Monday, June 22, 2015

Yet Another Settled Science Goes Unsettled

How lack of the vitamin D isn’t a killer

"SCIENTISTS have challenged the belief that vitamin D deficiency from lack of sunshine can cause increased heart disease and deaths in winter.

Research led by Emeritus Professor Hugh Tunstall-Pedoe from Dundee University suggests that vitamin D is unimportant in cardiovascular disease and winter deaths, whatever its role in other diseases.

Vitamin D was first linked with excess winter disease in 1981, the same year the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit in Ninewells Hospital in Dundee was launched to study causes of the excess heart disease in Scotland. Thousands of healthy men and women agreed to have risk factors measured, blood taken for testing, and their medical records followed, in the Scottish Heart Health Study.

Recently, their saved blood has been tested for vitamin D in Germany in a Medical Research Council and European Commission-funded international project.

Results were related to intervening illness and death. They show that while overall incidence of cardiovascular events did not vary seasonally, deaths from heart disease and from other causes did.

Vitamin D levels also varied, with highest levels seen in August and lowest in March – a two-to-one difference – but crucially this was several weeks after peak winter death rates, so changes in vitamin D were too late to be the cause.

People with lower vitamin D levels did have higher rates of cardiovascular disease, but low vitamin D levels were also associated with lifestyle and other risk factors.

When these were corrected for, vitamin D levels had a trivial or no additional effect. "
So I can eat my eggs and saturated fats while staying in the shade...

1 comment:

Robert Coble said...

Please tell me that "excess winter disease" is really a joke and not a "serious" medical disease. If not, I guess the Californicators are suffering from "excess summer disease" (referred to as a "drought" in a previous period of more precise usage of descriptive terminology).

I also love the "correction" (or lack thereof) that permeates statistical studies. Uncorrected, it proves exactly what it was designed to prove. Corrected, it proves exactly what it was corrected to prove. Wherein lies the actual truth of the matter?!?

There are lies, damn lies, and statistics. Parrot after me: Correlation is not the same as causation. But, who can tell from the conclusions reached by all these uncorrected and corrected study results? Even the so-called "experts" are diametrically opposed on the results.

As for me and my house, I just ignore crap like this. I eat what I want, when I want to, and I tell my doctor on a regular basis that I will choose to eat meat lovers pizza with double cheese if and when I want to, and hang the statistical consequences.

I'm pretty darn sure (statistical probability of 1.00000) that I'm not getting out of this life alive.