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

    Archive for February, 2007

    Acupuncture for chronic low back pain

    Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

    This observational study conducted by the Technische Universitat Munchen in Germany concluded “Acupuncture treatment is associated with clinically relevant improvements in patients suffering from chronic low back pain.”

    Here are the details.


    Probiotics: A research priority for urological care

    Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

    The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation asked experts from Canada and the United States to establish research priorities in the area of urological care following spinal cord injury (SCI).

    Among their 5 priorities was the recommendation to study the value of probiotics to control the growth of bacteria and treat infections in the urinary tract.


    Food for thought: Antioxidants might increase mortality

    Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

    That’s right. Treatment with beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E might increase mortality. The potential roles of vitamin C and selenium on mortality need further study.

    These are the findings from the latest literature review and analysis published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).


    Greater survival after breast cancer in active women who eat fruits and veggies

    Sunday, February 25th, 2007

    The results of this study differ from two earlier reports (here and here) in women with breast cancer — and exercise appears to be the difference. (more…)

    Is tai chi effective complementary treatment for cancer?

    Sunday, February 25th, 2007

    For now, “the evidence is not convincing enough to suggest that tai chi is an effective supportive treatment for cancer,” according to researchers from the Peninsula Medical School at the Universities of Exeter & Plymouth in the UK.

    There was very little evidence to evaluate.


    More innovation in music therapy

    Friday, February 23rd, 2007

    Some might call it heresy, but I think “Tooth Tunes” qualifies as innovation in the application of music therapy to oral hygene.



    Hypnotherapy treats irritable bowel syndrome

    Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

    People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) experience abdominal pain or discomfort associated with diarrhea and/or constipation. Standard medical treatment options are limited. Therefore, many people choose to pursue CAM, including hypnotherapy.


    Acupuncture for chronic neck pain

    Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

    I ask, “Does it matter where the needles go?”

    Well, this review by the Cochran Collaboration suggests it does matter — at least for chronic neck pain.


    Consumer alert: FDA recalls Liviro3

    Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

    Liviro3 is a dietary supplement produced by Ebek, Inc.

    If you use it, stop now and read this. Report headaches and flushing to your doctor.


    Mindfulness meditation to relieve depression in women with fibromyalgia

    Saturday, February 17th, 2007

    In a letter to the editor several years ago, Dr. David von Weiss argued for consideration of mindfulness meditation when treating fibromyalgia.

    As a family physician who taught mindfulness meditation, he found that patients with fibromyalgia were grateful for the improvement after learning this mind/body process.

    A PubMed search on “mindfulness” and “fibromyalgia” disclosed only two clinical studies. Here’s what they report.


    ConsumerLab tests St. John’s wort

    Thursday, February 15th, 2007

    This is depressing. The number one problem facing herbal medicines today is the inability (or something) on the part of manufacturers to ensure quality control in the manufacturing of their products.

    Here’s the latest on St. John’s wort.


    Dr. Sampson asks why clinical research has departed from rationality

    Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

    If I write about Wallace Sampson one more time he will qualify for his own category on the right sidebar.

    Dr. Sampson has another editorial on Medscape, opining about the old days.


    Tea drinking and biliary cancer

    Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

    Biliary tract cancers are rare but highly fatal conditions. Epidemiological study results suggest that drinking tea, especially green tea, protects against a variety of cancers, including malignancies that affect the gastrointestinal tract.

    Now, a study in the International Journal of Cancer reports that women in Shanghai, China who drank at least one cup of tea each day for at least 6 months had a significantly lower risk of gallbladder cancer and biliary stones.


    Should men with osteopenia or osteoporosis practice tai chi?

    Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

    I don’t know. But my first thought about this study is that a statistical improvement does not necessarily mean there’s a change that could affect your health in a meaningful way.


    Advisory issued for black cohosh

    Monday, February 12th, 2007

    This site has discussed black cohosh before. Our focus was on the lack of effectiveness for the treatment for menopausal symptoms, and the lack of manufacturing standards that result in variability in product content of black cohosh.

    Now, following an analysis of 16 case reports of hepatotoxicity associated with the use of Cimicifugae racemosae rhizoma (black cohosh, root), the European Medicines Agency has advised consumers to stop taking black cohosh and consult their doctor immediately if they develop signs and symptoms suggestive of liver injury. Examples include tiredness, loss of appetite, yellowing of the skin and eyes, or severe upper stomach pain with nausea and vomiting or dark urine.

    Be forewarned.

    7/21/06 21:11 JR

    Treating HIV/AIDS with Suspension SH

    Monday, February 12th, 2007

    Stories of Chinese herbal medicines always begin with a saga. In this case, “after sifting through more than 1,000 plants for 13 years, the researchers found 150 herbs with medicinal properties that appeared active in fighting HIV ? From there, they selected the bark from white mulberry roots and four other Chinese plants as basic elements of their compound drug.”

    The product of this searching and concocting is Suspension SH (aka Compound SH).


    Elemental diet and Crohn’s disease

    Monday, February 12th, 2007

    Elemental diets (ED) are liquid diets that contain all the nutrients your body needs. The nutrients are usually taken in a digested form and give the digestive system a rest.

    The results of this study reveal that patients with inflammatory Crohn’s disease do better when ED is combined with infliximab (Remicade) compared to taking infliximab alone.


    TM for patients with CHF

    Sunday, February 11th, 2007

    Transcendental Meditation is a frequent source of heated debate. Just check out the entry on Wikipedia. It’s a positive read except that much of it is contested. Such is the risk of the “free encyclopedia.” Robert Todd Carroll has a more skeptical view of TM.

    Anyway, with that in mind, here’s a study of the effectiveness of transcendental meditation on functional capacity and quality of life of African Americans with congestive heart failure.


    Comments from our readers

    Sunday, February 11th, 2007

    Wow, I’m actually getting comments to my posts! Does that mean the site is getting popular, or that I’m in need of correction?

    You be the judge.


    Electroacupuncture to treat functional dyspepsia

    Saturday, February 10th, 2007

    It’s only February, but I was wondering today what might be the most significant story in CAM for 2007. Perhaps it will be an increase in credible studies published in well-respected peer reviewed mainstream medicine journals.

    Here’s one on effects of electroacupuncture in patients with functional dyspepsia. It was published in Digestive Diseases and Sciences.