Naturoceuticals: Are They Good or Bad for Patients with Heart Failure?

    Presentation at the HFSA 12th Annual Scientific Meeting emphasizes the
    for heart disease patients to exercise caution and be aware of the
    potential dangers associated with the use of naturoceuticals

    TORONTO, Sept. 23 /CNW/ -- Today Patricia Uber, Pharm. D., Assistant
Professor of Medicine at University of Maryland presented "Naturoceuticals and
Heart Failure: Innocuous or Harmful?" at the 12th Annual Scientific Meeting of
the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA). This presentation focused on the
benefits and adverse effects associated with the use of naturoceuticals, which
are considered herbal or nutritional supplements. Uber also briefly discussed
the possible effects of using over-the-counter medications (i.e.,
nonprescription). The scientific meeting, which began Monday at the Metro
Toronto Convention Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, also featured new
research, advances in treatment and guidelines for care, debates, and late
breaking clinical trials.
    "A large gap remains in the realm of research and awareness surrounding
naturoceutics and their potential to do both harm and good to heart failure
patients," said Dr. Barry Greenberg, HFSA President, and Professor of
Medicine, and Director, Advanced Heart Failure Treatment Program, University
of California, San Diego. "This year's meeting raises the concern that without
proper information exchanged between doctors and patients, preventative
medicine has the potential to be dangerous and counter-productive."
    During her presentation, Dr. Uber stressed the importance of patients
sharing with their health care provider all medications or supplements being
taken, whether prescription, naturoceutics, or OTC's so the health care
provider can reasonably determine if any of the naturoceutical or
nonprescription drugs are interacting with other prescribed medications
resulting in compromised care of the patient. Uber gave the example that
Ginseng, a popular herbal supplement, can actually cause fluid retention when
used with other heart medications. Knowing this information can help the
health care provider correctly assess the patient to help determine the
cause(s) of their heart failure and how best to treat the patient.
    Dr. Uber also stressed the need for providers to educate their patients
about the use of naturoceuticals. "With the use of naturoceutical substances
on the rise, it is important for providers to inform patients that while they
are not against the use of these nonprescription medications, they do need to
know if patients are using naturoceuticals." She added that the FDA is
beginning to look more closely at the naturoceutical industry and consider
ways to determine how to monitor their use and possible effects when used in
conjunction with prescribed drugs for heart failure as well as other diseases.
    For a complete list of annual meeting sessions or for details on
attending the conference, call (617) 226-7198 or visit and click
on Annual Scientific Meeting. There is no registration fee for accredited
journalists. Interview areas will be available on-site in addition to a
fully-staffed press room with phone and internet accessibility.
    About Heart Failure
    Heart failure is a progressive condition in which the heart muscle
becomes weakened after it is injured, most commonly from heart attack or high
blood pressure, and gradually loses its ability to pump enough blood to supply
the body's needs. Many people are not aware they have heart failure because
the symptoms are often mistaken for signs of getting older. Heart failure
affects from 4.6 to 4.8 million individuals in the United States. Demographic
and clinical evidence strongly suggest the prevalence of heart failure will
increase throughout the next decade. Ten to 15 years ago heart failure was
considered a "death sentence;" however, recent advances in treatment have
shown that early diagnosis and proper care in early stages of the condition
are key to slowing, stopping or in some cases reversing progression, improving
quality of life, and extending life expectancy. For more information on heart
failure, please visit
    About the Heart Failure Society of America
    The Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) is a nonprofit educational
organization, founded in 1994 as the first organized association of heart
failure experts. Today HFSA has over 1,700 members and provides a forum for
all those interested in heart function, heart failure research and patient
care. The Society also serves as a resource for governmental agencies (FDA,
NIH, NHLBI, CMS). The HFSA Annual Scientific Meeting is designed to highlight
recent advances in the development of strategies to address the complex
epidemiological, clinical and therapeutic issues of heart failure. Additional
information on HFSA can be found at

For further information:

For further information: Kaitlyn Siner, +1-617-226-7192, or cell
+1-401-339-0954,; or Ben Hendricks,
+1-617-226-7183, or cell +1-919-522-2978,,
both of Bell Pottinger USA for Heart Failure Society of America Web Site:       

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