LETTER: Nutritional ad claim lacks research

Heart attack prevention method promoted in ad not scientifically sound: physician

The “W. Gifford-Jones MD” advertisement, “Help Prevent Heart Attacks with Vitamin C and Lysine Powder” (News, Aug. 22, Page A5) concludes, “I bet my life on vitamin C and lysine.  I turned 90 this year.”

This kind of claim is called a testimonial. The advertised mixture is one of a line of products.

W. Gifford-Jones, MD, is the pen name of Dr. Ken Walker. I was unable to find Ken Walker on the Find a Physician page of the B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons website.

The B.C. Guideline about the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease does not mention vitamin C or lysine.

The U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information guideline on post myocardial secondary prevention (meaning “preventing a second heart attack”) recommends offering several drugs to people who have survived a heart attack.  Neither Vitamin C nor lysine     are included.

W. Gifford-Jones, MD, either does not know what he is talking about or he has set out to deceive his readers.

A doctor with a licence would be happy to review with a person the scientific evidence which supports the recommendation for behaviors and medications which may reduce the risk of a heart attack.

Robert Shepherd, MD

Saanich