Monday, March 16, 2009

Gag Me, Figuratively

I found some 'petite' calcium + vitamin D tabs. They are as wide as the regular-sized ones, but about half as long, making them possible to swallow.

But wait. What is that pink banner on the label of my Citracal Petites?

'Supports breast health with more vitamin D'? *gag*

There is no proof that breasts need vitamin D more than any other body part, yet Citracal's manufacturer, Bayer, has chosen to play on women's fears about breast cancer to sell their product. Shameless! This sort of marketing ploy almost makes me want to continue to choke down giant vitamin pills just so as to not appear to have given into the hype.

The truth is that the effect Vitamin D has on breast health is not known at this time. Although one study found that women with breast cancer who had deficient levels of Vitamin D at diagnosis fared poorer than women with adequate levels at diagnosis, another study found no difference in the incidence of breast cancer among post-menopausal women randomized to receive calcium + vitamin D versus placebo.

The American Cancer Society currently warns against routinely popping more than the amount of supplemental Vitamin D recommended for bone health, which is 200-600 IU per day, depending on age. Nevertheless the pink-ribbon-adorned Citracal Petites bottle suggests I take 2 tabs twice daily, or 1000 IU per day, "for breast health support."

Sounds more like an Rx for Bayer's bottom line than for my breast health.*

* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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