Another randomized controlled trial of vitamin D was released on July 1, 2011, this one on colon inflammation, the kind known to lead to colon polyps and colon cancer.
Researchers from Emory University gave a tiny dose of vitamin D, 800 IU/day, to 23 volunteers for six months and measured the effect the vitamin D had on various markers of inflammation, such as CRP, TNF, IL-6, and IL-8. These markers of inflammation are known to lead to colon disease, colon adenomas and colon cancer in particular.
After only six months of this low dose, the combined pro-inflammatory markers score decreased 77% (p=0.003) in the vitamin D3 treatment group. The authors concluded that their findings “support further investigation of vitamin D3 as a chemopreventive agent against inflammation and colorectal neoplasms.”
Hopkins H.M. et al. Effects of supplemental vitamin D and calcium on biomarkers of inflammation in colorectal adenoma patients: A randomized, controlled clinical trial. Cancer Prevention Research Published OnlineFirst June 30, 2011; doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-11-0105
So we have yet another randomized controlled trial showing vitamin D is good for your health but another punt when it comes to the scientists having the courage to make any recommendation except “give us more money.”
The argument has always been that scientists need to wait for randomized controlled trials before making any clinical recommendations. Here is another positive randomized controlled trial and another milk toast recommendation. We’ll never know how many people would have started taking vitamin D if scientists had done what they said they were going to do: wait for clinical trials and then, if positive, make clinical recommendations.
Thus, as it has always been, it is up to general physicians to do what they have always done: make treatment recommendations to their patients based on what is known now, what the science now shows. That means vitamin D now, in doses that mean something now, leads to conclusions now, without more money for more studies.