Schlock “Science” Attempts to Debunk Vitamin D Effect on Cancer

The most recent (October 30, 2007) headline regarding vitamin D and cancer on WebMD reads as follows: “Vitamin D May Not Cut Cancer Deaths. Study Shows No Link Between Vitamin D Level and Cancer Deaths — Except for Colorectal Cancer.” Sounds authoritative, doesn’t it? But, if you dig a little deeper, you find out that this so-called “study” can hardly be termed a study at all.

In the first place, no study was actually done. This is another one of those “mega-analyses” that go back over prior work and attempt to extract information that will support a point of view. In this case, “health studies” between 1988 and 1994 were chosen involving people 17 years and older. The only criteria for inclusion, apparently, was that — at the time of enrollment – participants had their serum vitamin D measured. Those participants were then tracked through the year 2000 and, during those 12 years 536 of the 16,800 participants died of cancer.

No further vitamin D levels were ever obtained from the participants, nor were lifestyle or any other factors taken into consideration. However, based on a single lab value taken 12 years previously, the authors of the study were considered expert enough to have an article accepted for publication in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute stating categorically that vitamin D level had no affect on cancer mortality in general. However, they did find that people with the highest level of vitamin D at the study’s start were 72% less likely to die of colon cancer than individuals with low levels of the nutrient. Nonetheless, the editors of the Journal commented that this beneficial result should not be taken at face value since “the relationship between nutritional factors and colorectal as well as other cancers is complicated.” {Journal of the National Cancer Inst, Nov 7, 2007, vol 99, pp 1594-1602 [article] and pp 1563-1565 [editorial]}

And, this was published as a product known to cause precancerous lesions in lab animals was approved for over the counter use. Yes, I am talking about Alli™ – the “weight loss miracle”! (See my blog on Alli™ on this site.) Those lesions I believe to be the result of the mechanism of action of Alli™ — it blocks vitamin D absorption! And, the gut mucosa is an important step in the activation of vitamin D in the body. Can’t anyone connect the dots?

So, what can we learn from this? First of all, rigorous peer review standards do not apply when a researcher is attempting to discredit a natural substance. Secondly, any positive findings must be greatly downplayed to avoid “misleading” the public into thinking there are positive actions they can take to protect themselves from devastating diseases such as cancer.

This is a repeat of a very old, and tired refrain. Every piece of positive information regarding herbs and vitamins is met with the canard, “You must do scientific studies.” Yet, when the study is actually completed and the data is positive, we are then treated to an attempt to discredit it as soon as possible. There is truly no longer any integrity in medical research. Almost all of it — even that conducted at large universities — is funded by drug manufacturers. And, the agenda is plain. Discredit natural remedies and promote “life saving” drugs. Because, if you never need a drug, the pharmaceutical industry will take a blow to its bottom line!

Does this apply to you? If so, see our information on Consultations.