Response to Carolyn from MyHeartSisters.org

NOTE: We encourage you to read the substantial comment left by Carolyn Thomas, who writes over at http://www.myheartsisters.org. The comment was written on Dr. DeFelice’s previous post on the cardiovascular promise of vitamin E. The note below is in response to her remarks.

Dear Mrs. Thomas,

The nutrition world is confusing and for a number of reasons, will remain so for a long time. Even the best of doctors cannot be sure whether a dietary supplement actually helps a patient. The basic problem is that the nutrition industry does not fund sufficient numbers of clinical studies to demonstrate  clinical benefits. Regarding the latter, there are two types- biomarkers and clinical endpoints. If a product lowers cholesterol that is a bio-marker, if it prolongs life, that’s a clinical endpoint. In the cardiac population it is extremely expensive to conduct a solid clinical endpoint study. In addition , you have the problem of the proper design of the clinical protocol which was the problem with the vitamin E studies.

Years ago I chaired a nutraceutical cardiovascular conference with medical experts discussing vitamin E. carnitine, magnesium, CoQ10 and others and there was no consensus on their value, and nothing has changed. Also, years ago I proposed the NREA or Nutraceutical Research and Education Act which would encourage companies to sponsor clinical studies. Both the food and dietary supplement industries did not support it.

So I have not been very helpful, have I? FYI, I discovered the cardio protective effect of carnitine,- see new posts coming- and I’ve been taking carnitine for over 40 years.

In conclusion, you’ll have to live in the world of nutribabble and make judgment calls. If I can help please let me know. Take care of your heart and good luck.

Dr. DeFelice

 

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