Title: Dietary supplements, integrative medicine, and health: What has the research taught us?
Presenter: Howard Sesso, ScD, MPH
Director of Nutrition and Supplements Research, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) & Harvard Medical School
Associate Director of the Division of Preventative Medicine, BWH
Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 3, 2023 | 8:00am – 9:00am US EDT
Cost: Free. CME credit available
Description: Dietary supplements, including vitamins, minerals, and bioactives, are commonly used for a wide variety of health outcomes, yet evidence for their purported health benefits is often sparse. Well-designed, large, simple randomized trials can definitively elucidate the potential causal role of dietary supplements on either intermediate or hard clinical outcomes. We will review the research on commonly used dietary supplements to evaluate the strength of evidence for their effects on various health outcomes, and highlight promising dietary supplements for which additional research is needed. Finally, we will place the research in the context of recent updated guidelines for selected dietary supplements and consider how to improve evidence-based decisions to consider and incorporate dietary supplements into integrative medicine and preventive care.
- Effect of cocoa flavanol supplementation for the prevention of cardiovascular disease events: the COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS) randomized clinical trial.
- Multivitamins in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease: the COcoa Supplement and Multivitamins Outcomes Study (COSMOS) randomized clinical trial.
- Vitamin, Mineral and Multivitamin Supplementations to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer.
- Research Scope and Current Clinical Trials
Watch: Research Scope and Current Clinical Trials (3:53)
2. The Benefits and Limitations to Large Scale Clinical Trials for Selected Vitamins
Watch: Benefits and Limitations of Large Scale Clinical Trials (3:44)
3. A Labor of Love: From Healthy Hearts to Healthy Aging
Watch: A Labor of Love: From Healthy Hearts to Healthy Aging (4:50)
4. Diet Connections to Planetary Health
Watch: Dietary Connections to Planetary Health (1:49)
5. Sneak Peak
6. What’s the Evidence Behind that Multi-vitamin in Your Hands?
Watch: What’s the Evidence behind that Multi-vitamin in Your Hands? (2:06)
Dr. Howard D. Sesso is an Associate Epidemiologist at the Divisions of Preventive Medicine and Aging at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS), and an Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He leads the design, methodology, and conduct of randomized clinical trials and epidemiologic studies, focusing on vitamin and mineral supplements plus other lifestyle factors in the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypertension, obesity, cancer, and other aging-related outcomes. Dr. Sesso is Associate Director of the Division of Preventive Medicine at BWH and is with Director of Nutrition Research and Co-Director of Hypertension Research.
Dr. Sesso is also the Director of Nutrition and Supplements Research at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at HMS/BWH. Dr. Sesso helps lead the Physicians’ Health Study, consisting of two separate completed clinical trials that have tested aspirin along with beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, and a multivitamin supplement on cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases in 29,071 men with multiple blood collections and decades of follow-up. Dr. Sesso is also examining vitamin D and fish oil supplements on 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure and hypertension risk in an ancillary study of the VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL (VITAL) trial, along with other VITAL ancillary studies.
Dr. Sesso is Co-Principal Investigator of the COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS), a recently completed randomized, 2×2 factorial trial testing cocoa flavanol and multivitamin supplements in the prevention of CVD and cancer in 21,442 older women and men. Dr. Sesso has also led completed and ongoing short-term trials of various dietary supplements on cardiometabolic outcomes. Dr. Sesso has published more than 300 papers to date and teaches courses on clinical trials and epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School and enjoys mentoring students and junior faculty.