Anorak News | Vitamin D Can Cure Cancer And Other Daily Express Miracles

Vitamin D Can Cure Cancer And Other Daily Express Miracles

by | 22nd, January 2010

vitmain-dSCARE STORIES are the media’s stock in trade. But the Daily Express is also adept at the SUPER STOPY, which finds a food or something in nature and screams that it can cure cancer. MaGuffin looks at the Vitamin D Miracle:

IT’S been a while since the Express led with a miracle cure front page that doesn’t quite live up to its promise.

And this one is a classic of the genre – it’s a miracle cure headline with some health scares in the actual story.

The ‘cancer’ in question is bowel cancer. Only two weeks ago the Express was saying an apple a day would cut the risk.

In November broccoli was a ‘superfood’ that may ‘prevent’ the disease.

And in August, it was a daily aspirin that would ‘slash the risk by a third’. Although a couple of weeks later, that same daily aspirin appeared less beneficial.

But in September, the Express was reporting that Vitamin D could be good to fight bowel cancer. Now, a few months later, much the same story, just on the front page this time.

The article begins:

Vitamin D can slash the risk of getting bowel cancer by 40 per cent, according to the latest research.

And then, one paragraph later, just before you rush out to buy vitamin pills:

Scientists last night warned against rushing out to buy vitamin pills, however, because it is not clear whether large doses are safe.

Ah. OK, well if it’s the ‘sunshine vitamin’ we can avoid pills and just go out in the sun to get some Vitamin D, right?

Around 90 per cent of our vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight. Although too much sun can trigger skin cancer…

Oh. Are there any other ways?

Vitamin D supplements in the form of fish oil tablets may also help…


…although experts warn that no more than 25 micrograms a day should come from this source because higher levels are believed to damage bones and kidneys.


A story on the same trials from the Press Association is far more revealing. Dr Panagiota Mitrou, science programme manager for the World Cancer Research Fund, said there was now evidence that low levels of Vitamin D do seem to increase the risk of bowel cancer. But:

‘The next step is to carry out new clinical trials to try to confirm whether vitamin D supplementation can reduce the risk of bowel cancer and whether there are any harmful effects of higher levels of vitamin D.

‘But we need to emphasise that, for the moment, the findings need to be treated with caution and they are certainly not enough evidence to suggest that we should be taking supplements to increase levels of vitamin D.’

And his recommendation?

‘The best advice for reducing risk of bowel cancer remains to stop smoking, maintain a healthy weight, be regularly physically active, to eat more fibre and less red and processed meats and to cut down on alcohol.’

That seems like good advice for anyone who wants a healthy life.

Some not-so-good advice? Taking health tips from the Express.


Posted: 22nd, January 2010 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink