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

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was 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, 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.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Shortcomings of vitamin D research

    Yes, there has been considerable progress in understanding the health effects of vitamin D.

    Is it time to update the US Dietary Reference Intakes for vitamin D, which were developed in 1997?

    “Given recent findings, it’s easy to see why people are so enthusiastic about the potential power of vitamin D,” says Dr. Mary Frances from the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. “But we must recognize the limitations of any study and exercise caution when making broad public health recommendations.”

    An article at Medical News Today lists limitations in the design of many studies of vitamin D.

    • Failure to control for potentially confounding factors such as diet, baseline vitamin D levels, age, disease, season, and physical activity.
    • Neglecting to examine the evidence for vitamin D independent of calcium or other nutrients.

    There are also limitations related to reference standards and technology.

    • Lack of reliable data on the vitamin D content of foods.
    • Limited evidence on vitamin D’s role for preventing chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer, and affecting the immune system.
    • Wide variability in laboratory tests used to measure vitamin D levels.

    The bottom line?
    The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has published a supplement from a conference titled “Vitamin D and Health in the 21st Century: An Update.” The NIH Office of Dietary Supplements sponsored this meeting of experts on September 5-6, 2007.

    Abstracts from 20 articles based on this meeting can be found here.

    8/20/08 17:27 JR

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