SOURCE: Organic & Natural Health Association

Organic & Natural Health Association

July 15, 2016 08:30 ET

Organic & Natural Health Stresses Knowledge Is Power When It Comes to Vitamin D Testing

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Jul 15, 2016) - In the wake of a growing vitamin D deficiency epidemic, Organic & Natural Health Association, along with research partner GrassrootsHealth, is leading an international research initiative to promote self-testing of vitamin D levels to build on the data of nearly 12,000 people who currently test vitamin D levels through the initiative twice a year. The data will be used so that more research can be built on examining the precise vitamin D levels needed for the improvement of various health conditions.

GrassrootsHealth developed an at-home vitamin D testing kit, which is available to order for $65 from its website by linking though Organic & Natural Health's "Power of D" website at: www.powerofd.org. After signing up, participants simply take the at-home test, mail it in and receive results via email within 7-10 days. Participants may choose to enroll for a one-time test with health information, or may even participate in the five-year project, where you provide your health information along with a vitamin D test every 6 months for a 5-year period. Ongoing participation with the initiative during the next 5 years will build a body of science that allows for tracking health outcomes associated with vitamin D levels.

Despite the wave of recent negative press on the value of vitamin D supplementation publicized by researchers at the University of Alberta, Canada, there is an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence that points to the enormous benefits of vitamin D and its vital role as an essential micronutrient for maintaining and improving health.

"The authors of the Canadian review article clearly dismiss observational studies as reliable evidence, although this research approach is widely employed to inform national policy on food and diets, including the Dietary Guidelines for Americans," said Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University. "The greatest strength in evidence comes from consistent results between basic research, observational studies and randomized clinical trials. When these outcomes are not consistent, especially between the latter two research approaches, important questions can be raised to better understand the data and inform new studies. The authors of this article do not seem to understand this principle and therefore the public should not be alarmed by their unwarranted conclusions that vitamin D has little benefit on health."

Blumberg says the review article published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine by authors Michael Allen, Christina Korownyk and others was a perspective of 10 outcomes derived from several meta-analyses (summary analyses of already published research studies). However, he points out, that these different meta-analyses included many of the same individual studies, so rather than each meta-analysis adding much in the way of new information, they were highly redundant, therefore producing little new information regarding the benefits of vitamin D. Further, he said the article is not a meta-analysis itself, but rather the authors' opinion as no statistical analyses of these studies was conducted by the investigators.

"When you consider that among older women experiencing a hip fracture, that the mortality rate within one year can be 20 percent, this seems hardly a minor impact as Allen and his colleagues state," said Blumberg. "Similarly, they state for vitamin D supplementation that, 'if real, the relative reductions in mortality are likely quite small (~5 percent),' however, on a population and public health basis, a 5 percent reduction in mortality from chronic disease would be enormous -- approximately 88,000 American lives extended per year."

It has been documented that vitamin D plays a very significant role in disease prevention and maintaining optimal health, and can help decrease risk of cancer by as much as 60 percent, according to a large-scale study. By ensuring that your levels are in the optimal range, you can in fact keep 16 different types of cancer -- pancreatic, ovarian, prostate, lung and skin, to name a few -- at bay. Organic & Natural Health says vitamin D's benefits do not stop there. In fact, vitamin D can help reduce your risk of other conditions, such a chronic inflammation, Type 2 diabetes, age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness), and even Alzheimer's disease. What's more, vitamin D has infection-fighting abilities that may be beneficial for the common cold and flu, tuberculosis and pneumonia. Epileptics may also experience better seizure control when they maintain optimal levels of vitamin D. To learn more and to test your vitamin D levels to identify supplementation needs, while simultaneously advancing research on the importance of this nutrient in a variety of health conditions, go to: www.powerofd.org.

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