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

Archive for May, 2007

Karolinska Institutet appoints professor of integrative medicine

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Science Business reports, “Martin Ingvar [photo] has been appointed Professor of Integrative Medicine at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, where he will run the recently opened Osher Centre for Integrative Medicine.” (more…)

China sentences former drug regulator to death

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

This is apparently in response to the pet food scandal and the food poisoning linked to Chinese imports. (more…)

Transplant patients are cautioned about taking Schisandra

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Schisandra sphenanthera (Nan Wu Wei Zi, lemon-wood) is “commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs.” I found no clinical study in humans to support the many claims for this Chinese herbal medicine.

Now, there’s a report of a drug interaction with tacrolimus (Prograf) — a drug used to suppress the immune system in order to prevent organ rejection of liver, kidney, or heart transplants. (more…)

Using probiotics to lessen diarrhea after radiation therapy

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

Radiation therapy can disturb bacterial colonies in the intestines and cause radiation-induced enteritis and colitis, leading to diarrhea in cancer patients.

In this study, researchers at the San Camillo Hospital in Rome, Italy used probiotics to reduce this complication. (more…)

Zoft Menopause Gum

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

The Zoft Gum Company, which makes several herbal supplement chewing gums (eg, breast enlargement, weight reduction) has introduced a new gum to help manage the symptoms of menopause.

There are no studies of this gum for treating menopausal symptoms in women. And the discussion of the gum’s ingredients on the Zoft website is misleading.

This summary should provide balance. (more…)

LipidShield: The rest of the story

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

A news release promotes this product as a “natural cholesterol supplement [that is] effective without side effects.”

And on the LipidShield website there is an unpublished study in 30 men and women to prove it. (more…)

The Myers’ formula treats what ails ya

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

It’s used to treat a broad range of diseases, but nobody believes enough in the formula to do a controlled clinical study.

Why not? (more…)

Using creatine to treat dermatomyositis and polymyositis

Friday, May 25th, 2007

The former produces skin inflammation and muscle weakness. People with the later condition get weakness of limb and neck muscles, with muscle pain and swelling. (more…)

Making chiropractic care benefits available to vets

Friday, May 25th, 2007

The US House of Representatives has passed legislation to expedite expansion of chiropractic benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. The bill was approved 421:1. (more…)

Consumer alert: More bad food from China

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

A frozen product labeled monkfish is being recalled after 2 people in the Chicago area ate it and became ill. (more…)

Probiotics to prevent traveler’s diarrhea

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Several were effective. (more…)

Ganging up on homeopathy in the UK

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Here is an update to an earlier post where many scientists and advocates of evidence-based medicine claimed that giving homeopathy scientific status in the UK is unjustified.

An article in The Guardian reports an intensified effort to stop homeopathic treatment from being funded by the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK. (more…)

A silly study of anthroposophic medical therapy in chronic disease

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

The premise of this study is that longer consultation times — as is typical of anthroposophic care — will improve the health of patients with chronic diseases.

Why is it a silly study? (more…)

Are physicians prepared to educate patients about dietary supplements?

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

An article in Mayo Clinic Proceedings recently reported a disconnect between consumers’ use of herbals to treat certain conditions and the scientific support for their use.

The authors suggested that healthcare professionals take a proactive role in educating their patients. The results from this survey suggest doctors are not prepared for this responsibility without further training. (more…)

Mindfulness does not have a reliable effect on depression and anxiety

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

That’s the conclusion from two researchers who reviewed 15 studies.

Here’s what they found.

  • Evidence for a beneficial effect of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on depression and anxiety was equivocal.
  • When active control groups were used, MBSR did not show an effect on depression and anxiety.
  • Adherence to the MBSR program was infrequently assessed. When it was, the relation between practicing mindfulness and changes in depression and anxiety was equivocal.

Dr. Irene asks, “What was included with the MBSR? MBSR is not used in isolation of other treatments ” Unfortunately, the abstract doesn’t say.

If you’re interested, here’s a link with background on mindfulness therapies.

5/22/07 20:48 JR

Australia and New Zealand move toward combined drug/herbal regulation

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Negotiations to create the Australia New Zealand Therapeutic Products Authority (ANZTPA) have been ongoing for more than a decade.

According to The New Zealand Herald, all medicines, medical and surgical devices and complementary/alternative medicines would be regulated by this agency. (more…)

Good manufacturing practices for dietary supplements approved by the President

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

The FDA regulations will affect supplements makers and be published in a few weeks, according to an article in Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals. (more…)

Disconnect between the uses vs the scientific evidence supporting herbals

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic want to know why so few people use herbals in accordance with their evidence-based (read, proven) uses?

I think the answer is obvious, but they wrestle with this question nonetheless. (more…)

Consumer alert: Shark cartilage recall

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

The FDA has recalled some shark cartilage capsules.

The brands are listed below. Look here for the relevant lot numbers. (more…)

Motivational interviewing helps obese women with diabetes lose weight

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

Motivational interviewing is designed to help people explore and resolve ambivalence.

In this study, it appeared to help manage obesity in women with type 2 diabetes. (more…)