New Study Dismisses Decades of Nutrition Research

Washington, D.C., July 8, 2019 – In response to a new study, “Effects of Nutritional Supplements and Dietary Interventions on Cardiovascular Outcomes,” published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, issued the following statement:

Statement by Steve Mister, president & CEO, CRN: 

“This study is a coordinated, all-out assault on nutrition, and the critical role it plays in maintaining health and reducing the risk of chronic disease. Along with a companion editorial and video, this attack recklessly disregards decades of comprehensive carefully developed and well-conducted nutrition research on the benefits of both supplemental nutrients and healthy dietary patterns. The study maligns not only dietary supplements, but also well-established dietary patterns, such as the Mediterranean Diet and the Low-Sodium Diet. The three pieces lack insight from any nutrition-based medical professional or expert with knowledge or appreciation of nutrition research. The study is a Systematic Review of past Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses of RCTs with absolutely no observational studies included. 

Exclusion of observational, or epidemiological, studies is a major limitation, as epidemiological data are critical and serve as the basis of many recommendations made in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The study also ignores the proper role of dietary supplements for overall health and wellness and filling nutrient gaps. Consumers turn to many of these dietary supplements not to reduce their risk of death or prevent heart disease, but rather to fill nutrient gaps in their diets and to maintain health in other ways (e.g., folic acid to prevent birth defects, calcium and vitamin D to prevent falls and fractures, iron to address anemia). 

The study, editorial and video are wrongheaded in their conclusions and amount to malpractice on the public and the research community by discounting previous health and nutrition research that form the basis of current guidelines and recommendations. Taking dietary supplements and practicing healthy dietary patterns are essential ways for consumers to assure they are getting the recommended levels of nutrients essential for overall health and wellness. Cardiovascular disease, in particular, has many contributing causes, and consumers must practice healthy habits to maintain cardiovascular health. CRN encourages consumers to talk to their healthcare practitioners about their dietary supplement use, diet and regular physical activity levels.” 

Note to Editor: The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing 150+ dietary supplement and functional food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, and companies providing services to those manufacturers and suppliers. In addition to complying with a host of federal and state regulations governing dietary supplements and food in the areas of manufacturing, marketing, quality control and safety, our manufacturer and supplier members also agree to adhere to additional voluntary guidelines as well as to CRN’s Code of Ethics. Visit Follow us on Twitter @CRN_SupplementsFacebook, and LinkedIn