Vitamin D

CBS Interview Peddles Misinformation on Melanoma, Vitamin D and Deficiencies

Monday, September 15, 2008 by: E.L. West
Tags: mainstream media, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) In an effort to drum up fear and to push Big Pharma propaganda, CBS did a piece on how skin cancer, particularly melanoma, is increasing in young women. The interview goes on to blame the sun instead of really looking at what really causes melanoma: niacin deficiency.

I am now beginning to understand why many nutritionists believe doctors are ignorant when it comes to nutrition, vitamins, and how macro- and micro-nutrients relate to overall health. In a startling interview, Dr. Downie, while talking to Katie Couric on the CBS evening news, proclaimed some mis-truths about American nutrition and melanoma. The first falsehood the doctor stated, "America is not a nutritionally depleted country. If anything, Americans tend to be heavy," That statement alone is highly unfounded and surprisingly ignorant for someone who spent a great deal of time in school learning about the human body. All you have to do is go to the mall or the supermarket or wherever, and you can easily pick out the nutritionally depleted people.

It is true though that Americans do tend to be heavy, further pointing to their nutritionally depleted status. However, if the doctor meant that Americans are heavily supplied with good nutrients, I along with many others would strongly disagree. In fact, as stated above, melanoma is caused by a nutrient deficiency: vitamin B-3 or niacin deficiency. That alone disproves the doctor's position that Americans are okay concerning overall nourishment.

Secondly, the doctor states, "So we can get vitamin D from our diet and if not we can get it from nutritional supplements, i.e. vitamins, and that would be fine". Since we have nutritionally depleted people, it's not a great leap to say that we have nutritionally depleted food. Furthermore, since the typical American diet is mostly devoid of proper nutrients, getting any sort of beneficial vitamins is extremely difficult. This doctor, when talking about supplements, probably means the synthetic, toxic versions as well, meaning less effective vitamins that do virtually nothing for health improvement. Additionally, this doctor must not have read the recent research published in the JAMA journal(1) that demonstrated how Vitamin D levels are Common in healthy looking children; or the study conducted by Boston University showing vitamin D deficiency to be common and widespread. These children are apparently not getting adequate levels of vitamin D from their diet (even with all the pasteurized, homogenized, and fortified poison, a.k.a milk, they drink).

The Vitamin D Council has a preponderance of valuable information on how widespread vitamin D deficiency is, and steps on how to solve this problem. Furthermore, the solution is not to slather on cancer-causing chemicals to protect yourself from your environment; rather, the solution is moderate and careful sun exposure (approximately 15 minutes daily).

In this interview, the doctor promotes more of the same malarkey about nutrition and vitamin deficiencies, and I am truly disappointed that those who viewed this interview most likely bought into these false-hoods. Whether this interview was to actually bring awareness to melanoma in young women, or to slow the already burgeoning progress of vitamin D and nutrition research, no one can tell. But what we can garner from this interview is that misinformation is still being publicized and promoted so that real cures and real help can never reach those who need it.


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About the author

Emily West is a freelance writer that focuses on topics of natural health and sustainable food production systems. She also maintains a blog, The Wordsmith, at

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