lappe to demonstrate the effect vitamin D can have on cancer incidence.
- Scientific evidence strongly suggests that vitamin D and UVB significantly reduces the risk of cancer and cancer deaths, and a minimum level of vitamin D is necessary for these benefits and overall health.
Dr. Carol Wagner, MD, Professor, Pediatrics Dept., Medical University of South Carolina (29:45)
- Dr. Carol Wagner focused on the necessity of vitamin D adequacy (achieving and maintaining a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/ml or 100 nmol/L) in pregnancy and babies.
- Black and Hispanic women are more likely to be deficient; blacks are 20 times more likely to be vitamin D deficient than white women! It is a global problem, affecting mothers and babies around the world.
- Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy can lead to a greater risk of preeclampsia, preterm birth, gingivitis, periodontal disease, impaired fetal growth, dentition, RSV, gestational diabetes, neurodevelopmental differences – as well as profound effects during pregnancy and across lifespan of the unborn child!
- 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) is the minimum target for pregnant women – women must check their levels as early in pregnancy as possible, optimally before they even conceive, in order to avoid the risks of deficiency. It is important for postpartum and breastfeeding as well.
Additional Key Points:
- Vitamin D deficiency is a major public health concern. Each individual can only produce enough vitamin D if getting enough sunlight or getting enough vitamin D from a dietary/supplement form. If you do not go out in the sun, if you use sunscreen or if you have higher amounts of melanin (darker skin pigmentation), then you require a vitamin D supplement to provide adequate amounts of vitamin D to your body.
- It is important to remember that with vitamin D, serum level is key, NOT the dose.
- To determine how much vitamin D supplementation might be needed, it is important to know where your level is at currently and what target level is desired. Using these two values, the D*calculator provides two options for increasing vitamin D levels – a “Loading Dose” and a “Maintenance Dose” allowing users to choose how quickly they would like to achieve their desired levels.
- A great proportion of health disparities in many diseases, including preterm birth, cancer, and COVID-19, can be attributed to vitamin D, as the darker colors of the skin block vitamin D production.
- Both the innate and adaptive immune systems rely on vitamin D and must function properly in order to fight COVID-19. Avoiding vitamin D deficiency is essential to a fully functioning, healthy immune response and a decreased risk of COVID-19. Measure your level today!
Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D for Your Health?
With almost 90% of the general population having vitamin D levels below the recommended 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L), it is obvious that most people need more vitamin D. While most of us cannot achieve a vitamin D level of 40-60 ng/ml from sun alone, either due to our lifestyle, where we live, or other circumstances, we can certainly reach those levels with the right amount of supplementation.
Below is a guide for how much you might need, and who may need more. Your levels can be tested safely at home – order your home test kit today.
By joining the GrassrootsHealth projects, you are not only contributing valuable information to our study, but 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. Do you know what your status of vitamin D, omega-3s, and other essential nutrients is? Could your levels be improved? Test now to find out!
We now have a NEW GIFTING SERVICE that allows you to quickly send ‘Gift Cards’ to friends, family and coworkers who you consider might need immediate access to testing, and to Claim the Joy of Your Health TODAY. Give the gift today!
What does the Research Say about Vitamin D & COVID-19?
It’s TIME to start saving lives! If you can help PREVENT the majority of the death, it’s time! What’s it costing you/us not to take action NOW?
There is much published research that supports a clear link between vitamin D and COVID-19 showing that higher vitamin D levels are related to:
a decreased risk of testing positive for COVID-19
increased viral SARS-CoV-2 RNA clearance
better clinical outcomes among patients with COVID-19
decreased risk of death due to COVID-19
Be sure to educate yourself on the benefits and importance of vitamin D for immune health, and take steps to ensure you and your loved ones are getting enough.
You can review all of the COVID-19 and immune health information we have shared on this page.
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)