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457 West Allen Avenue, Unit 117, San Dimas, CA 91773
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For Immediate Release
Contact: Bill Sardi

Heart Doctors Reveal Biases In Their Recommendation To Avoid Antioxidant Vitamin Supplements

San Dimas, CA- A widely reported study, published in the June 14 issue of The Lancet, a prestigious British medical journal, mistakenly discourages the public from taking antioxidant food supplements and reveals common biases among heart doctors, says Bill Sardi, consumer advocate and president of Knowledge of Health, Inc., San Dimas, Calif.

“These researchers are mistakenly frightening the public away from antioxidant vitamin supplements while ignoring the drawbacks of the drug therapies they so frequently prescribe,” says Sardi.

“First,” says Sardi, “the widely-aired report gives the false impression that there is some kind of widespread hazard when in fact the alleged increased mortality associated with beta carotene and vitamin E supplements never even reached one-percent.” The report in Lancet cites a 7.4 percent mortality rate with beta carotene supplements versus 7.0 percent without supplements, and an 11.3 percent mortality rate with supplemental vitamin E versus 11.1 percent with no supplements. “These may just be chance findings. A repeat of the same studies might produce results that would tip to the other side of the scale and show that these vitamins slightly decrease mortality rates. In either case, they would not be significant,” says Sardi. Additionally, supplemental vitamin C and E help to prevent arterial and heart disease and may not show benefits among patients with existing cardiac disease, the group that was studied in the Lancet report.

“Second, the authors of the Lancet report mischaracterize antioxidant vitamins as interfering with cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. A recent study showed that supplemental vitamin blunted the rise in HDL-good cholesterol when niacin and statin drugs were used. In fact, vitamins C and E help to rescue the liver from the toxic drugs, but this is misinterpreted as posing a hazard,” emphasizes Sardi.

“Compare this report, used to denigrate supplemental antioxidant vitamins, with the questionable benefits of statin drugs which the authors of the Lancet report promote in other papers they have written,” says Sardi. The largest study of its kind, recently reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that statin drugs only produce an 0.4 percent drop in mortality (not even 1 percent), and increase the risk of liver problems by 0.5 to 2.0 percent and the risk of a potentially mortal muscle-degeneration by 0.2 percent, about the same “risk” posed by the supplemental antioxidant vitamins. “You can’t talk out of two sides of your mouth here,” says Sardi. “How come the drugs are safe and vitamins are potentially troublesome using similar statistics,” asks Sardi.

“Essentially, this report suggests adults abandon antioxidant vitamin supplements and blindly submit to widespread statin drug therapy which is only beneficial in 8 out of 100 patients who take them, which causes side effects that force 35 percent of users to switch to other medications, 4-5 percent who must abandon them, and causes muscle soreness in up to 5 percent of statin-drug users which is a sign of a potentially mortal side effect,” indicates Sardi.

A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association recently recommended every American take a multivitamin. Sardi says Americans ought to heed that advice, continue to take their vitamins, and dismiss these alarmist reports which don’t reveal the biases of their authors. ####


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