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Vitamin D expert loses post

Boston University dermatologist's views on the benefits of sunlight upset department chair

Alison McCook(abmccook@yahoo.com)

Michael Holick, a dermatologist at Boston University, was recently asked to resign from school's department of dermatology because of a book in which he describes the importance of sunlight in boosting vitamin D levels and his ties to the indoor tanning industry.

Holick's book “is an embarrassment for this institution and an embarrassment for him,” department chair Barbara Gilchrest told the Boston Globe. According to the Globe, which first reported the story, Holick was asked to resign from the department of dermatology in February. He has resigned, but continues to teach and to direct the medical center's vitamin D lab, and has not received a pay cut.

Although the benefits of vitamin D in bone health have been long known, new research is emerging that suggests the fat-soluble vitamin may also help prevent different types of cancer. As a result, Holick argues that moderate amounts of sunlight—the main...

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