During a seminar at the American Heart Association 2006 meeting titled “The Science Behind Popular Nutrition Claims,” medical researchers summarized the research on a number of complementary options to “help maintain a healthy heart.”

Here is a summary of the Medscape article. Links to more info are highlighted.


  • Reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol 10% when taken at maximum doses (2 to 3 grams per day).


  • Not recommended because 4 recently published human studies reported no effect on LDL cholesterol.
  • These results contradict earlier studies done in Cuba.
  • More background here.

Lipoic acid

  • Data are “confusing,” but it appears to be of benefit to treat diabetic neuropathy.
  • The best dose needs to be determined.

Coenzyme Q10

  • Preliminary evidence supports coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone, ubiquinol, and ubidecarenone) to treat heart failure.
  • But it’s unclear which patients benefit.
  • More background here.

Vitamin E

  • Overall, the evidence doesn’t support vitamin E to prevent/treat heart disease.
  • However, one study in older women reported a reduction in death from heart disease.

B6 and folate

  • For patients with heart disease, observational data suggested a benefit of B6 and folate, because they lower homocysteine levels.
  • Major studies have failed to confirm this.
  • More here, and here.

Green tea

  • Data are mixed, but claims of its efficacy are founded on its well-documented antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Lots more here.

12/6/06 20:19 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.