top of page

Brief Critque: Commentary on Medscape's Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH's Editorial on the Topic of Vitamin D: Observation of a Three Logical Fallacies (Non Sequiturs) within 70 Seconds

 New publication 2016:  Inflammation Mastery 4th Edition


Dr Vasquez introduces the "Functional Inflammology Protocol" at the 2013 International Conference on Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine (PDF brochure)

Dr Vasquez's "functional inflammology protocol", famously recalled by the FINDSEX ® acronym, is reviewed in this presentation for its application to the three general types of inflammatory diseases/responses: 1) metabolic inflammation, including glial activation and emphasizing the component of mitochondrial dysfunction, 2) allergic inflammation, including asthma and eczema, and 3) autoimmune inflammation, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and the many other conditions that Dr Vasquez has detailed in his books starting in 2004 (Integrative Orthopedics) and 2006 (Integrative Rheumatology. 

Overview (Part 1) of the Functional Inflammology Protocol

ICHNFM Courses, Books, Membership, Newsletter

Opinion and Perspective by Dr Alex Vasquez DC ND DO FACN

Written and posted 17 Sep 2016; minor update 28 Sep 2016


Strong data, ignored: Medscape Internal Medicine (16 Sep 2016) posted an audio-video review of a recent Cochrane review which "suggests that the addition of vitamin D supplements to standard asthma medication can lead to fewer severe asthma attacks, particularly in patients with mild to moderate asthma." Dr Cassoobhoy summarizes the study with the following points:

  • "The meta-analysis of nine double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials included more than 400 children and 600 adults. 

  • Adding oral vitamin D to treatment decreased both the risk for a severe asthma exacerbation requiring oral steroids and the average number of annual asthma attacks

  • The supplementation also decreased the risk for an asthma attack requiring a visit to the emergency room or a hospital stay from 6 per 100 patients to around 3 per 100 patients."

Conclusion at odds with data: Per this summary, one might reasonably conclude that vitamin D should added to asthma treatment regimens; particularly notable with vitamin D are its safety, low cost, wide availability, and numerous (practically innumerable) direct and collateral benefits. However, in denial of this abundant evidence and in denial of the fact that she is summarizing a meta-analysis of nine double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials which included more than 400 children and 600 adults, Dr Cassoobhoy concludes that "definitive guidelines can't be made until we have more research and a better understanding of the implication of a low baseline vitamin D level." This is the classic conclusion at odds with data (logical fallacy: non sequitur) that typifies many statements and positions in (so-called) mainstream medicine when the opportunity to use nutritional interventions has been justified by data; such medical authors/publications commonly conclude that more data and research are needed before action can be taken, and they commonly (although not in this instance) use anti-nutrition fear-mongering to further solidify their inertia and maintenance of the status quo.

  1. Non sequitur #1: Failure to advocate the positive results she is reviewing