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Theresa Albert

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Vitamin D News?

Posted: 08/17/11 02:20 PM ET

Oh, boy. Here it comes, I can feel it! "There's a new study out saying that Vitamin D causes skin cancer, can you comment?"

I am really bad at not rolling my eyes and clucking my tongue. So if you still want me to comment, I will but it's going to happen (maybe even with a heavy sigh).

Let's start with this: I think this study says no such thing. In my opinion, this study does not change one thing. Discuss.

Medical studies are simply an investigation of what could be. And until they are judiciously studied themselves for flaws and biases, they are just one piece of information in the story. Until there are many pieces in the story, (and it makes sense as I said in my earlier blog) I don't think you need to do anything. (I am talking to you, news media, as well as you, mom.)

Take these things like a baseball score, sit back, and watch the whole game. If you turn off the tube before the game is over, you will wake up the next day talking about the "news" and everyone else will think you are nuts. Why would you make such a choice with the most important game in your life? Your health.

This particular study does NOT say that vitamin D causes cancer. It also does not refer to vitamin D supplements at all. It simply looks at a group of people who sought help for osteoporosis-related issues and assessed their blood levels of vitamin D. That is all. It noticed that they had higher than average non-melanoma skin cancers and wonders why. It surmises that there must be some connection between UV rays from the sun and the increased incidence.

They did not look at vitamin D supplements. They were not able to assess the cumulative levels of sunshine of the subjects. I think that there is no recommendation required other than the one that you already know. Manage your sunshine intake wisely. OK, mom?

 

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