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

Archive for February, 2008

Ginkgo delays progression to dementia

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

But only if you remember to take it.

That’s the conclusion from researchers at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. (more…)

BBC cancels CAM website

Thursday, February 28th, 2008 reports that the BBC discontinued the complementary medicine section of its Health Website. (more…)

Probiotics reduce diarrhea in children

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Researchers from Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Australia evaluated a milk product containing probiotics and prebiotics (Cupday Milk) on the incidence of diarrhea in children in daycare centers. (more…)

Lack of benefit from calcium supplements in young girls

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

A recent review of the medical literature concluded that calcium supplementation is unlikely to reduce the risk of fracture, either in childhood or later life.

Now, researchers from the University of Sheffield in the UK take another look at the effects of calcium supplementation on bone growth in adolescent girls. (more…)

Benefits of music therapy in children with cancer

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

Researchers from no fewer than 11 centers in the US report that music therapy helps with coping-related behaviors in hospitalized children receiving cancer treatment. (more…)

Black cohosh has no estrogenic effects on the breast

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Black cohosh is an alternative to hormonal therapy to treat hot flashes, mood disturbances, sweating, heart palpitations, and vaginal dryness.

Apparently, this is accomplished in the absence of any “systemic or breast-specific estrogenic effects.” According to researchers from the University of Missouri in Columbia. (more…)

Training the elderly to maintain their reasoning ability

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

A large-scale study of elderly people reports that training to improve reasoning results in less functional decline in activities of daily living over 5 years of follow-up.

Here are the details from the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) study.

Summarizing benefits of acupuncture

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

Dr. Paul White from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas has reviewed the medical literature and published a summary of the state of the art of acupuncture to manage pain. (more…)

Adding yoga to schizophrenia treatment

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

Yoga instructor Janette Scott wrote in Yoga Magazine, “Yoga has been shown to give many positive benefits to people with the disease for maintaining balance and harmony in their lives.” She also knew, “there needs to be a lot of further research and verification of the effects and benefits of yoga for this condition.”

Now, 10 years later, here’s a study from the National Institute of Mental Health and NeuroSciences in Bangalore, India. (more…)

Kampo medicine to treat atopic dermatitis

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Hochu-ekki-to (TJ-41) is an herbal medicine that contains a mixture of 10 medicinal plants (listed below). It’s produced by Tsumura Co., Ltd. in Tokyo, which specializes in selling Kampo medicine — the adaptation of traditional Chinese medicine to Japanese culture.

In this study, the use of topical medicines (steroids and/or tacrolimus [Protopic]) decreased when patients with atopic dermatitis took Hochu-ekki-to. (more…)

The benefits of probiotics in endurance athletes

Monday, February 18th, 2008

If an elite athlete takes something that enhances the immune system, does that make it a performance enhancement drug? (more…)

The facts about fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

The Canadian Medical Association Journal has published all you really need to know about omega-3 fatty acids and heart health.

And, it took just one page to do it. (more…)

Brain changes in OCD associated with CBT

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an established treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It is equal or perhaps superior to pharmacotherapy.

Now researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles and San Diego have identified changes in the brain that might explain how this happens. (more…)

The value of music therapy for substance abuse treatment

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

According to researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia, music therapy is a promising approach to improving engagement in substance abuse treatment groups. (more…)

Consumer alert: IcyHot

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

 This qualifies for mention here because this product contains menthol. (more…)

Improved quality of acupuncture studies

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

First published in 1966, CONSORT (CONsolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) is intended to improve the reporting of medical research. Authors use it as a checklist when they submit articles for publication. By standardizing the information that must appear in a research article, this should help assure that the studies are well designed and the results are useful to readers.

Has it helped improve acupuncture studies? (more…)

What we know about black cohosh

Friday, February 15th, 2008

A continuing education article on Medscape presents a nice summary on the use of black cohosh to treat the symptoms of menopause. (more…)

More on teaching CAM in medical schools

Friday, February 15th, 2008

Medscape printed an article last year that was critical of CAM and any role it might have in the education of medical students. I summarized it here.

Now, a reasoned reply has been published. (more…)

Should you consider kava to treat anxiety?

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

The results of a combined analysis of 3 studies of kava kava (Piper methysticum) to treat anxiety do not support the use of kava in DSM-IV generalized anxiety disorder.

Well then, where does the support for kava come from?


The inaccuracy of CAM information on the Web

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Researchers from MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas focused on breast cancer information. (more…)