Why Does Science Lie to Me? Why One Day It is OK, Next Week It is Not OK...

Science is a Process: Not a Destination

The recent finding that vitamin D supplements are largely unnecessary exposes a rift among nutrition researchers
The recent finding that vitamin D supplements are largely unnecessary exposes a rift among nutrition researchers | Source

Functions of vitamin D - Do You Take Vitamin D Pills?

What is vitamin D?

Vitamin D is fat-soluble and has two major forms. One is vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol, and the other is vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol. Vitamin D2 is synthesized by plants, whereas vitamin D3 is synthesized by the body. Vitamin D is naturally present in a variety of food sources and dietary supplements and is also produced sunlight. It is reached by the body against UV-B and UV-B from sunlight produces the skin. The liver and kidneys convert can help to produce vitamin D to the active hormone.

What Does Vitamin D Do?

Vitamin D plays multiple roles in the maintenance of organ systems. Examples are:

  • Vitamin D helps regulate calcium levels in the blood
  • It is also said that vitamin D and the benefits of T-cells of the immune system or immune cell receptors for vitamin D
  • Vitamin D is also responsible for the maintenance of normal cell growth and function
  • Vitamin D plays because of its anti-inflammatory effect, plays a role in protecting against osteoporosis, hypertension, cancer, type 1 diabetes, psoriasis and many autoimmune diseases, immune

OK, Why Does Scientist Keep Changing My Mind? To Take Vitamin D, and Now, Not to Take Vitamin D?

The issue exposes a rift among experts what is valid proof. On one hand are scientist who insist the only acceptable standard is the randomized clinical trial, which often compares the effects of a medical intervention, such as high vitamin D intake, with those of a placebo. The scientist discarded the observational studies where the researchers compare the health of populations who take vitamin D supplements with those who do not. Seems to be a valid research effort. However, it is not precise and leaves large margins for errors. The "real world" clinical trials are inferior to clinical studies because they rely on observations out in the real world, where it is impossible to control for the variables scientist seek to understand. To compensate for the large margin of errors, they use a large sample size - some vitamin D studies track 50,000 people - and applying statistical techniques correlate.

Bottom Line - Why the Differences?

Some doctors are now taking potshots at the clinical studies. The "real world" does not exist where people take placebos (something like a sugar pill). In nutrition, how can you compensate people in a control group from going out in the sun, where you can absorb vitamin D? It is difficult to single a vitamin with a "cause and effect" because many work in tandem.

Science is a Process!

A single clinical study does not present a conclusive body of knowledge to support any statement. Each study builds on the last study. An analogy is a car is going the right direction (most of the time) and is corrected to stay on the road. New knowledge amends, or completely changes on a case by case basis...

Science is not black or white. It is a mixture of many colors and after many false starts and stops, a consensus is created - for a possible huge change in thinking later! Our world is a good place to use our "common sense"... If you never get out in the sun and do not eat food that is high in vitamin D, perhaps for you, taking a vitamin D supplement may be beneficial...

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Comments 14 comments

Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 5 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

Exellent hub, I am as shocked as you are...I live in Colordo, cold winters and a strong lack of sun...however today I sat in my glassed in the borch today, all glass so as cold as it was I sat in total warmth while the wind and storms surged on. We need light, yet we are scared of the sun. And, we can achieve our goals of health by vitamans and proccessed food...Love this piece, great job, you are an awesome writer. rate up up up love& peace darski


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author

Darlene Sabella,

You "FLATTER ME!" Thanks for the "awesome" comments! :-)

Perhaps move to warm, sunny California at Pismo beach!


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest

That's why I believe moderation is key. I live in cold and rainy WA and my vitamin D levels are fine- I get them checked. Science is a funny thing. What we thought were treatments a 100 years ago seem barbaric now and 100 years from now it will be the same thing.

It seems we are supposeduly searching for cures through science and all we come up with are new medications to mask the symptoms, not the cause or actually a cure.

This reminds me of when I was taking folic acid and then a report came out that too much can do harm. UGH!

Great hub by the way.


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author

I like your "strong" statements... pass the mustard! (I note you love mustard!)

As you noted, all things moderatley and with "common sense." The challenge is how do we acquire common sense when we do not know all of the facts... then, the "facts" change!


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago

Excellent hub. Science is an inexact study. And we need to be vigilant about what we read instead of just taking the latest info as the final words. Thanks for sharing such important information, and as usual, you write it in such an intelligent, yet easy to read format. Rated up, awesome, useful and shared!


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author

toknowinfo,

I appreciate your underatanding of the essence of what "science" is... As a former science instructor, I many times felt complelled to defend science.

An analogy is a balance sheet. A balance sheet is an accounting term used for a series of numbers that represent at a given instant your financial profile. The next day, your financial condition may have changed dramatically. Science is like that. One day a given set of data is valid. The next day new information may change the data and its relevency,

Thanks for the "trophies!"


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 5 years ago from Canada

I have to say, moderation is teh key to everything. I enjoyed this hub a lot, you 've left me with a lot to think of, as always! I beg your forgiveness for not reading this sooner.


surf traveler profile image

surf traveler 5 years ago

Excellent Dallas. I get plenty of Vitamin D now, but when I go back to Canada for a month or more, I supplement with vitamin D pills.


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author

Rebecca E.,

Thanks. One should be moderate in all things... Sounds boring! The wisdom is to know when to be moderate!


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author

surf traveler,

Thanks for your comments!

No "surf" in Canada!


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 5 years ago from Canada

so true, I go with my grandmother adivce, enjoy a small bit each day, but eat your fruit and veggies!


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author

Rebecca E.,

The older we get, the smarter our grnadmas become!

Thanks for your comments.


daydreamer13 profile image

daydreamer13 5 years ago

I agree with RebeccaE moderation is key. Good hub.


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA Author

daydreamer13,

Seems are ancesters get wiser as times goes by.! Many of the "folk remidies" are valid because of what scientist have discovered as part of the ingredients...

Thanks!

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