Leading Trade Associations Respond to "Flawed" Herbal Products Review

September 21, 2010

Citing numerous scientific errors and misinformation, the American Botanical Council (ABC; Austin, TX) and the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN; Washington, DC) have responded to an article on herbal products and patients with heart disease published in the current issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Citing numerous scientific errors and misinformation, the American Botanical Council (ABC; Austin, TX) and the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN; Washington, DC) have responded to an article on herbal products and patients with heart disease published in the current issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The article, 'Use of Herbal Products and Potential Interactions in Patients With Cardiovascular Diseases,' reviewed common herbs and herbal supplements, and the effects they may have on factors related to heart disease and drug interaction. Both associations noted that the article includes factual errors, generalizations not backed by proper citations, and other serious flaws.

ABC noted that the article...s review of 'commonly used herbs' includes toxic herbs and plants not approved for the U.S. dietary supplement market, such as the toxic plant oleander (Nerium oleander), an ingredient presumed to be dried Chinese toad venom, and uzara root (Xysmalobium undulatum), an antidiarrhea herbal drug approved for use in Germany. Both associations... press releases report a number of other instances of misinformation.

'The article contains sweeping generalizations"including a reference to products'”some of which are not actually herbal supplements'”that produce adverse effects on the cardiovascular system,' noted CRN vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs, Douglas MacKay, ND.

'Many herbal supplements offer healthful benefits,' added MacKay. 'Fiber, garlic, and Hawthorne provide heart health benefits, and the potential risk for a drug interaction can be eliminated by speaking openly with your doctor.'

To read an abstract of the study, click here.

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