Just like there are a few, and I mean few (even
less than foods we ingest), adverse reactions with natural health
products, now the much bandied scare tactic of mixing supplements
and drugs is also rapidly hitting the dust.
Of course this won't stop the propaganda machine in continuing
to discredit the most innocuous and effective health remedies. Meanwhile,
they still don't have much information, and couldn't careless about
highly injurious drug to drug interactions - while the regulators
pretend that they are looking after our interests by wasting their
scant recourses, with our tax money, chasing the safest of all health
foods and supplements!
See comments in body below also
few problems occur mixing supplements and drugs
By LEE BOWMAN March 22, 2004
While drug interactions with dietary supplements are a concern,
a new survey suggests that in most cases, mixing doesn't produce
serious side effects.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and the Department
of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System matched up a long list of
herbal supplements and vitamins taken by veterans who also were
using prescription drugs.
They reported Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine that
94 percent of the interactions that resulted did not lead to serious
"This is encouraging news for the millions of patients currently
taking prescription medications along with dietary supplements,"
said Lauren Trilli, an assistant professor at the University of
Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and a pharmacy specialist at the Pittsburgh
VA Healthcare System.
"However, limited information on drug-dietary interactions
exists, and health-care providers should continue to inquire about
dietary supplements and consider the potential for interactions,
regardless of their severity," she added.
Dietary supplements, including herbs and vitamins, have been gaining
popularity to deal with health conditions and physical complaints.
But patients are typically reluctant to tell physicians that they
are using them and interactions between supplements and prescription
drugs are thought to be under reported. So
are drug reactions due to fear of litigation and curruption - CG
The survey covered 458 patients visiting general medicine clinics
at VA medical centers in Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. The researchers
sought to track use at a center on the West Coast because other
studies have shown that supplement use is more common in the western
half of the country.
The patients were asked whether they had taken in the past or were
currently taking any of several supplements, including garlic, Ginkgo
biloba, ginseng, melatonin, saw palmetto, St. John's wort, vitamins
Then the scientists cross-referenced the use of those supplements
with drugs prescribed through the VA, with potential interactions
identified using medical searches.
All the patients in the survey were taking at least one prescription
drug, with patients in Pittsburgh getting an average of seven oral
prescriptions and those in Los Angeles, six.
Forty-three percent of the patients reported taking at least one
dietary supplement, and the average consumption for those patients
was three supplements a day. The patients said their most common
source of information about supplements were friends or relatives,
books or magazines. As this information is deadly to big pharma
who use and skew our regulatory system to protect allopathic medicine
Among the supplement-takers, 48 percent of the Pittsburgh patients
and 43 percent of those in Los Angeles had potential drug-supplement
interactions of any significance.
Most of the potential interactions involved ginseng, garlic, Ginkgo
biloba and Coenzyme Q. Seven patients in Pittsburgh and 12 in Los
Angeles had more than three potential interactions between the drugs
and supplements they were taking.
"This helps us provide a context for ongoing discussions about
the risks of drug-dietary supplement interactions and raise concerns
regarding subsequent adverse events," said Dr. Chester Good,
co-author of the study, a staff physician with the VA Healthcare
System and associate professor at Pittsburgh's School of Medicine.
He said a later study with more patients might better quantify
how many severe interactions actually occur from supplements and
"identify which persons might be at high risk for such events."
On the Net: http://archinte.ama-assn.org/
(Contact Lee Bowman at BowmanL(at)shns.com or online at http://www.shns.com)