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

    Peri-menopausal symptoms treated with pycnogenol

    This is apparently the first study of pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract) to treat peri-menopausal symptoms.

    First, the details.

    • 200 women were randomly assigned to take 200 mg of pycnogenol or a placebo daily.
    • They reported their symptoms using the Women’s Health Questionnaire, which covers somatic (physical) symptoms, depressed mood, vasomotor (constriction/dilation of blood vessels) symptoms, memory and concentration, attractiveness, anxiety, sexual behavior, sleep problems and menstrual symptoms.
    • Women visited the clinic at 1, 3, and 6 months.

    And, the results.

    • Only 155 women completed the study.
    • The pycnogenol group reported improvement of symptoms compared to the start of the treatment.
    • Improvement was reported after one-month.
    • There were no changes in placebo group.
    • In addition, LDL (bad) cholesterol levels were reduced 10% with pycnogenol vs placebo at 6 months.
    • No side effects were reported.

    The bottom line?
    The researchers at the Ham-Ming Hospital in Taiwan concluded, pycnogenol “may offer an alternative method to reducing climacteric symptoms,”

    It’s not clear why so many women dropped out of the study.

    8/30/07 17:34 JR

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