Industry responds to pharmaceutical study comparing a low-dose statin medication to dietary supplements

Benefits from a recent study1 funded by AstraZeneca, identified as the “Supplements, Placebo, or Rosuvastatin (Activity)” Research, when compared the results of its prescription small-dose statin (Rosuvastatin) to placebo and 6 prevalent nutritional dietary supplements, including fish oil, cinnamon, garlic, turmeric, plant sterols, and crimson yeast rice, about a 4-7 days period of time. The principal endpoint of the analyze was the percent alter of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). Results confirmed that subjects having the statin medicine noticed a noticeably higher p.c change in LDL-C, in comparison to placebo and all the nutritional supplements, which noticed no important modify in LDL-C above a 4-7 days time period.

Advocates for the dietary health supplement field are responding to the research, pointing out its restrictions, and criticizing the comparison of a statin medicine to nutritional supplements, which are not intended for procedure of disease.

“SPORT wholly misses the point of supplementation by evaluating the results of a prescription drug to dietary supplements in a short-phrase examine. Dietary health supplements are not intended to be swift fixes and their effects may not be uncovered in the course of the course of a research that only spans four weeks, especially on a multifactorial affliction like significant cholesterol,” described the Council for Accountable Nutrition’s (CRN Washington, D.C.) vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs, Andrea Wong, PhD, in a press release. “This is a major—and writer-acknowledged—limitation of the review. The most enthusiastic supporters of dietary supplements would not assume illness markers to strengthen in 28 times from health supplement use, even in conjunction with dietary variations and work out.”

The Customer Healthcare Solutions Association’s (CHPA Washington, D.C.) senior vice president of nutritional dietary supplements, Duffy MacKay, issued a very similar criticism, stating, “Dietary dietary supplements – which are controlled as food items – ought to in no way be puzzled with prescription prescription drugs, which are especially supposed to diagnose, cure, mitigate, take care of, or avert particular conditions. Shoppers must also not expect nutritional supplements to act like prescription medications, but relatively as items that help total health and wellness – this kind of as coronary heart overall health, joint health, or intestine overall health. Nonetheless, in this article is a different scientific examine evaluating the strength of prescription prescription drugs from dietary supplements. Additionally, presented the short 4-week therapy timeline investigated in this review, the expectation for dietary supplements to generate drug-like results is unfounded, as non-pharmacological interventions commonly demand a lot more time to see effects.”

Furthermore, the variety of dietary nutritional supplements used was inconsistent with the primary endpoint scientists were being investigating, said Wong. “While all the nutritional supplements integrated in the analyze are perfectly-identified for their added benefits associated to heart wellbeing, only a few are marketed for their cholesterol decreasing added benefits,” she described. “The other ingredients are better identified for their effects on other wellness results (like advancement of triglycerides or insulin modulation), so it is unclear why they were chosen to be assessed for their outcomes on LDL cholesterol.”

When dietary health supplements are not intended to handle or overcome condition, their prolonged-phrase use can give broader well being gains, and Fda has expressly licensed wellness promises for plant sterols for reducing the danger of coronary coronary heart disease, as nicely as omega-3s for decreasing the threat of coronary coronary heart ailment and hypertension, adds Wong. “Both prescription medicine and nutritional nutritional supplements have valuable roles to perform in achieving improved health. Supplements are not supposed to substitute prescription drugs or other clinical treatments. As an alternative, they assist and retain wellbeing, and in conjunction with a nutritious diet program, bodily exercise, and frequent check out-ups with a healthcare specialist, they can aid lower ailment chance,” she concludes.


  1. Laffin LJ et al. “Comparative consequences of lower-dose Rosuvastatin, placebo and dietary supplements on lipids and inflammatory biomarkers.” Journal of the American Higher education of Cardiology, Printed online forward of print on November 6, 2022