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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Prospective Study of Serum Vitamin D and Cancer Mortality in the United States
Journal of the National Cancer Institute Advance Access published online on October 30, 2007
It had to happen. No doubt about it. It would have been an easy prediction. With all of the positive research on vitamin D and prevention of cancers the Cancer Industry had to respond. And they did. In blaring headlines in newspapers, news updates on the radio, and health spots on tv, the news is in. VITAMIN D DOESN'T PREVENT CANCER (except, maybe, colon cancer).

The National Cancer Institute looked at 16818 participants in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey who were 17 years or older at enrollment were followed from 1988-1994 through 2000. Levels of serum 25(OH)D were measured at baseline by radioimmunoassay. Their conclusion-"Our results do not support an association between 25(OH)D and total cancer mortality, although there was an inverse relationship between 25(OH)D levels and colorectal cancer mortality."

The NCI itself admits that there are limitations in this study that might make the results untrue. In other words, big splash-vitamin D doesn't prevent cancer; small splash-this really wasn't a good study.

A huge limitation is that only 1 measurement of vitamin D was made. Then statistical analysis was done to come up with the results. As Mark Twain said, "There are lies, damn lies, and statistics." With only a baseline measurement taken there is no way to judge the validity of the conclusion. A much more scientific method would have been to take multiple measurements throughout the years of the study. At least a final measurement should have been taken.

A glaring omission in basic understanding is that, if all of the people tested were below optimum levels of vitamin D, then there would not be much difference amongst them. None of the subjects would show prevention of cancer related to vitamin D because none of them had high enough levels to make a difference.

So, that's it. Go back to the regularly scheduled broadcast. You can't do anything. Be afraid. Have both breasts removed preventatively if there's cancer in your family. Poison yourself with carcinogenic drugs to treat your cancer. Irradiate yourself, increasing your risk of cancer, to stop tumor growth. By all means don't take a supplement for a few cents per day. It might help but we don't know for sure. And, if it doesn't help it absolutely no harm at all.


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