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"Vitamin D protects against MS, large study suggests"


Source: CBC.CA

Published: 20 Dec 2021

Category: Other

Rating: (2 stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

The Associated Press
An abundance of vitamin D seems to help prevent multiple sclerosis, according to a study in more than seven million people that offers some of the strongest evidence yet of the power of the "sunshine vitamin" against MS.
The research found that white members of the U.S. military with the highest blood levels of vitamin D were 62 per cent less likely to develop multiple sclerosis than people with low levels...

The original article can be found at:

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 3 of 9
Availability of Treatment Not Applicable
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of harms of treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

Like many articles, there is a strong disconnect between the headlines and the substance of the story. The headline of this news article, touts vitamin D is as protecting against Multiple Sclerosis (MS). However, at closer inspection, one finds this is too great a claim given the preliminary nature of the findings. For example, we hear from the study's principle investigator, who advises that the findings did not prove that a lack of vitamin D can cause MS and, therefore, any kind of clinical recommendations would be premature at this point.

Nevertheless, this article manages to capture some of the important aspects of this research. For example, the article highlights the study's large sample size (of over seven million participants) and makes the observation that age may play a role (with the findings suggesting that vitamin D exposure before adulthood may be particularly important to reducing one's risks for MS). But we ultimately learn very little about the size of benefits of Vitamin D and potential for harm, if any.

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