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

Archive for January, 2008

Who cleans the yoga mats?

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

During a cruise last spring I took some classes in Pilates. We used blue spongy yoga mats, and I remember thinking to myself each time I picked one from the pile in the corner, “Are these things ever cleaned?


Are degrees in homeopathy unjustified?

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Over the past decade, several British universities have offered bachelor of science (BSc) degrees in alternative medicine, including 6 that offer BSc degrees in homeopathy.

Many scientists and advocates of evidence-based medicine claim that giving homeopathy scientific status is unjustified.


Acupuncture after spontaneous rupture of membranes at term of pregnancy

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

In an earlier entry the growing list of studies supporting the role of acupuncture in pregnancy clinics was summarized.

Now, there’s a study showing benefits of acupuncture for augmentation of labor after spontaneous rupture of membranes at term.


How long does it take to get a CAM to market?

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

In a previous post I quoted from a Chinese medicine website that proclaimed “after sifting through more than 1,000 plants for 13 years, the researchers found 150 herbs with medicinal properties that appeared active in fighting HIV … From there, they selected the bark from white mulberry roots and four other Chinese plants as basic elements of their compound drug.” (more…)

Determining the best options to evaluate CAM

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

A special issue of Integrative Cancer Therapies questions the validity of evidence-based medicine (EBM) for evaluating CAM.


Positive results with peppermint oil to treat irritable bowel syndrome

Monday, January 28th, 2008

In general, past entries on this topic were positive, although peppermint oil gets a “C” rating (inconsistent or limited-quality patient-oriented evidence) for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Maybe so, but here is another supportive study that tested the effectiveness of enteric-coated peppermint oil in a well-defined group of patients. (more…)

Time to Talk

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

To encourage discussions about CAM, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is offering free materials for doctors and consumers.

The rationale for the “Time to Talk” campaign is that physicians who discuss CAM with their patients are more likely to know which patients might try such supplements. (more…)

Marijuana available from vending machines in California

Friday, January 25th, 2008

Here’s a CBS video on the subject.

It saddens me, but it’s instructive regarding the bias at CBS. Notice there’s no attempt to balance the report with any of the risks of marijuana or the lack of science on its “benefits.”

Go here for balance. (more…)

Spinning the effect of marijuana abuse in schizophrenics

Friday, January 25th, 2008

NORML, the medical marijuana advocacy group, thinks this is a positive study.

I don’t see it that way. (more…)

Response to Ayurvedic herbal supplements among 9/11 survivors

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Here are the results of a study of Ayurvedic herbal treatment for health problems caused by exposure to the toxic chemicals at Ground Zero and in lower Manhattan following the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center.

Improvement during Ayurvedic herbal treatment was reported. (more…)

Allopathic recommendations for non-drug treatment of low back pain

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Researchers from Oregon Health and Science University in Portland have published an article on the evidence supporting treatment guidelines from the American Pain Society and American College of Physicians. (more…)

Trying to make cookies and potato chips healthier

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Researchers are studying the potential of snacks as vehicles to deliver more eicosapentaenoic acid, (EPA) plus docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in snacks. (more…)

Negative results with statins; so let’s review CAM for Alzheimer’s disease

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago have reported, “no relation between statin use and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease or a decline in thinking ability.”

In the absence of an allopathic silver bullet, it’s worthwhile to review what we know about complementary options to ease what author Eileen Shamy refers to as “the frightening and weary stages of Alzheimer’s disease.” (more…)

US News and World Report on CAM integration

Monday, January 21st, 2008

At the US News website, Avery Comarow has a positive report on CAM use in US hospitals. (more…)

Medical students in Wales want more education on CAM

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

In 2000, the House of Lords Select Committee’s Report on CAM recommended familiarization with CAM for medical students and doctors.

According to this article, little has been done. But it confirms an interest in greater exposure to CAM education among medical students in Wales. (more…)

Does garlic prevent cancer?

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

The National Cancer Institute has reviewed the evidence. (more…)

Using dan shen to treat stroke

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

Dan shen (Red sage, salvia miltiorrhiza, and radix salvis mitiorhiza) is an herbal medicine used to treat acute ischemic stroke in China. The condition is caused following blockage of blood flow to the brain and accounts for about 85% of all strokes.

Cochrane reviewed the published studies. (more…)

Music therapy in gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Dr. Dan Rudin from Statin Island University Hospital in New York looked at past studies and concluded it’s a “safe and cost-effective measure not to be overlooked.” (more…)

Linolenic acid lowers the risk of peripheral neuropathy in diabetics

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Alpha-linolenic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid found in many vegetable oils, including flaxseed, walnuts, and canola oil.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Maryland reviewed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). They focused on adults with diabetes who were evaluated for peripheral neuropathy. (more…)

More negative news for cinnamon and diabetes

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Researchers from the University of Connecticut and Hartford Hospital in Connecticut reviewed the literature and found no benefits. (more…)