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

    Good news on ephedra-free weight loss products

    They don’t contain ephedra.

    This might seem intuitive, but with supplements you can’t be sure until you test.
    So, 29 dietary supplements labeled “ephedra-free” were purchased from stores in San Francisco and sent to the California Department of Health Services, Food and Drug Laboratory for content analysis.

    The good news

    • None of these ephedra-free products contained ephedra alkaloids.


    • Heavy metals were detected in 3 of the products.
    • Manufacturers are replacing ephedra with caffeine, synephrine, and botanical sources of ephedra.

    With respect to caffeine content in weight loss products, an earlier study by the same researchers at the University of California, San Francisco found that caffeine content varies between 86% and 110% compared to what is stated on the label.

    Probably not that significant for the “average” person, but it depends on your health and ability to tolerate the stimulatory effects of caffeine.

    Remember, caffeine is almost everywhere, and it’s the total daily intake that counts.

    The caffeine content in a range of products (including decaf coffee!!) was summarized here. For example,

    • Starbucks’ brewed decaffeinated coffee: 12 to 13 mg per 16-ounce serving
    • A can of Coca Cola: about 31 mg

    As little as 10 mg of caffeine can produce subjective and behavioral effects in sensitive people.

    1/12/07 20:54 JR

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