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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”


Health & Fitness | September 17, 2002, Tuesday
ESSAY; When 'Health' Supplements May Do Harm

By BENJAMIN J. ANSELL, M.D. (NYT) 895 words
Late Edition - Final , Section F , Page 6 , Column 3

ABSTRACT - Dr Benjamin Ansell article, describing visit to store specializing in dietary supplements in search of ones that could prevent heart attack, cautions that clerks know little about what supplements contain and possible risks; notes that, despite claims by manufacturers, pill forms of vitamins and supplements have proved to be no more effective than placebos; drawing (M) Recently, I entered a store specializing in dietary supplements, curious about the information I would receive when I explained to the teenage clerk that I was particularly interested in preventing a heart attack.


I did not mention that I was a physician specializing in the prevention of heart disease, or that there were relatively few measures proven to reduce heart disease risk. But so many patients had brought in bags of supplements and ''vitamins,'' convinced of their cardiovascular benefits, that I wanted to see how these products were being marketed.