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Herbal Remedies May Be Risky With Heart Drugs

Researchers Say Some Supplements Should be Avoided by Patients Taking Heart Drugs

Supplement Industry Reaction

A spokesman for the dietary supplement industry's leading trade group was highly critical of the claim and the research analysis in general in a written statement released today.

Council for Responsible Nutrition Vice President for Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Douglas MacKay, ND, writes that the analysis represents a "biased, poorly written and contrived attack on herbal supplements," which contained "sweeping generalizations, often not backed by relevant citations, and copious factual errors."

He faults the researchers for not acknowledging recent changes in federal law that require dietary supplement manufacturers to report serious adverse events to the FDA.

According to MacKay, in the first full year the law was in effect, the FDA reported 1,080 adverse events linked to the use of vitamins and minerals, as well as herbal, sports, and weight loss supplements. A total of 672 adverse events were considered serious.

"For the same year, FDA received over 526,000 adverse event reports related to drugs and biologic products, overn 300,000 of which were considered serious, including close to 50,000 deaths," he writes.

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