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.

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  • Recent Comments

    CholestOff reduces cholesterol, but not as much as advertised

    I received some emails promoting Nature Made CholestOff. It contains plant extracts called phytonutrients, specifically phytosterols and phytostanols. They work by reducing the absorption of LDL “bad” cholesterol and total cholesterol from the intestines.

    The ad emphasizes a 24% reduction in LDL cholesterol when combined with diet and exercise. However…

    The majority of studies and reviews of the medical literature here, here, and here, have concluded that LDL cholesterol is decreased by 10% to 14%. One study reported a 20% reduction.

    By comparison, the prescription drug ezetimibe (Zetia), which also inhibits cholesterol absorption, lowers LDL cholesterol 18%. Statins lower LDL cholesterol from 25% to 40% through a different mechanism.


    • Avoid phytostanol supplementation in pregnant women and nursing mothers.
    • Phytostanols, as well as phytosterols, may lower blood levels of alpha- and beta-carotene, lycopene and vitamin E, probably by interfering with their absorption.

    10/19/06 19:10 JR

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