Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, Melanoma, Vitamin C / 10.01.2023 Editors' note:  Please consult your health care provider before initiating any vitamin supplementation, including Vitamin D as potentially serious side effects are possible. Interview with: Prof. Ilkka T Harvima Department of Dermatology University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital Kuopio, Finland What is the background for this study? Response: The North Savo Skin Cancer Program in Eastern Finland was launched in 2017, and it aims at reducing the incidence, morbidity and mortality caused by skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. A part of this program constituted a follow-up project of patients with an assessed risk of skin cancer. There are also several other parts, such as analysis of skin cancer material reposited in the Biobank of Eastern Finland (see the enclosed BMC Cancer 2021 reference), public information, education of general physicians and medical students etc. In 2021, we published the article in BMC Cancer (enclosed), where we attempted to clarify the reasons for the relatively high melanoma mortality in relation to its incidence in this region (North Savo) of the country. By using the biobank material we also published an article in 2022 showing that melanoma and melanoma in situ associate with keratinocytic premalignant lesions and keratinocyte skin carcinomas (Suhonen V, Siiskonen H, Suni M, Rummukainen J, Mannermaa A, Harvima IT. Malignant and in situ subtypes of melanoma are associated with basal and squamous cell carcinoma and its precancerous lesions. Eur J Dermatol 2022 Apr 1;32(2):187-194. doi: 10.1684/ejd.2022.4221.). The follow-up study of about 500 subjects is ongoing (COVID-19 caused pretty much trouble for the recruitment). This is focused on finding risk factors and biomarkers for skin cancers and carcinogenesis. The first study on these follow-up patients was published in 2021 (Komulainen J, Siiskonen H, Harvima IT. Association of elevated serum tryptase with cutaneous photodamage and skin cancers. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2021;182(11):1135-1142. doi: 10.1159/000517287.). The article on vitamin D just recently published in Melanoma Research on Dec 28, 2022, is the second one. The third work in pipeline deals with the association of atopic disorders with skin cancers, and the manuscript is under revision. So, these provide with some background for the article in Melanoma Research. Actually, we thought that vitamin D use might associate with skin photoaging, actinic keratoses and carcinogenesis, but the only, though very important, finding was its association with melanoma. We have not focused our research just on vitamin D only, but it looks like we need to go further. (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, NEJM, Vitamin C / 15.06.2022 Interview with: François Lamontagne MD MSc (pharmacology) MSc (CEB) Professor of Medicine at the Université de Sherbrooke Endowed research chair on patient-centred research Dr. Neill Adhikari MDCM, M.Sc. Sunnybrook Research Institute and University of Toronto Toronto, Canada  What is the background for this study?  Response: The use of intravenous vitamin C for sepsis has been a hot topic for a few years. It was biologically plausible that vitamin C could reduce organ injury and death by scavenging reactive oxygen species and modulating the immune response to sepsis. It also seemed like an intervention that would be reasonably easy to administer globally should it prove beneficial. On the other hand, no intervention is benign and every aspect of health care should be rigorously studied. Regarding vitamin C, there were strongly held opinions in both camps and this motivated us to design and conduct the LOVIT trial. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Supplements, Vitamin C, Vitamin D / 09.07.2019 Interview with: Safi UKhan, MD Department of Internal Medicine Robert Packer Hospital Sayre, PA 18840 What is the background for this study? Response: There is substantial body of observational data favoring use of vitamins, supplements and special diets for improving cardiovascular health. However, such type of data is limited by various biases. Randomized controlled trial (RCT) is considered gold standard to evaluate effects of a therapy.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Calcium, Geriatrics, JAMA, Vitamin C / 05.01.2018 Interview with: “ZMA och D-vitamin. Intages med dubbelsidig C-brus. #placebomannen” by Robin Danehav is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr Jia-Guo Zhao Tianjin Hospital Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Tianjin, China What is the background for this study? Response: The increased social and economic burdens for osteoporotic-related fractures worldwide make its prevention a major public health goal. Calcium and vitamin D supplements have long been considered a basic intervention for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. Survey analysis showed that 30–50% of older people take calcium or vitamin D supplements in some developed countries. Many previously published meta-analyses, from the high-ranking medical journals, concluded that calcium and vitamin D supplements reduce the incidence of fracture in older adults. And many guidelines regarding osteoporosis recommend calcium and vitamin D supplements for older people. The final aim for these supplements is to prevent the incidence of osteoporotic-related fracture in osteoporosis management. (more…)
Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Nutrition, Vitamin C, Vitamin D / 18.12.2017 Interview with: “vitamins” by Colin Mutchler is licensed under CC BY 2.0Priv.-Doz. Dr. Barbara Thorand  Helmholtz Zentrum München German Research Center for Environmental Health Institute of Epidemiology II Neuherberg, Germany What is the background for this study? Response: Micronutrients, which include vitamins, minerals (e.g. calcium) and trace elements (e.g. iron), are essential nutrients that are required in minute amounts by the organism for proper growth and good health. Results from the last German National Nutrition Survey (NVS II)* uncovered a high prevalence of insufficient dietary intake of micronutrients in older adults aged 65 years and over in Germany. By means of blood analyses, our study has confirmed these critical results. This is a highly relevant issue, particularly in light of our growing aging population and the high societal relevance of successful healthy aging. *Max Rubner-Institut: Nationale Verzehrsstudie II, Ergebnisbericht Teil 2 (2008). Die Bundesweite Befragung zur Ernährung von Jugendlichen und Erwachsenen. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Surgical Research, Vitamin C / 06.02.2017 Interview with: Harri Hemilä, MD, PhD Department of Public Health University of Helsinki What is the background for this study? Response: I have a long term interest in vitamin C. Previously I have shown that it alleviates exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) ( ) and shortens the duration of colds ( ). Now I had been following the literature and I noted that a number of randomized trials were being published about vitamin C for preventing post-operative atrial fibrillation (POAF). Therefore I reasoned that it is worthwhile to analyze that set of trials (more…)
Author Interviews, Technology, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin K / 17.01.2017 Interview with: Adrienne R. Minerick, Ph.D. Associate Dean for Research & Innovation, College of Engineering Assistant to the Provost for Faculty Development Professor, Chemical Engineering Michigan Technological University Houghton, MI 49931 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: With seed funding from the Gerber Foundation, we asked two scientific questions. 1. Are vitamins present in tears and could we reliably detect them? 2. Do the vitamin levels in tears correlate with the vitamin levels in blood? This research, conducted by recent PhD graduate Maryam Khaksari, illustrated that vitamins are present in tears. The majority of the essential vitamins are water soluble, which were present in tears in higher concentration than fat soluble vitamins. Given that tears are 98% water, this result wasn’t surprising. This study developed up protocols to reliably detect both water and fat soluble vitamins. The limits of detection and limits of quantification did vary by vitamin, so there is ample room to improve this technique. The second question was answered by a small clinical trial with UP Health: Portage Hospital’s Pediatric Clinic. During the 4-month well-baby check-up, willing parents and their infant each donated both a blood sample and a tear sample. Vitamin concentrations were determined in the samples and correlations quantified. Fat soluble vitamin K showed the strongest concentration correlation between blood and tears. The strength of additional vitamin correlations were noted. These early-stage results demonstrate that vitamin screening from a single drop of tears (35uL or microliters) is feasible – with additional refinement. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology, Vitamin C / 25.03.2016 Interview with: Christopher J. Hammond, MD, FRCOphth Departments of Ophthalmology & Twin Research King's College London St. Thomas' Hospital London UK What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Hammond: Twin studies allow us to quantify the influence of genes vs environment on a trait and this study suggests 65% of variation of cataract progression is due to environmental factors. Vitamin C has long been linked to cataract because the lens of the eye is bathed in fluid rich in ascorbate, a derivative of vitamin C. We showed that, even in a relatively well-nourished UK population, those in the highest third of vitamin C dietary intake (equating to something like 3 times the RDA of 60mg) had a third less progression of lens opacities. (more…)
Anemia, Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, Vitamin C / 27.03.2015 Interview with: Dr. Tanjim Sultana MD Department of Nephrology Lenox Hill Hospital New York Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Almost all dialysis patients are anemic. One quarter of patients requiring High dose Epogen have functional iron deficiency, which means they have adequate iron store but unable to utilize it. Vitamin C has been shown to mobilize iron from their storage and making it available to use in red blood cell production. Prior studies showed intravenous high dose vitamin C could increase hemoglobin levels and decrease epogen requirement. In our study we used daily low dose oral vitamin C in functional iron deficient patients to achieve the same goals. Patients taking daily low dose vitamin C for 3 months had significant decrease in their epogen dose compared to the control group. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pulmonary Disease, Vitamin C / 14.12.2014

Harri Hemilä, MD PhD Department of Public Health University of Helsinki, POB 41 Helsinki, Interview with: Harri Hemilä, MD PhD Department of Public Health University of Helsinki, POB 41 Helsinki, Finland   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Hemilä: I have a two decade interest in the effects of vitamin C on respiratory symptoms and I am the first author of the Cochrane review on vitamin C and the common cold. Since there is very strong evidence that vitamin C is better than placebo, in the Cochrane review we encourage common cold patients to try if vitamin C helps them. In 2009, I was taking a look at the Cochrane review on vitamin C and asthma. I was puzzled with the text and figures since my own impression of the RCTs on vitamin C and asthma was quite different from what the review presented. Therefore I took a close look at the Cochrane review and I saw that it was sloppy. There were severe errors in data extraction and data analysis. For example, they used un-paired t-test when they should have used the paired t-test. That types of questions are very basic in biostatistics. I wrote a feedback to that Cochrane review and the review was withdrawn in 2013. It had been misleading readers for a decade. As a positive result of that incident, I became interested in the effects of vitamin C on asthma and I conducted a meta-analysis of three RCTs on vitamin C and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB). I calculated that vitamin C caused a 48% reduction (95% CI 33% to 64%) in the postexercise FEV1 decline. That study was published in BMJ Open in 2013 ( (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Nutrition, Vitamin C / 14.07.2014

MedicalResearch Interview with: Dr. Lu Wang MD PhD Associate Epidemiologist, Brigham and Women's Hospital Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Brigham and Women's Hospital Department of Medicine Preventive Medicine Boston, MA 02115 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Wang: We found that vitamin E supplement 400 IU every other day and vitamin C supplement 500 mg daily had no effect on total cancers, the incidence of prostate cancer and other site-specific cancers during periods of intervention, post-trial observation, or overall. (more…)
Author Interviews, JACC, Kidney Disease, Vitamin C / 30.08.2013 Interview with: Umar Sadat, MD, PhD Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge, United Kingdom What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Sadat: Vitamin C offers significant nephroprotection against contrast induced-acute kidney injury (CI-AKI) in patients undergoing coronary angiography. Patients receiving Vitamin C were observed to have 33% less risk of CI-AKI compared to those receiving placebo or other treatment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nature, UCSF, Vitamin C / 02.07.2013

Interview with: Miguel Ramalho-Santos, Ph.D. University of California - San Francisco stem-cell scientist,  Interview with: Miguel Ramalho-Santos, Ph.D. University of California - San Francisco stem-cell scientist, VitaminC induces Tet-dependent DNA demethylation and a blastocyst-like state in ES cells What are the main findings of the study? Answer: We found that Vitamin C has a profound effect in the regulation of gene activity in cultured mouse embryonic stem cells. Vitamin C specifically enhances the action of enzymes called Tet's, which remove certain chemical modifications to DNA (methylation). In this way, Vitamin C makes cultured mouse embryonic stem cells behave more like the early cells in the embryo that they represent. (more…)