Published on June 14, 2023

Celebrating Our Founder Carole Baggerly’s 81st Birthday!

Key Points

  • Today, June 14th, is GrassrootsHealth’s Founder, Carole Baggerly’s birthday!
  • Read and share about Carole and how she has inspired you in life, work, or both
  • Learn about Carole’s new venture, Tools of Living

Today, June 14th, is our Founder Carole Baggerly’s birthday! Carole has and continues to touch hundreds of thousands of lives through harnessing her never-ending passion for improving health with vitamin D and other nutrients, and her perseverance in inspiring others to take action for their own health and for others’. Her mission to join with vitamin D researchers around the world to end the vitamin D deficiency epidemic remains strong as she moves to focus on another venture – Tools of Living. Learn more about how Carole plans to assist individuals in all stages of life, starting with aging in place, through her new resource by joining Carole in an interview with Richard ‘Talk to me Guy’ this Sunday, June 18th, and by reading more about Tools of Living below.

To honor Carole on this special day, we are gathering and sharing quotes from others about her and how she has inspired them in both life and work. See what amazing things some of our scientists and colleagues have already said about Carole below. Please feel free to add your quote about Carole and how she has touched your life by replying to this email, or send your quote to jen(at)grassrootshealth.org.

We look forward to hearing what you have to share about our wonderful founder, Carole Baggerly!

A Tribute to Carole’s Legacy with GrassrootsHealth, from William B. Grant, PhD

Carole Baggerly entered the field of vitamin D research and advocacy quite by accident. After she had survived breast cancer treatment in 2005, her general practitioner told her that she had osteopenia or osteoarthritis and should start taking vitamin D. As a good researcher she researched vitamin D and learned that vitamin D reduces risk of breast cancer and that Cedric Garland at UCSD was one of the discovers of that fact. She met with Cedric and became convinced that the effects of vitamin D on cancer were real. Later, with her husband Leo, she drove around the US during two summers meeting vitamin D researchers and asking what role she, as a retired business woman, could have in advancing the public’s interest in vitamin D. She also realized that the medical and pharmaceutical system in the US was not interested in vitamin D. As a result, in 2007, she formed GrassrootsHealth as a non-profit organization to tell the general public the benefits of vitamin D, and she enrolled about 40 vitamin D researchers as advisors. She also started the GrassrootsHealth self-sponsored Vitamin D*action cohort for people to use mail-in blood spot tests to measure their serum 25(OH)D concentrations and report on health status twice yearly. The results from this cohort have been used in presentations and several journal publications.

Carole’s work has some measurable results. The first paper using D*action cohort data, was published in 2011 [1]. This paper was a wake-up call as the first publication showing the dose response relationship as a curve versus a linear relationship, and showing the uniqueness of individual response.

Another example, a letter published in JAMA in 2017, noted that prevalence of vitamin D supplementation use of 1000 IU or more in the US increased from 4.4% (95% CI, 3.7-5.1%) in 2007-2008 to 18% (16-21%) in 2013-2014 [2]. The authors of the study expressed concern that there might be some adverse effects of high-dose vitamin D supplementation as a result.

Four studies that Carole helped organize have been useful in showing that serum 25(OH)D concentrations above 40 ng/mL have important benefits: one on all-cancer incidence rate for women [3], one for type 2 diabetes mellitus incidence [4], one on preterm birth rates [5], and one on breast cancer incidence [6].

Carole also organized a workshop, Vitamin D for Public Health – Integrating Sunshine, Supplements and Measurement for Optimal Health, 2014 La Jolla, resulting in a journal publication [7] as well as video presentations linked to the publication.

In addition to the technical work related to GrassrootsHealth, Carole has also helped form a community of researchers interested in promoting health through natural approaches as opposed to traditional pharmaceutical and medical approaches. For example, she has publicized findings and accomplishments of the associated vitamin D researchers through the GrassrootsHealth newsletter and at Twitter.

During the past few years, Carole has steered GrassrootsHealth in the direction of considering more supplements including omega-3. The new name of the organization, GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute; Moving Research into Practice reflects that change.

I have been associated with Carole and GrassrootsHealth for the past fifteen years. Her friendship and encouragement have helped me continue my research efforts into the roles of UVB, vitamin D, and diet in reducing risk of chronic and infectious diseases. As she now steps back from actively directing GrassrootsHealth, I wish her, her family, and GrassrootsHealth all the best.

William B. Grant, PhD, Director, Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center, San Francisco

(References below)

Happy Birthday Carole! You truly are an inspiration…

Here is what others had to share about Carole for her birthday today.

Carole Baggerly is one of the handful of people I have known whose tenacity and wisdom have changed the scientific world. She is a rara avis par excellence.

She has a gift for speaking and organizing in a powerful manner.
She takes action carefully, and always the right action for the need.

I rank her above Mary Lasker, the most revered promoter of scientific research about cancer. Lasker focused on treatment, and took it as far as was possible in the past century.

Carole took us into history in this new century in cancer prevention. Her work will save millions of lives long into the future as her work materially helps the world defeat cancer mainly with vitamin D and other micronutrients.

Three cheers and five stars for world-class citizen scientist and advocate Carole Baggerly. And cheers as well for her scholarly scientific colleague, advocate and husband Leo.

Dr. Cedric Garland


Happiest of Birthday Celebrations Carole!

When seeking out a way to get the word out about type 1 diabetes prevention in an open source manner, I was at a loss. Then, a parent who attended one of our conferences suggested that I contact you. It was one of those serendipity moments!  Your initial inspiration may have been cancer prevention, but the tools you provide are allowing for improvements in  autoimmune health and so much more!

I want to be like you when I “grow up”. You are a precious hero!

Sonia Chritton
President, Children With Diabetes Research Foundation


Carole loves people and that is the most beautiful thing about her. She literally changed my life and the health of the population North Dakota. Carole, you are a legend and one of heroes

—Change the world? Why not?! Be like Carole.—

Beth Sanford


Happy birthday, Carole!

Your personal story and many years of public health work are truly inspiring.

I hope you have a special day – with family, friends, and sunshine!

Best wishes,
Carlos Camargo


I have worked with Carole for the past 13 years and I’m always amazed at her accomplishments. Hardly a day goes by that I do not reference the D*action recommendation on the GrassrootsHealth website. Carole was a key presenter and our conference leader as we brought the vitamin D and sunshine message to universities across Canada. I will always remember her rousing rendition of “You are my Sunshine” to start our event. Happy Birthday Carole!

Perry Holman
Vitamin D Society


When Carole hired me at GrassrootsHealth nearly 10 years ago, little did I understand the movement I would become a part of. To see what Carole has accomplished from inception of GrassrootsHealth to creating a global Vitamin D movement today is nothing short of awe-inspiring. I am forever grateful and thankful to have met Carole, and to be able to work with her closely to this day. She has taught me, as well as many others, a lot about strength, perseverance, and determination. Carole is pure inspiration for bringing good into this world and I wish her a wonderful and extremely HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Vicken Jabourian


Happy Birthday Carole! It is because of you that I persevered with my vitamin D research. You have inspired thousands of people throughout the world to care about nutrition and vitamin D. I wish you happiness and fulfillment in the years to come!

All the best,
Carol Wagner


Carole is always about liberally sharing information on vitamin D and other nutrients and their power to prevent and heal. I’m sure she has no idea of the exponential effect she has had on people she will never know! I have passed along her knowledge and the work of GrassrootsHealth to hundreds of friends, family and colleagues only to have that forwarded many times over. I often receive thanks for this life changing data but of course they all belong to Carole! So thank you Carole for your life’s work in educating and then preventing so many health issues for so many! Wishing you many deserved blessings my friend!

Kathy Pearse


I remember a special August day in 2009 when you and Leo came to Saskatoon. You gave an impassioned talk on vitamin D’s role in breast cancer and I am sure changed the lives – for the better – of many in the room and their families/friends, as well as me. Congratulations as you celebrate your birthday for remaining as committed and passionate as ever,

Susan Whiting


I’d like to offer my congratulations to Carole! Carole has been a tremendously passionate advocate for the benefits of adequate vitamin D status. Her work in educating the public and health professionals has made a great impact in improving the health of countless individuals across all stages of life in our country and the world. I have always admired her dedication and passion to the cause.

Ed Giovannucci


Carole represents the sunshine that she vigorously promotes, as well as a breath of fresh air in the world of research of Vitamin D and the many additional benefits that come from healthy exposure to the sun. She has the warmth and brightness of that sunshine and the power to get things done. Carole has been an inspiration to me as well as to our whole company to continue our work in bringing sunshine to the world. Bless you Carole for the gift to society that you are!

David Letourneau


Congratulations dear Carole,

You are a star.
I still hear the deadly silence following the question you posed during a Vitamin D Workshop with some 400 scientists “where is your sense of urgency?”

Barbara M van Amerongen, Amsterdam


Carole’s drive, enthusiasm and energy are a force to be reckoned with! Her dedication to the education of the health benefits of vitamin D is truly admirable. I’m grateful to having had the opportunity to work with her.

Samantha Kimball


Carole is so driven and passionate about helping others. She always prioritizes improving the lives of those around her. I’ve been so fortunate to be able to work with her to make the world a healthier place.

Sharon McDonnell


One of the immediate things that comes to mind about Carole is I have always admired her doggedness (persistence) about keeping people informed about how important vitamin D is for vitality, health, and longevity.

Richard ‘TalkToMeGuy’ Olson


Hey Carole – Happy Birthday! You are a visionary and have been so helpful to us here in the UK! I hope you have a great day and a great year ahead and make time for yourself as you have given so much to others.

Love and best wishes from Patrick Holford


I have looked up to Carole since I began working with her nearly 12 years ago.  She is an intelligent, inspiring, and determined person with an amazing skill of generating enthusiasm and action among those around her.  I will always appreciate what I have learned from her, and hope to demonstrate that knowledge through all that I do now and moving forward with GrassrootsHealth… Happy birthday to you Carole!

Jen Aliano


Congratulations Mrs Carole Baggerly for your birthday. Have a happy day, from a GrassrootsHealth advocate, member.

Best and kind regards.
Basil F. Hermo-Mosqueira,MD
Physician-Internal Medicine

Hi Carole
Wishing you a very happy birthday
I would like to thank you for the positive impact you have had on my life and my family.

With Gratitude
Liz Lavine


A Note from Carole about Her Next Adventure

I have reached what I consider a major ‘milestone’ with my 81st birthday, and I want to especially thank all those that I have known and interfaced with over the years! EVERYONE has contributed to helping us all learn so much.

Throughout my life, I have thought that ‘learning’ how to be ‘independent’ is a major benefit of life – along with sharing what you have learned. At this point, GrassrootsHealth is in the very capable hands of Jen Aliano as its Director, and I am moving on to a new organization, Tools of Living — which I have set up specifically to address the needs we all have to enable our putting into practice the kinds of health that we all want to have. For example, if we have achieved a level of physical balance through our nutrients and exercise, we still may need a ‘Rollator’ to help us manage the paths around the neighborhood, or ‘Grabbars’ in the house to help us have something to hold onto in key areas. Tools of Living will also have a Community Sharing function to enable everyone to share both questions about the tools as well as participation in joint activities, from exercises to discussion groups. A key area Tools of Living will be addressing to start will be what it takes to ‘Age in Place’ — to get your home in order so that as you age you can stay in your home vs having to move.

In addition, we will be interfacing/working with GrassrootsHealth to further the Nutrient Research of joint members!

Please send me any comments or suggestions for things you want to see, any questions to my new email,

[email protected]

More to come for all.

Carole ‘81

Are You and Your Loved Ones Getting Enough Vitamin D and Other Important Nutrients?

The only way to know is to test your levels! Testing versus blind supplementation is essential to know for sure if what you are taking is the right amount for you. Once you test your vitamin D (and other levels) to know where you are NOW, you can account for any upcoming changes in lifestyle over the coming months and adjust your intake to reach (or maintain) your targets.

Measure your:

  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium PLUS Elements
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • hsCRP
  • HbA1c
  • TSH
  • Type 1 Diabetes Autoantibodies

Did you know that each of the above can be measured at home using a simple blood spot test? As part of our ongoing research project, you can order your home blood spot test kit to get your levels, followed by education and steps to take to help you reach your optimal target levels. Start by enrolling and ordering your kit to measure each of the above important markers, and make sure you are getting enough of each to support better mood and wellbeing!

Create your custom home test kit today. Take steps to improve the status of each of these measurements to benefit your overall health. With measurement you can then determine how much is needed and steps to achieve your goals.  You can also track your own intakes, symptoms and results to see what works best for YOU.

Enroll in D*action and Test Your Levels Today!


1. Garland, C.F.; French, C.B.; Baggerly, L.L.; Heaney, R.P. Vitamin D supplement doses and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the range associated with cancer prevention. Anticancer Res 2011, 31, 607-611.

2. Rooney, M.R.; Harnack, L.; Michos, E.D.; Ogilvie, R.P.; Sempos, C.T.; Lutsey, P.L. Trends in Use of High-Dose Vitamin D Supplements Exceeding 1000 or 4000 International Units Daily, 1999-2014. JAMA 2017, 317, 2448-2450, doi:10.1001/jama.2017.4392.

3. McDonnell, S.L.; Baggerly, C.; French, C.B.; Baggerly, L.L.; Garland, C.F.; Gorham, E.D.; Lappe, J.M.; Heaney, R.P. Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations >/=40 ng/ml Are Associated with >65% Lower Cancer Risk: Pooled Analysis of Randomized Trial and Prospective Cohort Study. PLoS One 2016, 11, e0152441, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0152441.

4. McDonnell, S.L.; Baggerly, L.L.; French, C.B.; Heaney, R.P.; Gorham, E.D.; Holick, M.F.; Scragg, R.; Garland, C.F. Incidence rate of type 2 diabetes is >50% lower in GrassrootsHealth cohort with median serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D of 41 ng/ml than in NHANES cohort with median of 22 ng/ml. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2016, 155, 239-244, doi:10.1016/j.jsbmb.2015.06.013.

5. McDonnell, S.L.; Baggerly, K.A.; Baggerly, C.A.; Aliano, J.L.; French, C.B.; Baggerly, L.L.; Ebeling, M.D.; Rittenberg, C.S.; Goodier, C.G.; Mateus Nino, J.F., et al. Maternal 25(OH)D concentrations >/=40 ng/mL associated with 60% lower preterm birth risk among general obstetrical patients at an urban medical center. PLoS One 2017, 12, e0180483, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0180483.

6. McDonnell, S.L.; Baggerly, C.A.; French, C.B.; Baggerly, L.L.; Garland, C.F.; Gorham, E.D.; Hollis, B.W.; Trump, D.L.; Lappe, J.M. Breast cancer risk markedly lower with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations >/=60 vs <20 ng/ml (150 vs 50 nmol/L): Pooled analysis of two randomized trials and a prospective cohort. PLoS One 2018, 13, e0199265, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0199265.

7. Baggerly, C.A.; Cuomo, R.E.; French, C.B.; Garland, C.F.; Gorham, E.D.; Grant, W.B.; Heaney, R.P.; Holick, M.F.; Hollis, B.W.; McDonnell, S.L., et al. Sunlight and Vitamin D: Necessary for Public Health. J Am Coll Nutr 2015, 34, 359-365, doi:10.1080/07315724.2015.1039866.

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)

Enroll in D*action and Build Your Custom Test Kit!