to Support Improved Birth Outcomes in Missoula, Montana
family-owned and leading manufacturer of dietary supplements, is
pleased to provide more than $100,000 in funding and Vitamin D
supplements to support Protect Our Children NOW!, a two-year
grassroots prenatal Vitamin D project to improve birth outcomes
and combat increased healthcare costs associated with Vitamin D
deficiency in utero. The pilot program, spearheaded by GrassrootsHealth,
an international nonprofit public health promotion organization, will be
conducted at the Western Montana Clinic (WMC) in Missoula,
Montana, with hopes to expand to other cities in the near future.
For more information: www.nowfoods.com.
29th in the nation. According to the March of Dimes, Montana's
current preterm birth rate is 9.3 percent, and the annual cost is
estimated to be $71 Million for the state. However, research has
shown at least 50 percent of the cost ($35 Million) could be
saved and potential preterm births prevented with proper
prenatal education, vitamin D supplementation and screening.
"NOW's mission is to empower people to lead healthier lives,"
said Jim Emme, NOW's CEO. "We are honored to partner with
GrassrootsHealth to provide Vitamin D to these pregnant
women in an effort to have a positive impact on their pregnancies
as well as the future health of their children."
Specifically, lead researcher for the program, Carol Wagner, MD,
who has been running a pilot program out of the Medical University
of South Carolina for the past two years (where she is also a
professor in the department of Pediatrics), said early meta-analysis
compared to past randomized control trial data with NHANES
data revealed women who achieve a serum level of 40 ng/ml or
above during pregnancy have a 59% lower risk of preterm birth
when compared to women with serum levels less than 20 ng/ml.
A full preliminary report on the South Carolina results should be
out later this year. In addition, recent research published in the
journal Obstetrics & Gynecology (http://bit.ly/2614cE0) further
linked vitamin D deficiency to preterm birth.
At WMC, NOW will provide $60,000 in Vitamin D-3 5,000 IU
Chewables (http://bit.ly/1ZUIavC). Participants who qualify for
the program will receive the supplements (also provided by
Carlson Labs), as well as educational materials, access to an
online forum, and a local support contact. Further blood tests will
measure vitamin D serum levels at 24 weeks and at 36 weeks
gestation. Doctors and nurses at WMC will also receive continuing
medical education activities on the importance of vitamin D testing
and supplementation in pregnant women.
"It's our expectation that results of Protect Our Children NOW!
will dovetail nicely with the preliminary results in South Carolina,
further showcasing the tremendous impact Vitamin D supplementation
can have on improved birth outcomes," said Carole Baggerly,
founder and director of GrassrootsHealth. "We couldn't have
launched this program without the generous support of our
partners like NOW, and it's our hope that we can prompt
other institutions across the country to follow suit."
For more information about NOW's involvement with
Protect Our Children NOW!, email Alana.Horinko@nowfoods.com.
All NOW products are available at health food stores
nationwide and also at www.nowfoods.com.
ABOUT NOW®: Founded by Elwood Richard in 1968 on the belief that
natural is better, NOW has become one of the most highly r
espected manufacturers in the natural products industry. Still
a family-owned company today, NOW offers more than 1,400
dietary supplements, foods, sports nutrition and personal care
products. NOW is committed to offering safe, affordable products
of the highest quality. After more than 45 years in the natural
products industry, NOW remains committed to its original mission –
to provide value in products and services that empower people to
lead healthier lives. www.nowfoods.com
About GrassrootsHealth:GrassrootsHealth is a nonprofit public health
organization dedicated to
moving public health messages regarding vitamin D from research into
practice. It has a panel of 48 senior vitamin D researchers from around
the world contributing to its operations. GrassrootsHealth is currently
running the D*action population intervention program to solve the vitamin D
deficiency epidemic worldwide. Under the D*action umbrella, there are
programs looking at the entire population as well as targeted programs
for breast cancer prevention and a 'Protect Our Children NOW!'
program to reduce the complications of vitamin D deficiency encountered
during pregnancy and childhood.
Alana Horinko, 630-545-9098 Alana.Horinko@nowfoods.com