The use of dietary supplements has become commonplace in the United States, with both doctors and patients embracing their use as part of a healthy routine.
In fact, one recent survey showed that 86% of Americans take at least 1 daily supplement.
Millions of Americans suffer from or are at risk of CVD, leading many people to seek out their own treatments in the form of supplements.
Recently, the FDA has warned that 7 companies are illegally selling dietary supplements that claim to “cure, mitigate, or prevent” cardiovascular disease. The companies mentioned in the complaint were not evaluated by the FDA to be safe or effective.
Among the unwarranted product claims these companies made according to the FDA: “helps reduce LDL,” “clinically shown to decrease cholesterol,” “clinically shown to reduce inflammation,” “may lower blood pressure,” and “may improve blood vessel function.”
According to research presented at this year’s American Heart Association’s Scientific Study, 6 dietary supplements that claim to lower LDL-C cholesterol were compared with low-dose statins. The results showed that none of the supplements demonstrated any significant decreases in LDL-C, total cholesterol, or triglycerides. The low dose statin was shown to be more effective than all 6 supplements.
While supplements are rarely directly causing harm, one study did point to a psychological effect referred to as “illusory invulnerability.” In the study, participants who were given a placebo pill, with half being told it was a multivitamin. Those who believed they were taking the vitamin reported engaging in less healthy activities, like binge drinking or overeating as compared to the control group. In fact, on the survey, the vitamin group described themselves as “less vulnerable.”
This is not to denigrate all supplements as a waste of money at best or dangerous at worst, but rather to highlight the need for physicians to provide context and guidance.
When addressing something as serious as CVD, the more information a patient has about their own relative risk as well as mitigation measures, the better.
Whether or not a patient is taking a supplement, there are now simple, affordable diagnostic tests that can enlighten patients on the risks associated with CVD.
Prevencio has developed a useful tool in stratifying patient risk with their HART Cardiac Tests.
HART CADhs is designed to detect the risk of significant blockage in the heart artery. HART CVE provides a risk score for a patient’s 1-year risk of heart attack, stroke, or cardiac death, with 86% accuracy.
Prevencio is revolutionizing cardiovascular care with affordable, accessible, and highly accurate diagnostic testing.
Prevencio’s HART AI-driven blood tests are a breakthrough in cardiac care and prevention, employing AI to produce test panels of multiple proteins and clinical variables, combined with an algorithm to create a cardiovascular score.
To learn more or order test kits, visit prevenciomed.com, or call (425) 576-1200.