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

Archive for July, 2007

Treating functional dyspepsia with STW 5

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

STW 5 (Iberogast) is an herbal preparation containing 9 plant extracts (including Iberis amara [Candytuft] peppermint, and chamomile). In this study, it was better than placebo in treating functional dyspepsia — a chronic or recurrent pain or discomfort centered in the upper abdomen. (more…)

Should cognitive behavioral therapy be added to antidepressant therapy?

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

A study in the British Medical Journal concludes that adding weekly cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to treatment with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) fluoxetine (Prozac) was no more beneficial for depressed adolescents than medication alone.

A closer look suggests the Adolescent Depression Antidepressant and Psychotherapy Trial (ADAPT) is not the definitive study on this subject.

Here’s why. (more…)

Warning labels on your clothes

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Does this come under the heading of complementary or alternative medicine?

According to Professor Mike Lean (yes, that’s really his name), clothes for fat children should come with information about where they can get advice to help them lose weight.

12/15/06 23:21 JR

Anael, his tumors, and the Hippocrates Health Institute

Sunday, July 29th, 2007

Anael L’Esperance-Nascimento (photo) is the little boy from Quebec whose parents refused a second round of chemotherapy for his brain and spinal cord tumors. Instead, Anael will be treated at the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida.

The intent of this post is to review wheatgrass, “an integral part” of the Hippocrates treatment. (more…)

Experts respond to the negative AHRQ report on meditation

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

The report by the University of Alberta Evidence-based Practice Center (UAEPC) after reviewing the published literature on meditation practices for health were published here and discussed here.

The authors found so many flaws in the design of the studies that “conclusions on the effects of meditation practices in healthcare cannot be drawn based on the available evidence.” The report was funded by the NIH Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). (more…)

Natural Products Association will test Chinese raw materials

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

David Seckman, executive director and CEO of the Natural Products Association (NPA) announced. “By testing raw materials in China, we’re adding another layer of consumer protection.” (more…)

Insufficient proof of efficacy for marijuana spray to permit sale in the UK

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

GW Pharmaceuticals was able to prove that Sativex, their marijuana oral spray product, was safe and reliably contained sufficient tetrahydrocannabinol. But proof of effectiveness was lacking, in the view of the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) (more…)

The Volcano alternative means of delivery of inhaled Cannabis sativa

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

An earlier study (reported here, discussed here) showed that the Volcano vaporization device is a reliable way to achieve lung concentrations of marijuana.

Now, researchers from the University of California and San Francisco General Hospital confirm that vaporization of cannabis is a safe and effective mode of delivery of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). They think the device should be used in future studies of THC. (more…)

Soft drinks and the risk of the metabolic syndrome

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

Yes, there’s an association. And it doesn’t seem to matter whether the soda pop you drink is “regular” or diet.

But can we rely on these findings? (more…)

Slowing cognitive decline with omega-3 fatty acids

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

Omega-3 fatty acid supplements might slow the cognitive decline (eg, perception, memory, judgment, and reasoning) in some people with very mild Alzheimer’s disease.

The same study showed no effect in people with more advanced cases. (more…)

Benefits from creatine reported outside sports medicine

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

In patients with polymyositis and dermatomyositis — conditions characterized by weakness and swelling of limb and neck muscles — taking creatine supplements enhanced the benefit of exercise. (more…)

“China-free” labels for dietary supplements

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

Three months ago, I predicted the China pet food contamination would have implications for the supplements industry.

Now, Food for Health International, which sells through the Internet, has announced it will start labeling boxes for its dietary supplements with a sticker that reads “safe” and “China-free.” (more…)

The placebo component of the homeopathic response

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

There’s increasing awareness that the homeopathic consultation is itself a therapeutic intervention that contributes to the outcome of homeopathic treatments.

So, how important is it?

Horny goat weed to prevent bone loss during late postmenopause

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

Horny goat weed, also known as epimedium and yin yan huo, is a source of phytoestrogens.

Researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong report success using epimedium to prevent bone loss in postmenopausal women. (more…)

Coffee and psoriasis

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

“Patients with psoriasis who drink coffee frequently respond better to treatment with methotrexate and sulfasalazine.” This is the conclusion reported by Dr. Yolanda Helfrich during her presentation at the annual meeting of the Society for Investigative Dermatology in Philadelphia. (more…)

Is there any justification to take high doses of vitamin C?

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

Let’s see what the Cochrane Collaboration reveals. (more…)

More positive results using probiotics to treat irritable bowel syndrome

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

Probiotics are now used by 35% to 40% of the US population routinely and with increasing frequency in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Dr. Brian Lacy from Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire reports on the latest probiotic research from the recent Digestive Diseases Week meeting. (more…)

What is the effect of vitamin D blood levels on colon and rectal cancer?

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

Low vitamin D status has long been implicated in colorectal cancer.

This study looks at the relation between blood levels of vitamin D and the risk of colon, colorectal, and rectal cancer in men and women. (more…)

The pendulum swings away from lycopene as protection from cancer

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

Here’s what the FDA found in their evaluation of the evidence linking tomatoes or tomato-based foods and lycopene, with reduced cancer risk. (more…)

Clarifying milk thistle nomenclature

Monday, July 16th, 2007

It’s easy to fall into the trap of using names incorrectly, assuming that differences are unimportant.

Milk thistle extracts are being studied to treat cancer and lessen the side effects of chemotherapy. Here’s what we should know, terminology-wise. (more…)