Cholesterol/LipidsDiet-NutritionGarlicHeart DiseaseOmega-3 Fatty AcidsPolicosanolVitamins

Lack of support for dietary supplements to prevent or treat heart disease

A literature review published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found 15 supplements that had been studied for their benefits in preventing or treating coronary heart disease.

According to the researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle…

  • “Most had little data available and most of the data were of poor quality.

They continued,

  • “The supplements with the most supporting data were policosanol and garlic, both for hyperlipidemia.”

Of course, neither of these supplements are predictably effective as summarized here and here.

The Nutrition Committee of the American Heart Association Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism came to similar conclusions following its review of preventive therapy in 2004.

  • “The scientific evidence supports recommending consumption of a diet high in food sources of antioxidants and other cardioprotective nutrients, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts, instead of antioxidant supplements to reduce risk of CVD [cardiovascular disease].”
  • “It does not support the use of antioxidant vitamin supplements.”
  • “No consistent data suggest that consuming micronutrients at levels exceeding those provided by a dietary pattern consistent with AHA Dietary Guidelines will confer additional benefit with regard to CVD risk reduction.”

One exception is omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in selected individuals when taken at the correct daily dose.

4/28/07 16:53 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, a complementary and alternative medicine website.