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

Archive for September, 2007

Does dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids lower the risk of type 1 diabetes?

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

Type 1 diabetes (juvenile diabetes) accounts for 5% to 10% of all patients with diabetes.

Now, The Diabetes Autoimmunity Study in the Young (DAISY) reports an association between high dietary intake of omega-3 and a lower incidence of type 1 diabetes. (more…)

Flexion-distraction vs active exercise for chronic low back pain

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

“Flexion-distraction [FD] involves the use of a specialized table [see photo] that gently distracts or stretches the spine,” says Dr. Arn Strasser from the Center for Chiropractic & Pain Rehabilitation in Portland, Oregon.

OK, but how does it compare to an active trunk exercise (ATE) protocol (see photo below) as performed by physical therapists?


Good news on ephedra-free weight loss products

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

They don’t contain ephedra.

This might seem intuitive, but with supplements you can’t be sure until you test.

Surprising results and conclusions from the GERAC acupuncture trials for low back pain

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Conflicting findings on the effectiveness of acupuncture are often attributed to flaws in study design and methods. The German Acupuncture Trials (GERAC) were intended to demonstrate that it’s possible to design acupuncture studies in accordance with the standards of good clinical practice.

Here’s what they report. (more…)

Bad news for calcium supplements

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

This review by the Cochrane Collaboration of 19 clinical trials in almost 3000 children treated with calcium or placebo reveals that bone mineral density (BMD) increases the same amount in the hip and spine whether children take calcium supplements or placebo. (more…)

Trigger point acupuncture for neck pain

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

This study by researchers at Meiji University of Oriental Medicine in Kyoto, Japan concludes it’s effective. But what, exactly, is the meaning of “trigger point?” (more…)

A bewildering study of acupuncture treatment of dysmenorrhea

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Why do CAM journals publish useless studies?

Case in point. (more…)

Background noise helps ADHD children learn

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Göran Söderlund at Stockholm University defended his doctoral thesis recently.

The title? Noise improves cognitive performance in children with dysfunctional neurotransmission. (more…)

A very concise review of herbal medicines

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Those who read this blog know that one of the main objectives it to provide CAM information as concisely as possible.

Well, I’ve been outdone. Lidie Lajoie gets the award. you can carry it in your pocket.

See what I mean at this pdf.

1/31/07 09:28 JR

Consumer alert: Axcil and Desirin

Friday, September 21st, 2007

A company called TWC Global LLC, Inc. has issued a nationwide recall of Axcil and Desirin, which are marketed as sexual enhancement supplements for men and women, respectfully. (more…)

Acute liver disease associated with taking aloe vera by mouth

Friday, September 21st, 2007

It has been reported in 3 people. (more…)

New study supports acupuncture to treat rhinitis

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

According to, “The ideal time to treat seasonal allergic rhinitis using acupuncture is at least one month before symptoms normally begin.”

Here’s a study where acupuncture helped ongoing rhinitis symptoms. (more…)

A yoga video demonstrates stress reduction poses

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007 has posted a video that introduces five basic yoga poses.

It’s about 5 minutes long and worth a look.

1/23/07 21:14 JR

Results from the Central Sydney Tai Chi Trial

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

The objective was to determine the effectiveness of a 16-week community-based tai chi program in reducing falls and improving balance. (more…)

Update on gundamiti to treat HIV/AIDS

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Some people with HIV/AIDS, according to an article from Voice of America, say they have “stopped taking ARVs [anti-retroviral medicines] in favor of the cheaper traditional Gundamiti herb, which costs under Z$2 million (about $38 in US dollars) a month.” That’s about half the cost of the ARVs in Zimbabwe.

But does it work? (more…)

Recognizing boundaries between yoga and psychotherapy

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

A reader adds perspective to the physical vs philosophical value of yoga, so be sure to read the comment.

Dan Charnas has a good article in Yoga Journal where he advises yoga instructors against crossing the line between a physical workout and psychological counseling.

It’s useful for students to consider and applies to other disciplines as well.

Excerpts here.

Best foods (and supplements) to lower your cholesterol

Monday, September 17th, 2007 has posted a review.

Here’s the skinny. (more…)

Soft drinks reportedly not a cause of obesity in children

Monday, September 17th, 2007

The article abstract is jargon-riddled, but an article in “translates” the results into English. (more…)

Allergic reactions associated with the use of pelargonium

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Pelargonium is a genus of flowering plants, which includes about 200 species. Extracts have been used to treat respiratory tract and gastrointestinal infections.

Now, more about the allergic reactions to Pelargonium sidoides DC and P. reniforme Curtis, which reportedly have immune modulating properties and antibacterial activity. (more…)

Financial support for research training and career development in CAM

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) offers research training and career development awards for those seeking a career in CAM research. (more…)