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.

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  • Recent Comments

    Vitamin D is not associated with decreased melanoma risk

    At the Society for Investigative Dermatology meeting, researchers from Kaiser Permanente, in Oakland, California reported some confusing findings.

    Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer. Although it accounts for only 4% of skin cancer cases, it causes most skin cancer-related deaths. The good news is that it’s curable if caught early.

    First, the details.

    • 68,611 adults participated in the Vitamins and Cohort Lifestyle (VITAL) study.
    • The effect of diet and vitamin D supplements alone and together were evaluated.
    • Food frequency questionnaires were used to determine dietary intake of vitamin D and other nutrients during the preceding year.
    • Data on vitamin supplement use over the preceding 10 years were also collected.
    • Total vitamin D intake from dietary and supplemental sources was then calculated for a 10-year period and compared with melanoma cases from the SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results) database.

    And, the results.

    • Most participants were taking an additional 600 IU of vitamin D daily as a supplement.
    • There was no association between overall supplement use or duration of use with an increased or decreased risk of melanoma.
    • There was no association with melanoma risk when supplements were combined with diet.
    • There was a slightly increased risk of melanoma with diet alone.

    The bottom line?
    It’s not clear why diet alone was associated with a higher risk of melanoma.

    Although there was no apparent protection, it’s possible that the levels of vitamin D were too low.

    Others have suggested that there’s a decreased risk of melanoma with increasing intake of vitamin D from foods.

    5/16/09 15:09 JR

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