Babies born by caesarean section are more likely to be obese, study finds


Obesity is a lot more complex than we think.

Babies born by caesarean section are more likely to experience obesity than children delivered via vaginal birth, a new study has found.

The study suggests that babies from caesarean deliveries don’t only experience greater incidence of obesity as children, but also later on in life – with the effects persisting through teenage years and into adulthood.

“Caesarean deliveries are without a doubt a necessary and lifesaving procedure in many cases,” says nutritionist and epidemiologist Jorge Chavarro from Harvard University.

“But cesareans also have some known risks to the mother and the newborn. Our findings show that risk of obesity in the offspring could another factor to consider.”

The researchers analysed data from more than 22,000 young adults who took part in the Growing Up Today Study (GUTS) – an ongoing project launched in 1996 to examine the factors that influence health and weight as people age.

The participants, who were children aged between 9 to 14 when the study commenced, had their body mass index (BMI) tracked over 16 years. The researchers also collected information on factors that might affect obesity, including their mothers’ pre-pregnancy BMI, smoking status, and age when the participants were born.

Once these factors were accounted for, the data showed that participants born via caesarean deliveries (22 percent of the group) were 15 percent more likely to be obese on average than those who came into the world via vaginal birth (the other 78 percent).

The association showed up in across genders and different age segments, but was at its strongest when the participants were younger.

Participants born via C-section were 23 percent more likely to be obese when aged 9–12; 16 percent more likely to be obese when aged 13 to 18; and 10 percent more likely when aged 19 to 28.

Strangely, the increased risk of obesity was at its highest when pregnant women had elected to have caesarian births without a documented health reason for the C-section, with their babies found to be 30 percent more likely to experience obesity than children delivered via vaginal birth.

Also of note is the fact that participants in the study with siblings – 12,903 of the overall 22,068 group – who were delivered by caesarian had a 64 percent higher risk of obesity than their brothers or sisters from a vaginal birth.

While researchers have previously observed this association between caesarean sections and obesity, this is the largest and most comprehensive investigation yet into the relationship between birthing methods and future weight outcomes.

“I think that our findings – particularly those that show a dramatic difference in obesity risk between those born via caesarean and their siblings born through vaginal delivery – provide very compelling evidence that the association between caesarean birth and childhood obesity is real,” says Chavarro.

“That’s because, in the case of siblings, many of the factors that could potentially be playing a role in obesity risk, including genetics, would be largely the same for each sibling – except for the type of delivery.”

But the question remains, why is this happening?

At this stage, nobody knows for sure, but children born by caesarian section do have less exposure to their mother’s vaginal and gastrointestinal microbiota, and this could play a role in their dietary development and weight as they age.

“Children born via C-section harbour less diverse gut bacteria and these patterns of less diversity have been linked to increased capacity for energy harvest by the gut microbiota,” one of the researchers, Audrey Gaskins, told Hannah Devlin at The Guardian. “You can think of it as a slower metabolism.”

It’s important to remember that, for many women, giving birth via a C-section is a medical necessity to safeguard the health of the mother and her baby – so the researchers are not suggesting that women avoid using this method in a bid to lower their child’s risk of developing obesity.

A definitive biological cause is yet to be identified to explain this correlation, so until the link can be confirmed, we need to wait and see what further evidence reveals. But one thing’s for sure – getting to the bottom of what’s really going on here will be beneficial for all.

“Most often caesarean births are as a result of medical necessity, rather than elective,” biomedical researcher Simon Cork from Imperial College London in the UK, who wasn’t involved with the study, told The Guardian. “[A]s such, this risk would outweigh any concerns mothers should have regarding the possibility of future weight issues.”

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Caesarean sections should only be done out of medical necessity, WHO says


World Health Organisation says procedure carries health risks, but does not improve mortality rates in countries where high numbers are performed

A caesarean section is performed at Queen Charlotte’s hospital in London.
A caesarean section is performed at Queen Charlotte’s hospital in London. Photograph:

Caesarean sections should only be carried out when medically necessary, according to the World Health Organisation, which says the surgical procedure can put the health of women and their babies at risk.

The WHO reiterates the view of its health experts, who have said since 1985 that the “ideal rate” for caesarean sections is between 10% and 15% of births. Caesareans save lives for example when women are in obstructed labour or their babies are in distress. But two new studies show that in countries where they account for more than 10% of births, “there is no evidence that mortality rates improve”, the WHO said.

About 25% of UK births are through caesarean section, up from 12% in 1990. The rise is worldwide and thought to be a combination of doctors believing surgery is safer in potentially difficult births and women choosing not to undergo labour. More than half of women giving birth have caesarean sections in Brazil and the figure rises to over 80% in private hospitals.

There are risks in any surgical procedure. According to the National Institute of Healthcare and Clinical Excellence (Nice), a caesarean increases the risk that a baby will end up in intensive care and that women will stay longer in hospital, have a hysterectomy or a cardiac arrest. Its 2011 guidelines, however, state that women who want a caesarean should get one, even if it is not for medical reasons.

The WHO says the full effects of a caesarean on mother and child are not yet clear. “Across a population, the effects of caesarean section rates on maternal and newborn outcomes such as stillbirths or morbidities like birth asphyxia are still unknown. More research on the impact of caesarean sections on women’s psychological and social wellbeing is still needed,” it said.

There are many countries in the developing world, however, where women and their babies are dying for want of a caesarean section. The WHO says that decisions about whether to operate should be made on a case by case basis, and not according to target figures.

Delivery by caesarean section and childhood cancer: a nationwide follow-up study in three countries.


Objective

To investigate the association between delivery by caesarean section and risk of childhood cancer.

Design

A population-based, follow-up study using register data from three countries.

Setting

Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

Population

Children born in Denmark (1973–2007), Sweden (1973–2006) and Finland (randomly selected sample of 90%, 1987–2007;n = 7 029 843).

Methods

Exposure was delivery by caesarean section and the outcome was childhood cancer diagnosis. Follow-up started from birth and ended at the first of the following dates: cancer diagnosis, death, emigration, day before 15th birthday or end of follow-up. Cox regression was used to obtain hazard ratios.

Main outcome measures

Childhood cancer diagnosis.

Results

A total of 882 907 (12.6%) children were delivered by caesarean section. Of these, 30.3% were elective (n = 267 603), 35.9% unplanned (n = 316 536) and 33.8% had no information on planning (n = 298 768). Altogether, 11 181 children received a cancer diagnosis. No evidence of an increased risk of childhood cancer was found for children born by caesarean section (hazard ratio, 1.05; 95% confidence interval, 0.99, 1.11). No association was found for any major type of childhood cancer, or when split by the type of caesarean section (elective/unplanned).

Conclusion

The evidence does not suggest that caesarean section is a risk factor for the overall risk of childhood cancer and possibly not for subtypes of childhood cancer either.

Source: BJOG

Snoring mothers-to-be linked to low birth weight babies.


Experts say snoring may be a sign of breathing problems that could deprive an unborn baby of oxygen

A newborn baby. Scientists found that women who snored both before and during pregnancy were more likely to have smaller babies and elective C-sections. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Mothers-to-be who snore are more likely to give birth to smaller babies, a study has found. Snoring during pregnancy was also linked to higher rates of Caesarean delivery.

Experts said snoring may be a sign of breathing problems that could deprive an unborn baby of oxygen.

Previous research has shown women who start to snore during pregnancy are at risk from high blood pressure and the potentially dangerous pregnancy condition pre-eclampsia.

More than a third of the 1,673 pregnant women recruited for the US study reported habitual snoring.

Scientists found women who snored in their sleep three or more nights a week had a higher risk of poor delivery outcomes, including smaller babies and Caesarean births.

Chronic snorers, who snored both before and during pregnancy, were two-thirds more likely to have a baby whose weight was in the bottom 10%.

They were also more than twice as likely to need an elective Caesarean delivery, or C-section, compared with non-snorers.

Dr Louise O’Brien, from the University of Michigan’s Sleep Disorders Centre, said: “There has been great interest in the implications of snoring during pregnancy and how it affects maternal health but there is little data on how it may impact the health of the baby.

“We’ve found that chronic snoring is associated with both smaller babies and C-sections, even after we accounted for other risk factors. This suggests that we have a window of opportunity to screen pregnant women for breathing problems during sleep that may put them at risk of poor delivery outcomes.”

Women who snored both before and during pregnancy were more likely to have smaller babies and elective C-sections, the researches found. Those who started snoring only during pregnancy had a higher risk of both elective and emergency Caesareans, but not of smaller babies.

Snoring is a key sign of obstructive sleep apnoea, which results in the airway becoming partially blocked, said the researchers, whose findings appear in the journal Sleep.

This can reduce blood oxygen levels during the night and is associated with serious health problems, including high blood pressure and heart attacks.

Sleep apnoea can be treated with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), which involves wearing a machine during sleep to keep the airways open.

Dr O’Brien added: “If we can identify risks during pregnancy that can be treated, such as obstructive sleep apnoea, we can reduce the incidence of small babies, C-sections and possibly NICU (neo-natal intensive care unit) admission that not only improve long-term health benefits for newborns but also help keep costs down.”

Cesarean Delivery: Lower Immunity Building in Infants?


  Cesarean delivery may result in lower bacterial diversity, lower abundance of the phylum Bacteroidetes, and lower circulating levels of Th1 chemokines in infants compared with vaginal delivery, according to a study published online August 7 in Gut. Lower diversity may lead to higher exposure to health risks such as allergies later in life.

Hedvig E. Jakobsson, MSc, from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues followed-up 24 infants born by healthy women, 15 by vaginal delivery and 9 by cesarean delivery, from birth through age 24 months. The women and children were part of a larger study on prevention of allergies by probiotics, and 20 (83%) of the babies were partly breast-fed up until 6 months of age.

The researchers analyzed stool samples collected from the mothers 1 week after delivery and from the infants at 1 week and 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months after delivery. They compared microbial gene sequences isolated from mother and infant stool samples. They also collected venous blood samples from the infants at 6, 12, and 24 months of age. None of the infants received antibiotics, and any mothers who received antibiotics did so only after birth.

Although microbiota developed in a similar fashion at the phylum level for infants in both delivery-method groups, the researchers found that vaginal delivery infants had significantly higher proportions of Bacteroidetes than cesarean delivery infants, particularly at 1 week, 3 months, and 12 months. They also found moderately lower levels of Th1-associated chemokines in blood samples from cesarean delivery infants, which could increase risk for immune-mediated diseases such as allergy, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease.

This study comes only a few months after another study found that cesarean delivery, combined with lack of breast feeding, may negatively influence gut bacteria development and lead to health risks later in life.

“[Cesarean delivery] was associated with a lower diversity of the Bacteroidetes phylum when considering all time points (p=0.002),” the authors of the current study write.

“Our study corroborates earlier studies reporting a delayed colonization of Bacteroides in babies delivered by [cesarean delivery].” In addition, they write, the new gene sequencing data indicate that “specific lineages of the intestinal microbiota, as defined by 16S rRNA gene sequences, are transmitted from mother to child during vaginal delivery.”

The researchers point out that more knowledge of how delivery mode affects microbiota composition and building of immunity may lead to improved allergy prevention strategies.

Source: Gut.

 

Sensible Sun Exposure Can Help Prevent Melanoma, Breast Cancer, and Hundreds of Other Health Problems.


Story at-a-glance

  • Exposure to sunlight increases nitric oxide production in your body, which lowers blood pressure and benefits your cardiovascular system. According to researchers, this benefit alone may outweigh the potential skin cancer risk
  • Vitamin D from sensible sun exposure appears essential in preventing 16 different types of cancer, including melanoma, and a host of other health problems like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, fractures, and infections; in fact, optimizing your vitamin D with sun exposure may cut your risk of dying from all causes in half
  • Melanoma does not appear to be caused by UV exposure
  • Increased melanoma rates reported by health officials are caused by misclassification of non-cancerous lesions as “stage 1 melanoma.” 90 percent of melanoma surgeries end up not being melanoma and are unnecessary. Studies show avoiding the sun actually increases your risk for this deadly cancer
  • Sunshine is so important to your overall health that science is now finding a connection between the strength of your immune system and the month you were born, called the “birth month effect”
  • A growing body of research clearly shows the absolute necessity of vitamin D for good health and disease prevention. However, despite vitamin D’s role in keeping your body ticking along like a well-oiled clock, you are likely deficient in the “sunshine vitamin”—because the majority of people are.
  • Our vitamin D levels have dropped as a result of being scared sunless by those spreading misinformation that the sun causes melanoma, a myth that survives by mass promotion but really lacks any factual basis. It has been repeated so many times that most people believe it.
  • Vitamin D affects your biological function by influencing nearly 3,000 of your genes through vitamin D receptors. In fact, vitamin D receptors are found throughout your body, which should come as no surprise, given we humans evolved in the sun.
  • Recent research1,2 has also revealed yet another benefit of sun exposure beyond the protective benefits of producing vitamin D, namely the production of nitric oxide—a compound that lowers your blood pressure.
  • According to the researchers, the heart-health benefits from this may outweigh the risk of developing skin cancer. Your vitamin D level varies not only with time of day, season, and geographic location, but also with your genetics.
  • For example, if you have dark skin, you may need up to 10 times more sun exposure to maintain an optimal vitamin D level as a person with pale skin.Redheads have to be particularly careful, as they appear to be genetically predisposed to developing melanoma, regardless of whether or not they spend time in the sun.
  • melanoma

Sunshine’s gifts extend well beyond vitamin D production. As discussed in the featured article by Sayer Ji,3 five of the many noteworthy properties of sunlight include:

  1. Pain-killing (analgesic) properties
  2. Increased subcutaneous fat metabolism
  3. Regulation of human lifespan (solar cycles appear to be able to directly affect the human genome, thereby influencing lifespan)
  4. Daytime sun exposure improves evening alertness
  5. Conversion to metabolic energy (i.e. we may “ingest” energy directly from the sun, like plants do)

When it comes to vitamin D production, the benefits are simply immeasurable. In fact, correcting a vitamin D deficiency may cut your risk of dying in half, according to an analysis of more than 10,000 individuals.

According to a January 2013 press release by Orthomolecular Medicine4, 3,600 medical papers with vitamin D in the title or abstract were published in 2012 alone, bringing the grand total to 33,800. Research to date shows vitamin D has far reaching benefits to your physical and mental health, with the following chart representing only the tip of the sunbeam.

Pregnancy outcomes (reduced risk of Cesarean section and pre-eclampsia) Autism
Childhood language impairment Cardiovascular disease
Type 1 diabetes Alzheimer’s disease
Type 2 diabetes Bacterial and viral infections
Falls and bone fractures 16 different types of cancer
Stroke All-cause mortality

Another Way Sun Exposure Protects Your Heart Health

UVB exposure also improves your mood and energy level, helps regulate melatonin, and, as mentioned earlier, increases nitric oxide production5, which benefits your cardiovascular system. With regards to the latter:

“Richard Weller, Senior Lecturer in Dermatology, and colleagues, say the effect is such that overall, sun exposure could improve health and even prolong life, because the benefits of reducing blood pressure, cutting heart attacks and strokes, far outweigh the risk of getting skin cancer,” Medical News Today reports6.

Weller and colleagues found that the body’s production of nitric oxide is separate from production of vitamin D… Human skin contains large stores of nitrite (NO2) and nitrate (NO3). The researchers note that while nitrate is “biologically inert”, the action of sunlight can reduce it to active nitrite and nitric oxide (NO).They found that circulatory nitrate fell and nitrite rose during UV and heat exposure, but not during exposure to heat only. There was no difference in vitamin D levels.

Weller says in a statement that: ‘We suspect that the benefits to heart health of sunlight will outweigh the risk of skin cancer. The work we have done provides a mechanism that might account for this, and also explains why dietary vitamin D supplements alone will not be able to compensate for lack of sunlight… If this confirms that sunlight reduces the death rate from all causes, we will need to reconsider our advice on sun exposure.'”

Skin Cancer, in Brief

Before we discuss melanoma, you need a basic understanding of the three most common types of skin cancer, each named for the type of cells affected:

  1. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC): Begins in the basal cell layer of the skin, typically on the face; the most common form of skin cancer and the most common type of cancer in humans; least likely skin cancer to spread.7
  2. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC): Begins in the squamous cells, typically on the face, neck, ears, lips, and backs of hands; tends to grow and spread a bit more than BCC.
  3. Melanoma: Begins in the melanocytes (the cells that produce the pigment melanin, responsible for your tan); melanin protects the deeper layers of your skin from excess radiation. Melanoma is more likely than other types of skin cancer to spread to other parts of your body and causes more deaths than any other type of skin cancer.8

Don’t Fall for the Melanoma Myth

If you believe the lure of the sun is equivalent to the siren’s call for melanoma, you’ll be relieved to learn melanoma is not actually caused by sun exposure, unlike the other two types of skin cancer, BCC and SCC. Although the reported number of new cases of melanoma in the US has been reportedly increasing for more than 30 years,9 a landmark study in the British Journal of Dermatology10 suggests this apparent increase is a result of non-cancerous lesions being misclassified as “stage 1 melanoma.” In other words, people are being diagnosed with melanoma even when they have only a minimal, non-cancerous lesion, and these diagnoses are significantly skewing cancer statistics.11 The sun is nothing more than a scapegoat in this phenomenon of “increased melanoma.”

But this misdiagnosis is doing more than just skewing statistics—it’s causing a mountain of unnecessary melanoma surgeries. A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology12 found that 90 percent of melanoma excisions end up NOT being melanoma at all. But if the sun doesn’t cause melanoma, then what does?

The REAL Role of the Sun in Melanoma

As with all serious diseases, there are multiple interacting factors that cause your immune system to go awry, such as nutrition, environmental toxins, stress, inadequate sleep, etc. But for melanoma, the sun does appear to have a significant role—melanoma may signify too little of it!

Studies show melanoma mortality actually decreases after UV exposure. Additionally, melanoma lesions do not predominate sun-exposed skin, which is why sunscreens have proven ineffective in preventing it. Exposure to sunlight, particularly UVB, is protective against melanoma—or rather, the vitamin D your body produces in response to UVB radiation is protective. The following passage comes from The Lancet:13

“Paradoxically, outdoor workers have a decreased risk of melanoma compared with indoor workers, suggesting that chronic sunlight exposure can have a protective effect.”

And this from the British Medical Journal:14

“There is solid descriptive, quantitative, and mechanistic proof that ultraviolet rays cause the main skin cancers (basal and squamous). They develop in pale, sun exposed skin, are related to degree of exposure and latitude, are fewer with avoidance and protection, are readily produced experimentally, and are the overwhelmingly predominant tumor in xeroderma pigmentosum, where DNA repair of ultraviolet light damage is impaired. None of these is found with melanoma.”

The bottom line is, by avoiding the sun, your risk for vitamin D deficiency skyrockets, which increases your odds of developing melanoma and a multitude of other diseases. The risks associated with insufficient vitamin D are far greater than those posed by basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas, which are fairly benign by comparison, as you’ll see by reading on.

Theories linking vitamin D deficiency to cancer have been tested and confirmed in more than 200 epidemiological studies, and understanding of its physiological basis stems from more than 2,500 laboratory studies. In the above interview, GrassrootsHealthfounder Carole Baggerly believes 90 percent of ordinary breast cancer is related to vitamin D deficiency. In fact, breast cancer has been described as a “vitamin D deficiency syndrome.” The way vitamin D interferes with breast cancer’s ability to spread is by affecting the structure of those cells—without adequate vitamin D, they fall apart and are forced to “overmultiply” in order to survive.

Previous research has shown that optimizing your vitamin D levels can reduce your risk for as many as 16 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, breast, prostate, and skin cancers. A study of menopausal women showed that maintaining vitamin D serum levels of 40ng/ml lowers overall cancer risk by 77 percent.

Two recent papers in the journal Science Express15 shed light on how cancer might begin. A cancer cell can be created when unusual mutations occur in a small area of its DNA that controls and regulates its genes, as contrasted with mutations in the genes themselves. The mutations spur the cell to make telomerase. One of the functions of telomerase is to prevent telomere shortening, which leads to cell death. According to Harvard researchers, abundant telomerase is so important to cancers that it appears in nine out of ten.

In addition to being a strong cancer preventative, vitamin D is crucial for pregnant women and their babies, lowering the risk for preterm birth, low birth weight, and C-section. And sadly, 80 percent of pregnant women have inadequate vitamin D levels.

Low Vitamin D in Pregnancy May Increase Your Baby’s Risk for Multiple Sclerosis Later in Life

Sunshine is so important to your overall health that science is now finding a connection between the strength of your immune system and your birthday, called the “birth month effect.” If you were born in the spring, you are statistically more vulnerable to developing an autoimmune disease such as multiple sclerosis (MS), than if you were born in the fall.16, 17

Why would this be?

Some researchers suggest it’s related to a pregnant woman’s vitamin D levels during her baby’s gestation. April and May babies have been gestating during the colder, darker months, as opposed to November and December babies, who’ve been developing over the spring and summer. Now a study in JAMA Neurology18 shows this hunch may be correct, suggesting a mechanism related to thymic development. Another study suggests sun exposure and vitamin D may play roles in the CNS demyelination associated with MS.19

And the sun can lift your mood! New research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that Google searches for mental health related issues drop by 15 to 42 percent during the summer months, which could very well be related to the boost in vitamin D.20 Vitamin D deficiency is a known factor in cognitive impairment and dementia.

Safely exposing your bare skin to the sun is the best way to optimize your vitamin D levels, and is therefore the best protection against melanoma. Sunburn should be avoided at all cost. I recommend reading our article about safe sunning guidelines and listening to the video above for detailed instructions about how to do this safely and effectively.

Vitamin D3 is an oil-soluble steroid hormone (the term “vitamin” is a misnomer) that forms when your skin is exposed to UVB radiation from the sun or a safe tanning bed. When UVB strikes the surface of your skin, your skin converts a cholesterol derivative into vitamin D3. It takes up to 48 hours for this D3 to be absorbed into your bloodstream to raise your vitamin D levels. Therefore, it’s important to avoid washing your skin with soap for 48 hours after sun exposure. In case you do develop a sunburn, immediately apply raw aloe vera, as it’s one of the best skin remedies.

As a general guideline, research by GrassrootsHealth suggests that adults need about 8,000 IU’s per day to achieve a serum level of 40 ng/ml. If you opt for a vitamin D supplement, you also need to boost your intake of vitamin K2 through food and/or a supplement. How do you know if your vitamin D level is in the right range? The most important factor is having your vitamin D serum level tested every six months, as people vary widely in their response to ultraviolet exposure or oral D3 supplementation. Your goal is to reach a clinically relevant serum level of 50-70 ng/ml.

Overuse of Sunscreen May Turn You into a Melanoma Magnet

Following the advise of health officials’ to slather on sunscreen may increase your melanoma risk instead of decreasing it, which is certainly not what you want. Indeed, you never want to let yourself burn. However, if you practice safe sunning, you will avail yourself of all of the sun’s health benefits with none of the risk.

If you do use a sunscreen, please be careful about which product you choose as many sunscreen products contain chemicals you don’t want absorbed into your body. According to the Environmental Working Group’s 2012 Sunscreen Guide,21 about 75 percent of sunscreens contain potentially harmful ingredients, such as oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate. Avoid products with SPFs higher than 50, and make sure yours offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

Keep in mind SPF only protects against UVBs—but it’s the UVAs that increase your risk for skin cancer and are responsible for photoaging your skin. Recall that it’s the UVBs that stimulate your vitamin D production, so you don’t want to block out too many of them.

Using an “internal sunscreen” is an alternative to topical sunblock agents. Astaxanthin—a potent antioxidant—has been found to offer effective protection against sun damage when taken as a daily supplement. It can also be used topically and a number of topical sunscreen products contain it. Some sunscreens are also starting to use astaxanthin as an ingredient to protect your skin from damage. As an alternative, you can cover up with lightweight clothing to protect yourself. Sometimes we forget about the simple things, like simply wearing a hat.

For the latest information about vitamin D, please visit our Vitamin D News and Information page.

How Vitamin D Performance Testing Can Help Optimize Your Health

Additionally, a robust and growing body of research clearly shows that vitamin D is absolutely critical for good health and disease prevention. Vitamin D affects your DNA through vitamin D receptors (VDRs), which bind to specific locations of the human genome. Scientists have identified nearly 3,000 genes that are influenced by vitamin D levels, and vitamin D receptors have been found throughout the human body.

Is it any wonder then that no matter what disease or condition is investigated, vitamin D appears to play a crucial role? This is why I am so excited about the D*Action Project by GrassrootsHealth. It is showing how you can take action today on known science with a consensus of experts without waiting for institutional lethargy. It has shown how by combining the science of measurement (of vitamin D levels) with the personal choice of taking action and, the value of education about individual measures that one can truly be in charge of their own health.

In order to spread this health movement to more communities, the project needs your involvement. This is an ongoing campaign during the month of February, and will become an annual event.

To participate, simply purchase the D*Action Measurement Kit and follow the registration instructions included. (Please note that 100 percent of the proceeds from the kits go to fund the research project. I do not charge a single dime as a distributor of the test kits.)

As a participant, you agree to test your vitamin D levels twice a year during a five-year program, and share your health status to demonstrate the public health impact of this nutrient. There is a $65 fee every 6 months for your sponsorship of the project, which includes a test kit to be used at home, and electronic reports on your ongoing progress. You will get a follow up email every six months reminding you “it’s time for your next test and health survey.”

Source: mercola.com