The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point

Avoid marijuana during pregnancy and breast feeding

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has published its position on use of pot during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

The bottom line.

Yes, there are limitations in the available data about marijuana’s effects on the fetus during pregnancy and on the neonate during lactation. However, ACOG has seen enough to recommend that during pregnancy and during breast feeding to advise “discontinuation of maternal use [of marijuana], whether recreational or medicinal.”

There are no FDA-approved indications regarding marijuana use during pregnancy and lactation. Also, there are no standardized formulations, dosages, or delivery systems. Smoking, the most common route of administration of THC, cannot be medically condoned during pregnancy and lactation, according to ACOG.

The use of marijuana during pregnancy is associated with lower scores on tests of attention, coordination, and behavior in offspring.

6/25/15 JR

Up in smoke: Medical marijuana debunked

avatar_a6aa0baea313_128

Proponents of the use of medical marijuana like to start speeches and articles by quickly stating that cannabinoids are of proven value in treating many diseases.

Poppycock. This site has stated repeatedly: not true, not true, not true.

Now the evidence is in, and we were right. JAMA confirms that the evidence supporting the effectiveness of cannabinoids is tenuous at best. And risk of side effects with cannabinoids to treat anything is high.

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Milk thistle interaction with raloxifene (Evista)

milk_thistleRaloxifene is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) that is used to reduce the risk of invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

Researchers at Washington State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro evaluated the inhibitory effects of individual milk thistle constituents on the intestinal glucuronidation (detoxification) of raloxifene.

First, the details.

  • The inhibitory effects of individual milk thistle constituents on the intestinal metabolism of raloxifene were studied in the lab.
  • UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1-1 (also known as UGT-1A) is an enzyme in human intestines, which along with UGT1A8, and UGT1A10 are critical to metabolizing and removing raloxifene from the body.

And, the results.

  • Milk thistle components silybin A and silybin B were potent inhibitors of raloxifene metabolism.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded: “Silibinin and silymarin [the major active constituents] were predicted to increase raloxifene systemic exposure by about 5-fold, indicating a high risk of interaction. Safety of raloxifene is discussed here.

It’s understandable that these women seek CAM, including herbals, to supplement raloxifene treatment.

It needs to be studied in humans, but for now, the risk of taking milk thistle would seem to outweigh any potential benefits. Check with your healthcare professional.

6/20/15 JR

 

When is black cohosh not black cohosh?

This site has stated that the evidence for using black cohosh to treat the symptoms of menopause is disappointing.

A study in the Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry suggests that one reason might be related to the lack of manufacturing standards in the production of this product, which leads to significant variability in the contents of different brands.

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What you should know about aromatherapy

If you expect aromatherapy to cure a major illness, you will probably be disappointed, according to AromaWeb — a source of practical information on this complementary treatment.

The available scientific evidence (such as it is) supports this statement. The Natural Standard website (which charges a membership fee) conducted literature reviews on the various applications of aromatherapy and concluded that even for the best documented conditions (eg, anxiety and agitation), the data are conflicting and based on small, poorly designed trials.

However, to conclude from this that aromatherapy is to be avoided would be excessive. Its current use is not intended to replace standard medical care but complement it. If using volatile plant oils, including essential oils, improves your sense of psychological and physical well being, by all means, indulge yourself.

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Hospitalization rate based on changes in physical activity in people with COPD

asthma-150x150Emphasis in this study by researchers in Spain was on walking, the most common form of physical activity.

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TENS device FDA-approved for migraine prevention

CEFALY_2_HR_sans les mainsIt’s the first device approved to prevent migraine headaches, and the first transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device specifically authorized for use prior to the onset of pain.

Here’s what we know about Cefaly.

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Defining what it means to be “gluten free”

gluten-free-logoFollowing a gluten-free diet is the key to treating celiac disease (sprue) — an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine that occurs in genetically predisposed people.

One might think that “gluten free” means no gluten, but that’s not correct, according to the FDA.

Here’s what we now know.

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Trade-offs: Comparing supplements vs. exercise

little-guy2Drs. Andrew Mendelsohn and James Larrick at the Panorama Research Institute and Regenerative Sciences Institute, in Sunnyvale, California, have complied an impressive list of reviews on the effects of exercise. Here’s the first in a series of summaries of their recent publications.

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Benefits of keyboard playing in people with cerebral palsy

0Cerebral palsy results from injury to or abnormal development of the brain, with various problems in movement, posture, and other behavioral functions.

Researchers at the Graduate School of Education and Ewha Music Rehabilitation Center, in Seoul, Korea, studied the effects of Therapeutic Instrument Music Performance (TIMP) for fine motor exercises in adults with cerebral palsy.

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The end of trans fats

fda_logoThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced its preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils — the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods — are not “generally recognized as safe” for use in food.

It wasn’t always so.

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Lack of effect of Hibiscus sabdariffa L. on cholesterol

hisbiscus_0Hibiscus sabdariffa L. (roselle, red sorrel; Arabic: karkade) grows as large shrubs or small trees that produce huge, colorful, trumpet-shaped flowers promoted to reduce cholesterol levels.

Researchers at the University of Malaya, in Kuala Lumpur, reviewed the data on its effectiveness and safety.

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The reality of herbal supplement contamination

little-guy2Adulteration of herbal products is common and a threat to consumer safety.

Researchers from Canada and India are the latest to investigate the integrity of herbal products.

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Review: Vitamin D supplements fail to change bone density

vitamind-150x150Almost half of older adults take vitamin D with or without calcium.

Researchers at the University of Tasmania, Hobart, in Australia, reviewed the evidence.

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Cannabis effective in patients with Crohn’s disease?

Marijuana1-150x150Researchers at Tel Aviv University, in Israel, focus on the positive in this small study.

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Static magnets and copper fail to improve arthritis

MAGNETIC-BRACELET-150x150Folklore remedies for pain and inflammation support these bracelets to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Researchers at The University of York, in the UK studied their effects.

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NCB-02 to treat ulcerative colitis

turmeric1-150x150NCB-02 is a standardized curcumin (a chemical in turmeric) preparation that has been used with positive results in an animal model of ulcerative colitis.

Now, researchers at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, in New Delhi, tested it in people.

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Does water really improve health?

indexFirst lady, Michelle Obama tells us that drinking more water will improve the health of kids and all Americans.

Really? Here’s what we know.

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Interaction of Ginkgo biloba with antiplatelet drugs

little-guy2Back in the ‘90s there were several reports of serious interactions in people who used Ginkgo biloba with other “blood thinners” to treat peripheral vascular disease (ie, dementia and claudication).

Researchers at Inje University College of Medicine, in Busan, Republic of Korea, evaluated the effects of G. biloba extracts on the pharmacokinetics of the antiplatelet drug cilostazol (Pletal) and its metabolites.

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TENS to reduce pain intensity in patients with tennis elbow

tennis_elbow50People with “tennis elbow” (lateral epicondylitis) experience pain over the outer side of the elbow, which may extend down the forearm.

Researchers at Keele University, in Staffordshire, UK, studied the response to TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) added to typical treatment.

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