The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Chewing gum to prevent otitis media

    Acute otitis media is the most common bacterial infection among young children in the United States.

    In this Cochrane review, the results of studies of xylitol to prevent acute otitis media in children up to 12 years old were evaluated.

    First, the details.

    • 4 studies of children aged 12 years or younger where xylitol was compared to placebo or no treatment to prevent acute otitis media were included.

    And, the results.

    • 3 studies of 1826 healthy Finnish children in day care reported a reduced risk of acute otitis media with xylitol vs the control group.
    • The 4th study of 1277 Finnish day care children reported no effect of xylitol on reducing the occurrence of acute otitis media.
    • Xylitol chewing gum was superior to syrup in preventing acute otitis media in healthy children but not during respiratory infection.
    • There was no difference between xylitol lozenges and syrups in preventing acute otitis media in healthy children or in children with respiratory infection.
    • Similarly, there was no difference between xylitol chewing gum and lozenges in preventing acute otitis media in healthy children or in children with respiratory infection.
    • There were no significant differences in abdominal discomfort and rash between the xylitol and the control groups.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “There is fair evidence that the prophylactic administration of xylitol among healthy children attending day care centers reduces the occurrence of acute otitis media by 25%.

    Xylitol gum is readily available online and in stores..

    11/10/11 21:04 JR

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