By Steve Borzak, MD, FACC
Liver Damage: Worry About Your Supplement, not Your Statin
In a leading story on December 22, 2013, The New York Times featured new research showing an alarming rise in serious liver damage attributed to supplement use. In a careful study, over 800 patients were analyzed who had liver damage severe enough to consider transplantation. An alarming trend over time attributed an increasing percentage of these serious cases to supplement use. It is clear that the unregulated nature of supplement manufacture and use is a key cause. It should be noted that in 2012, the FDA updated its packaging requirements for statin-based cholesterol-lowering drugs, to no longer require or even suggest monitoring liver enzymes. This is because in the 30-year history of statin use in the US, there have been no cases of statin-induced serious liver injury. The FDA pointed out that much more harm was caused by inappropriately interrupting statins (with a resultant spike in heart attack, stroke and vascular death) than any and all manifestations of liver injury.
Steve Borzak, MD, FACC
He completed a Cardiology Fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital & Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA from 1988 to 1991.
Before joining Florida Cardiology Group in 2001, Dr. Borzak was Associate Division Head of Cardiology at Henry Ford Hospital, Michigan, where he directed the Coronary Care Unit, conducted dozens of research studies and contributed extensively to cardiovascular literature. Dr. Borzak has received numerous teaching awards during his tenure, and he is currently a faculty member at Nova Southeastern College of Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.