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

    Archive for June, 2007

    Trying hard to generate positive research results for black cohosh

    Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

    There are doctors in Germany who are working overtime to convince us that black cohosh is a valuable treatment for menopausal symptoms.

    I’m not buying it. But then, I’m not in menopause. (more…)

    Dissapointing recommendations to treat Alzheimer’s disease

    Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

    These recommendations, from a group of experts, take a narrow view of Alzheimer’s disease. They focus on early detection and the use of existing prescription drugs.

    That’s fine as far as it goes, but what about those with advanced Alzheimer’s? Why not develop a more comprehensive approach?

    If I might quote Paul Harvey, “here’s the rest of the story.” (more…)

    Consumer alert: FDA recalls Long Weekend

    Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

    It’s is the third time this year the FDA has identified a “natural” product sold via the Internet for the treatment of impotence (erectile dysfunction) that was adulterated with the prescription drug tadalafil (Cialis). (more…)

    FDA takes control

    Monday, June 25th, 2007

    Has your worst nightmare become real, or is this the start of sanity for the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA)?

    It’s not necessary to comment on this. More importantly… (more…)

    A positive review for echinacea and the common cold

    Monday, June 25th, 2007

    This review was presented previously at the American College of Clinical Pharmacology meeting and is reported here. It’s now been published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

    However, since there’s no abstract available, I’ve used the article published on (more…)

    The contribution of physical activity to weight loss

    Sunday, June 24th, 2007

    Drs. Victoria Catenacci and Holly Wyatt from the University of Colorado at Denver reviewed the literature and came to the following conclusions. (more…)

    Looking for a new diet? Highest rating goes to Volumetrics

    Sunday, June 24th, 2007

    The Consumer Reports website rates volumetrics as the number one diet in terms of sustainable weight loss.

    And, of course, there’s a book to get you started. Lynda Lippin reviewed The Volumetrics Eating Plan by Dr. Barbara Rolls (photo), and was impressed.


    Natural herbal medicine used to complement SARS treatment

    Friday, June 22nd, 2007

    SARS, of course, is severe acute respiratory syndrome — a viral pneumonia. There was one major epidemic in late 2002 where about 10% of those infected died.

    In this study, a concoction of natural herbal medicines (NHM) plus routine western treatment appeared to be safe, with evidence of benefit over western treatment alone. (more…)

    Goji berries: super fruit or super hype?

    Thursday, June 21st, 2007

    Time Magazine named the Himalayan Goji berry as the breakout superfruit of the year!

    It’s promoted to

    • protect the liver
    • help eyesight
    • improve sexual function and fertility
    • strengthen the legs
    • boost immune function
    • improve circulation
    • promote longevity

    Wow! That’s enough for me..

    …to look for evidenced-based support.


    Australia will initiate a National Institute for Complementary Medicine

    Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

    With financial support from the Australian government, the institute will develop national priorities for complementary medical research and coordinate work on these priorities with other research bodies. (more…)

    Increased protein and mineral content from genetically engineered wheat

    Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

    Researchers have cloned a gene from wild wheat that increases its protein, zinc, and iron content. The impact of this research could improve nutrition, worldwide.


    Treating anal fistulas with clove oil

    Monday, June 18th, 2007

    An anal fissure is a painful condition affecting the far end of the intestines. The antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and pain relieving properties of clove oil provide a rationale for its use in this study. (more…)

    Using cod-liver oil to lower the risk of depression

    Monday, June 18th, 2007

    There’s growing interest in the potential effect of omega-3 fatty acids on depression and subsequent afflictions such as heart disease.

    Here’s a study using the granddaddy of omega-3 formulations — cod-liver oil. (more…)

    Sound advice for achieving weight loss

    Monday, June 18th, 2007

    So many options, so little success.

    You can follow any program you want. But here are some common sense recommendations from (more…)

    Acupuncture is comparable to ACE inhibitors to lower blood pressure

    Sunday, June 17th, 2007

    ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors are a group of drugs used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. In most cases they are drugs of first choice.

    Now, a study by Dr. Frank Flachskampf and colleagues concludes that acupuncture likely represents an attractive option. (more…)

    Consumer alert: Optimum Health Care SleePlus TCM or BYL SleePlus

    Sunday, June 17th, 2007

    Health Canada has advised consumers not to use these products.

    They contain clonazepam (Klonopin), a benzodiazepine drug (think Valium, Atavin, Restoril), which can be habit-forming when used for as little as a few months. (more…)

    Poor quality control with milk thistle supplements

    Saturday, June 16th, 2007

    At the end of 2006 I listed milk thistle as a supplement worth additional research. This was because of a study in people with diabetes where milk thistle was associated with a decline in A1c circuclating in blood.

    Now, has tested 12 milk thistle products. (more…)

    Stephen Barrett loses appeal to court case against chiropractor

    Friday, June 15th, 2007

    PRNewswire-USNewswire reports that the Appeals Court for the State of Pennsylvania has ruled against Stephen Barrett (photo), a long-time critic of chiropractic and alternative health care. The judge refused to overturn a 2005 decision against Barrett.

    Here’s the history behind the case. (more…)

    The potential of green tea for cancer prevention and treatment

    Friday, June 15th, 2007

    On the positive side, green tea is cheap, widely available, and has low toxicity. Now, we just need some good studies of efficacy.

    Writing in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 5 researchers summarized what we know so far. (more…)

    Cannabinoid-receptor blocker will probably not be sold in the US

    Friday, June 15th, 2007

    The New York Times reports, “The [FDA] advisory panel voted unanimously, 14 to 0, against recommending the drug [rimonabant, Acomplia, Zimulti], saying there was inadequate evidence of its safety. The FDA is not required to follow this advice, but it typically does.”

    The report is interesting to this blog because rimonabant works by blocking cannabinoids receptors in the brain. (more…)