Vitamin D 3 Deficiency with Carole Baggerly

In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Carole Baggerly talks about Vitamin D 3 deficiency.

Carole is the founding director of GrassrootsHealth and the leader of the D*action project, an international project designed to solve the world’s vitamin D 3 deficiency epidemic.

Main Questions Asked:

  • What is vitamin D 3 deficiency and how prevalent is it?
  • What are the symptoms of vitamin D 3 deficiency?
  • Why isn’t my doctor testing me?
  • Who is most impacted by vitamin D 3 deficiency?
  • What can we do about it?
  • Vitamin D3 and K2 together?
  • How can our listeners find out more about you?

Key Points made by Carole Baggerly:

  • Vitamin D 3 deficiency is a world-wide problem.  Its prevalence is probably 80-90% of the world’s population everywhere and it is very serious because Vitamin D 3 is used in absolutely every cell in our body.
  • One of the big questions that we always get is – “Why do we have this deficiency? How did this happen?”
  • The really, really, really simple but really basic answer is – we’re out of the sun.
  • If one wants to use the sun for getting Vitamin D 3, the hours at which the UVB rays that are available from the sun, is really between the hours of 10 and 2, the times when you’re told to stay out of it – and our message is that please do use the sun, but the safe message is – don’t burn.
  • In general, you don’t know if you have a Vitamin D 3 deficiency.  The biggest effect that we see, though…is that within literally weeks of people starting on a Vitamin D 3 regimen that gets their serum levels up….weeks….people talk about having less pain.
  • So, generally, musculoskeletal type pain or overall body pain or people who have fibromyalgia even, report considerably less pain.  That’s almost the only symptom that an individual user will notice.
  • We have a video on our website done by Dr. Robert Heaney, called “Why Test?” and I encourage people to see that.
  • You have to test or you don’t know what an appropriate dosage is for a given individual and even then, the way you have to test is you do a baseline test, you figure out what it is, you give some Vitamin D 3 supplement and you measure again in about 3 months to see how did this individual respond?
  • I have done a lot of work in Canada and worked with many, many delightful people there and one of the reasons that I think the government stopped providing the testing was quite honestly, the doctors did not know what to do with the results.
  • I think it would be very beneficial in Canada to provide a lot of education to the medical profession about: Here’s what Vitamin D 3 does, here’s what it takes, etc., etc., etc. and then to reinstitute testing across the board.
  • I think we all are impacted by Vitamin D 3 deficiency in different ways.  We are running a “Protect Our Children Now” project, which is aimed at getting pregnant women to get their serum levels up to at least 40 ng/ml to help prevent pre-term births.
  • I’m just amazed at what we have recently found out, by collaborating with a number of researchers, it looks like multiple sclerosis could almost go to zero if people got enough Vitamin D 3 and in pregnancy, or early childhood, it could be prevented.
  • One of the other issues that we get asked about a lot is toxicity.  It’s really hard to get in a toxic range.  The actual numbers for toxicity for a serum level would be right at 200 gm/ml or 500 nmol/l, which is what they measure in Canada.
  • It’s very hard to get there and the measure of toxicity would be to be hypercalcemic.  You have too much calcium in your blood or urine and the way to solve the hypercalcemic problem is to stop taking Vitamin D.
  • GrassrootsHealth is engaged in quite a lot of nutrient research beyond just Vitamin D 3. There are a lot of things that impact our bodies, that work together, and one of the things that we all know about nutrients, like Vitamin D 3 and Vitamin K, is that they work together, so if you take twice as much Vitamin D 3 with Vitamin K, your results of either would be different than if you just took one of them, so you have to do that kind of balance thing.
  • We have seen within our research, back again to our cohort, a reduction of about 80% of all cancers, and the dominant ones, of course, are breast and prostate and colon cancer, but an 80% reduction, so, it’s just kind of like a no-brainer. It’s cheap, it’s safe and it’s effective, so there really needs to be a massive campaign – no holds barred, saying HEY EVERYBODY – get your serum levels up!!!
  • The estimate from a health stand-point is that if Vitamin D 3 deficiency were solved, we would save the world about 35% of all of its healthcare dollars.
  • I would really encourage people to again, if they feel comfortable doing it, knowing that they can take anywhere between 4,000 International Units up to 10,000 International Units a day and be in a safe range – GO FOR IT!
  • We started the action cohort project in 2009 because so many people around the world were saying “Hey, I’d do this, but my doctor won’t order the test for me”, and so we created a scientific project with our researchers.
  • The project consists of offering to anybody who wants to pay for the test the opportunity to do a Vitamin D 3 test, twice a year, each 6 months, and fill out a health questionnaire.

Key Resources Mentioned:

GrassrootsHealth Website

Carole Baggerly’s Website

Carole Baggerly’s Facebook Page

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