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

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was 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, 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.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Lead: More toxic than we thought

    In addition to Ayurvedic medicines, certain traditional or folk medications used in East Indian, Middle Eastern, West Asian, and Hispanic cultures contain lead. The “logic” supporting the addition of lead to medicine was summarized in an earlier post.

    Now it’s reported that lead is more toxic than we thought. People with lead blood levels well below those previously considered safe (less than 10 mcg/dL) are at increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

    How great is the risk?

    Among 14,000 people studied, when lead blood levels were between 3.6 and 10 mcg/dL there was a…

    • 25% higher risk of death from any cause
    • 55% higher risk of death from cardiovascular diseases
    • 89% higher risk of death from heart attack
    • Two and a half times the risk of death from stroke

    These risks increased in all men and all women, as well as in subpopulations of non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks and Mexican Americans.

    The bottom line?

    Although approximately 95% of lead poisoning cases in Americans are due to occupational exposure, lead poisoning can occur from taking traditional or folk remedies. Go here for more on the prevalence of lead in Ayurvedic herbal medicine products.

    9/20/06 18:42 JR

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