Saturday, August 04, 2007

Confusion over Vitamin D, Sunshine and Cancer

At the London Times online we have this headline: “Sunshine helps in the fight against breast cancer.” So if you’re reading that you think, great so I’ll just spend more time sunbathing and I’ll be okay. But then in the second paragraph of the story, Times health editor Nigel Hawkes acknowledges that sun can cause skin cancer. So what’s the reader to think at that point? That either way they’re doomed, it’s just a matter of which cancer you want: skin or breast?

How about cutting the sun out of the equation and taking a vitamin D supplement? Hawkes doesn’t toss that out. Instead, he reinforces the either-way-your-doomed thing as he explains that “the majority of vitamin D comes from exposure of the skin to sunlight.” Sure, but that’s not the only way you can get D, is it?

About halfway through the story, Hawkes gets to the study that seems to have prompted his article. A Creighton University (that’s in Nebraska in case you care) report found women taking calcium and vitamin D supplements were 50 percent less likely to develop breast cancer than those taking a placebo. So why isn’t the title of Hawkes’ piece, “Vitamin D helps in the fight against breast cancer?” Then he could go on about the benefits of taking a vitamin D supplement, which is safer than exposure to the sun?

My theory? The Times went with a headline that would scare Britons into reading the story. Think about it, over in the UK, there’s not as much sun as you have in lower latitudes. Evidence for my theory can be found in this quote from the second half of the article: “sun avoidance would increase the risk of cancers overall, especially among those who live at latitudes as far north as Britain.”

Of value in this article, I learned that vitamin D does not last long in the body, so you need a constant supply. Especially if it’s not very sunny in your neighborhood. So supplements, one expert said, are recommended. BUT, the article concludes, “the risks from overdosing are such that these must be taken with caution.”

Okay, maybe I’m getting incredibly cynical here, but doesn’t that strike you as a touch slimy? That quote, those 13 words are the last of the piece. It practically screams out, come back tomorrow and maybe we’ll give you the answer. If you don’t see it tomorrow, keep buying the paper or visiting our site and eventually we’ll give you the info you need to safely take vitamin D.

Interesting, I have yet to find any recommendation for how much vitamin D is safe, though I have read before that it can be toxic in high volumes. But what isn’t? Like scientists say, there are no toxic substances, just toxic amounts.


An Binh said...

Khi mang thai,bạn thường được bác sĩ cũng như người thân khuyên nên ăn trứng vịt lộn.Món ăn này có công dụng giúp tăng trọng lượng, chiều dài của thai nhi và cải thiện sức khỏe cho mẹ.bà bầu có nên ăn trứng vị lộn
Theo bác sĩ Nguyễn Đức Vy, bà bầu ăn nhiều thịt chó có thể khiến axit uric tăng lên dẫn đến nguy cơ cao về sản giật và tiền sản giật.bà bầu có nên ăn thịt chó
khi mang thai bà bầu cân ăn gì để khỏe mạnh và con thông minh cùng tìm hiểu xembà bầu nên ăn gì
tinh dầu bưởi làm từ thiên nhiên giúp mọc tóc làm đẹp hiệu quả.Cung chúng tôi tìm hiểu vềcách làm tinh dầu bưởi
Gần đây, trên mạng xã hội Facebook đang lan truyền một loại bột ngũ cốc có thể làm tăng hoặc giảm cân theo ý muốn, đặc biệt loại bột ngũ cốc nàycòn có khẳ năng làm tăng kích thước vòng 1.đây làcách tăng cân bằng bột ngũ cốc
ăng cân bằng mật ong là phương pháp tăng cân nhanh chóng và hiệu quả, lại tốt cho sức khỏe, giúp bạn nhanh chóng có được cân nặng như ý.Tìm hiểucách tăng cân bằng mật ong
Dứa tuy giàu vitamin nhưng lại chứa một lượng bromelain, chất có tác dụng gây co bóp tử cung. chính vì vậybà bầu có nên ăn dứa

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About Me

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.