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

Archive for May, 2008

Chiropractic and the Pentagon

Friday, May 30th, 2008

The American Chiropractic Association reported “The US House of Representatives has approved a directive that orders the Pentagon to make chiropractic care a standard benefit for all active-duty military personnel.” (more…)

Probiotic, prebiotic, synbiotic: What’s the difference?

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Confusing? It won’t be after this.

The term, “probiotic” (meaning “for life”) was coined in the 1960’s, although the concept was introduced early in the 20th century. Probiotics are “good” bacteria that normally live in the intestines. They are found in foods such as yogurt, and in dietary supplements. Examples are Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. The beneficial effects of probiotics are achieved by changing the microflora (numbers and types of bacteria) within the intestines.


Treating insomnia with meditation plus CBT

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Researchers from Stanford University Medical Center in California combined mindfulness meditation with cognitive-behavior therapy for insomnia. (more…)

More on yoga and menopause

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

There were benefits reported in this study from the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation in Bangalore, India. (more…)

FDA wants to establish offices inside China and India

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Asia Food Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has received approval from the US State Department to establish 8 full-time FDA positions at US diplomatic posts in the People’s Republic of China.

All this is depends on authorization from the Chinese government. (more…)

CAERS reports on supplement safety

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

The FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition’s Adverse Event Reporting System (CAERS) represents one of the few existing surveillance mechanisms.

Here’s a list of the 6 most frequently used and how they rate for reports of adverse events. (more…)

Does this mean donuts are healthy?

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

The latest news is that Dunkin’ Donuts is going trans fat free.

More importantly, I view it as the dipping (err, tipping) point, and an opportunity to see how we got into the trans fat mess, thanks to an article on the Harvard School of Public Health website. (more…)

Inositol to treat anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Several nutritional supplements are purported to treat anxiety. However, only inositol has evidence of superiority vs placebo and comparability with the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) fluvoxamine (Luvox; not available in the US).

That’s the conclusion from Dr. Sy Atezaz Saeed and 2 coauthors from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. (more…)

Red yeast rice review

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

 Dr. Désirée Lie from the University of California in Orange has reviewed the evidence.

Here are the highlights. (more…)

Omega-3 to treat depression in Parkinson’s disease

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Researchers from the Universidade Federal do Paraná in Brazil report that Parkinson’s disease “patients taking fish oil, with or without antidepressants, presented improvement in depressive symptoms.” (more…)

Habit cough and the use of biofeedback

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Let’s start by stating that “habit” cough is rare. Don’t jump to the conclusion that a cough lasting a month or so is “just” habit cough. See your doctor.

Because it’s rare there are no large clinical studies of treatment options. Here’s a case report where biofeedback and cognitive coping was effective.


Survival in cancer patients receiving Kampo therapy

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

Researchers from The University of Tokushima in Japan initially used Kampo to reduce the side effects and improve the quality of life of patients with uterine cervical cancer being treated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy. (more…)

Barbers Against Prostate Cancer

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

In addition to cutting hair, barbers once performed surgery (blood letting) and dentistry. Today, they’re making a comeback as lay prostate educators.

Medscape reports on an abstract presented by researchers at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida during the Cancer, Culture & Literacy Conference. (more…)

More benefits of the traditional Mediterranean diet

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

People at high risk of heart disease or stroke who changed to the Traditional Mediterranean Diet (TMD) showed significant reductions in LDL (bad) cholesterol. (more…)

Acupuncture in patients with severe knee osteoarthritis awaiting knee replacement

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Researchers from The Great Western Hospital in the UK report that acupuncture achieved short-term improvement in function. (more…)

Thoughts on CAM from Czech pharmacy students

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Pharmacy students at Charles University in Prague, The Czech Republic were surveyed for their views of CAM. (more…)

Reflecting on the value of reflexology

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

This review from the Taipei Medical University asks the question, where in medicine might reflexology be useful. (more…)

A final nail in the policosanol coffin

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Over the past 2 years, researchers from all over the world have failed to confirm the results of early studies in Cuba that reported a cholesterol-lowering effect with policosanol (a mixture of fatty alcohols from waxes of sugar cane).

Here’s the latest study from researchers at the McGill University in Montreal, Canada. (more…)

Is there a role for reiki in medicine?

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Professor Ernst finds that “The value of reiki remains unproven.” (more…)

First annual Yoga Week

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

On May 19th, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) premiered its first annual Yoga Week.

Others have held yoga weeks in the past. What’s different is the involvement of the NIH. (more…)