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NPA, CRN Release Statements on Preventive Services Task Force Guidance on Dietary Supplements

Longevity By Nature

The Natural Products Association (NPA) and the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) have issued statements in response to recent findings by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). NPA commented on what USPSTF found in relation between the use of beta carotene and vitamin E for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Ultimately, “The USPSTF recommends against the use of beta carotene or vitamin E supplements for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or cancer.”

Daniel Fabricant, PhD, president and CEO of NPA, responded, “This is no surprise to anyone in the dietary supplement industry, because any manufacturer claiming that the products could have these kinds of effects would be in violation of laws against false claims. The USPSTF plays an important role in the federal government’s approach to health care and reimbursement considerations, but this research is akin to studying a hammer and concluding it is unsuitable for turning a screw. Dietary supplement manufacturers are prohibited from saying their products would help prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer because they cannot, plain and simple.”

Likewise, USPSTF concluded that “the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of the use of multivitamin supplements for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or cancer.”

Andrea Wong, PhD, senior vice president, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, CRN, provided comments on USPSTF’s guidance on multivitamins.

“Numerous research studies support the use of multivitamins by most Americans for a range of benefits.

“First, multivitamins fill in significant nutrition gaps in Americans. Government data shows that most Americans fall short in many key nutrients. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration and the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans identified that under-consumption of calcium, potassium, dietary fiber and vitamin D is of public health concern for the general U.S. population because low intakes are associated with numerous health concerns.

“Second, the recent Cocoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS) is among the growing evidence that multivitamins help delay cognitive decline in older people.

“Finally, results of the Physicians’ Health Study II, a large-scale, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial showed an 8 [percent] reduction in overall cancer risk in older male physicians who took a multivitamin.

“These are just a few of the many benefits from multivitamins, not to mention the benefits from individual ingredients that are in the multivitamin like B vitamins, vitamin D, etc.

“The apparent limited evidence should not be misinterpreted as the absence of benefit.”

For more information, visit www.npanational.org or www.crnusa.org.