Vitamin-cancer scare not based on science

You may have run across this headline yesterday or today — it is utter nonsense.

CBS Vitamins Cancer

As directed by this press release, we contacted the media office for the University of Colorado Cancer Center to get a copy of the “meta-analysis” by Dr. Tim Byers allegedly showing that “a number of vitamin supplements” increased cancer risk.

But there was no study.

Instead, the media office sent us a commentary co-authored by Byers published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute from almost three years ago.

Needless to say, the commentary was a merely subjective review of available (and always dubious) epidemiological studies of dietary supplements. And a biased summary of pseudoscience does not constitute science.

We are not commenting here on the potential health benefits and/or risks of dietary supplements — just on the fact that this particular vitamin scare is based on zero.

4 thoughts on “Vitamin-cancer scare not based on science”

  1. CBS News should be well known for airing junk science. Most of their reporting seems to be the results of high school science fairs. Their recent sleep study and diet was the worse so called scientific study I have ever heard. Other peer reviewers debunked most of the study. Having it summarized on air by a doctor only adds insult to genuine scientific study.

  2. Almost three years ago? Why did Jessica Firger of CBS News suddenly pick up on this “news item” NOW?

    If there’s no new research, Jessica, you should be ashamed of deliberately conspiring to scare folks half to death with this item.

  3. If you go to the internet program guide for the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, you will find that Dr. Tim Byers, as an invited speaker, gave a presentation on April 20: Dietary Supplements and Cancer Risk Prognosis. There was no abstract submitted for the talk; the webcast of his talk is available only for prepaid members. So obviously there was no paper submitted for publication.

  4. @john1282–
    My Avatar would have been proud…

    “No ideas, and the ability to express them—that’s a journalist.” Pretty much sums up 90% of what you see and hear these days. (Only, my guy said this in the 1920s)

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