In response to R. Stoffanellar of Wassen International (WDDTY vol 14 no 7) who said my 'article gives ammunition to the anti-supplements brigade', I say 'Hardly'. From the beginning, I made the point that the 'anti-supplements brigade' was aware of all I had to say, yet continues to make fatuous accusations as to the purported dangers of nutritional supplements while remaining silent as to the real reasons for their limply reasoned attacks.
The thrust of the argument is that we should first look at the drugs and not the supplements when faced with interactions. I agree that 'if a particular nutrient or food regime is considered' and the patient is taking drugs, 'then the patient should undergo close monitoring', or appropriate testing. But GPs are inadequately trained to do this and, in any event, often don't have the time.
Stoffanellar mentions HRT as requiring more vitamin B6, and statins as they affect coenzyme Q10 production. These comments are correct. But as my column is space-restricted, I only used generic drug names beginning with A to C. Covering the whole alphabet of drugs would have required nine times the space available.
I too would like to see 'a vigilant monitoring system' involving the medical profession, pharmacists and naturopaths or nutritionists. - Dr Harald Gaier, The Diagnostic Clinic, London W1