Supplement Mania! 9. April 2006 William Davis (3) Ever hear of "polypharmacy"? That's when someone takes too many medicines. People will have lists of 15-20 prescription medicines, for instance, with crazy interactions and oodles of side-effects.Well, how about "poly-supplments"? That's when someone takes a large number of nutritional supplements.Let me tell you about a 45 year old man I met.In an effort to rid himself of risk for heart disease that he felt was likely shared with his family (brother and father diagnosed with heart attacks in their late 40s), Steve followed a program of nutritional supplementation. You name it, he took it: hawthorne, anti-oxidant mixtures, vitamins C, E, B-complex, saw palmetto, 7-keto DHEA, velvet deer antler, gingko biloba, policosanol, chronium picolinate, green tea, pine bark extract, St. John's Wort, CoEnzyme Q10, papain and other digestive enzymes...He became a distributor for a nutritional supplement company to allow him to afford his own extraordinary program.To satisfy himself that he had indeed "cured" himself of heart disease, he got himself a CT heart scan. His score: 470, in th 99th percentile. Steve's heart attack risk based on this score was around 10% per year. High risk, no question.For weeks after his scan, Steve admitted walking around in a daze, not knowing what to do. Years of telling himself that he had effectively dealt with his heart disease risk, now all down the drain.When we met, I persuaded him that to think that this collection of supplements would reverse heart disease was magical thinking. We trimmed his list down to the essentials and got him on the right track.Heart disease is controllable and reversible, but not this way. Don't fool yourself into thinking that some collection of supplements will be enough to stamp out your heart disease risk. Just like taking an antibiotic when you don't have an infection achieves nothing, so does taking the wrong supplements.