Did you miss this exciting news from June? Get caught up and take action now!
- Organic & Natural Health Association (O&N Health) has launched the “All for Vitamin D: Building Stronger Families in a SNAP” campaign, the primary objective of which is to advocate for a crucial amendment: The inclusion of vitamin D3 dietary supplements as part of SNAP recipients’ benefits
- While SNAP permits the purchase of a diverse range of foods, encompassing fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and proteins to meet nutritional requirements, when addressing the challenge of meeting therapeutic vitamin D levels (40-60 ng/ml), SNAP falls short in providing solutions, especially since these vitamin D levels cannot be achieved solely through food or sunlight exposure
- Support the “All for Vitamin D: Building Stronger Families in a SNAP” campaign and urge members of Congress to add vitamin D3 to the farm bill’s SNAP by signing your personalized letter at: www.All4VitaminD.com
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 8, 2023)– In a dynamic effort to enhance the nutritional support provided through the farm bill’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Organic & Natural Health Association (O&N Health) has launched the “All for Vitamin D: Building Stronger Families in a SNAP” campaign. This public awareness initiative calls on concerned voters to reach out to their respective members of Congress, particularly those serving on the influential House Committee on Agriculture. The primary objective is to advocate for a crucial amendment: The inclusion of vitamin D3 dietary supplements as part of SNAP recipients’ benefits. With an unwavering commitment to empowerment and transformative impact, this campaign strives to ignite a profound shift in the lives of SNAP recipients, championing their well-being and unlocking a future of vibrant health.
“Sufficient vitamin D levels are of paramount importance, as we have witnessed during the pandemic,” emphasized Alan Lewis, vice president of advocacy and governmental affairs at Natural Grocers and board member of O&N Health. “Recent data unequivocally highlights the critical role of vitamin D in addressing numerous health concerns. Relying on outdated notions of obtaining vitamin D solely through diet or sun exposure is not only impractical, but also perilous, advice. It is imperative that we embrace the power of dietary supplementation to provide effective and practical solutions for achieving optimal vitamin D levels.”
In its quest to promote food security and alleviate hunger, the farm bill’s SNAP plays a vital role in providing assistance to millions of low-income Americans. SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, ensures that individuals and families have access to nutritious food, but O&N Health calls out crucial nutrition gaps that demand attention, and has partnered with SENPA, Natural Grocers, INFRA and the Council of Holistic Health Educators to address some of these concerns with constituents.
While SNAP permits the purchase of a diverse range of foods, encompassing fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and proteins, it lacks explicit guidelines concerning the quality and nutritional value of these items. Particularly, when addressing the challenge of meeting therapeutic vitamin D levels (40-60 ng/ml), SNAP falls short in providing solutions, especially since these vitamin D levels cannot be achieved solely through food or sunlight exposure.
“Empowering SNAP recipients with nutrition knowledge and skills can save lives and taxpayer healthcare dollars,” stressed Karen Howard, CEO and executive director of O&N Health. “Vitamin D3 supplements offer an affordable solution to address a range of health challenges faced by families, including preterm births, depression, respiratory infections, asthma, cancer, and chronic diseases like cardiovascular issues, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes.”
Research shows achieving a vitamin D level of 40 ng/ml has significant health benefits such as, reducing preterm birth by 60% and lowering cancer risk by 65%. Recent meta-analyses link higher vitamin D levels to decreased COVID-19 incidence, severity, and morbidity rates. People of color face elevated risk due to melatonin blocking vitamin D absorption, making them more susceptible to chronic diseases and COVID-19 complications.
O&N Health is appealing to health-conscious citizens to rally behind “All for Vitamin D: Building Stronger Families in a SNAP” by urging Congressional representatives on the Agriculture Committee to amend the farm bill to pave the way for disadvantaged American families to obtain vitamin D3 supplements through SNAP benefits. This simple and effective addition to the farm bill has the power to address prevailing nutrition gaps and combat the far-reaching health implications of vitamin D deficiency. With a shared vision of fostering well-being for both people and the planet, O&N Health firmly believes in universal access to essential nutrition, paving the way for a healthier future.
Support the “All for Vitamin D: Building Stronger Families in a SNAP” campaign and urge members of Congress to add vitamin D3 to the farm bill’s SNAP at: www.All4VitaminD.com. Join Organic & Natural Health Association to be an advocate for the health of people and the planet at: https://organicandnatural.org.
Why is it Important to Focus on the Vitamin D Level vs Intake?
Due to the large range of variability in the response to a particular dose, vitamin D testing should be used to personalize the intake amount. This is because there are many factors that affect the dose response to supplementation (including BMI and various co-nutrients such as magnesium).
As an example, among 5,442 GrassrootsHealth participants who completed at least two vitamin D tests, approximately half (51%) achieved 40 ng/ml on their first test compared to two-thirds (67%) on their second test – leaving 1/3 of those who re-tested still below the 40 ng/ml target level.
Additionally, we often need to adjust the dose we are taking to suit our bodies’ needs and the only way to know that is to measure. The median vitamin D supplement intake amount increased from 2000 IU/day on the first test to 4000 IU/day on the second test. Among those who were less than 40 ng/ml on their first test, a majority increased their supplemental intake amount (76%) and their vitamin D level (81%) between their first and second tests.
Testing vitamin D level regularly and taking steps to keep it at a target level of 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L) is important for all stages of health. Through GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, you can also test your omega-3 status, inflammation levels, and levels of essential nutrients and toxins. Find out your levels today! Log on to the shop (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your level can be improved.
Measure Your Levels with a Custom Home Test Kit
Create your custom home blood spot kit to help determine if you are getting enough of the following nutrients shown to benefit overall health, along with other measures, including:
- Vitamin D
- Omega-3 Index plus AA:EPA Ratio
- Magnesium (plus Zinc, Copper, Selenium, Lead, Cadmium & Mercury)
- Type 1 Diabetes Autoantibodies
Enroll and test your levels today, learn what steps to take to improve your status of omega-3s, vitamin D 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.