The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Failure to lower skin cancer risk with vitamin D

    Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, in Redwood City, California, evaluated the effects of vitamin D combined with calcium supplementation on melanoma skin cancers.

    First, the details.

    • 36,282 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative calcium/vitamin D study were randomly assigned to a treatment group for about 7 years.
      • 1,000 mg of elemental calcium + 400 IU of vitamin D3 daily
      • Placebo
    • Nonmelanoma and melanoma skin cancers were recorded.

    And, the results.

    • The rate of nonmelanoma and melanoma didn’t differed between treatments.
    • Women with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer taking vitamin D + calcium had a significantly reduced risk of melanoma vs those taking placebo.
      • This was not observed in women without history of nonmelanoma skin cancer.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Vitamin D supplementation at a relatively low dose plus calcium did not reduce the overall incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancer or melanoma.”

    But the suggestion of a potential role for calcium + vitamin D supplements in women at high risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer warrants more study.

    7/21/11 22:22 JR

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