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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    Investigating the raw food diet

    Raw food diets are predominantly plant-based diets followed with the intention of preventing chronic diseases by virtue of their high content of beneficial nutritive substances such as carotenoids.

    However, little is known about the ability to maintain recommended levels of nutrients with this diet. Now, researchers from the University of Giessen in Germany are taking a closer look.

    Here’s what they found regarding vitamin A and carotenoid status among raw food diet adherents in Germany.

    First, the details.

    • 198 strict raw food dieters were surveyed.

    And, the results.

    • Raw food dieters consumed about 95% (by weight) of their total food intake as raw food (about 1800 grams/day).
    • They ate fruits, mainly.
    • They had an intake of 1301 retinol activity equivalents/day and 16.7 mg/day carotenoids.
    • Vitamin A status was normal in 82% of them, and 63% had beta-carotene concentrations associated with chronic disease prevention.
    • 77% of dieters had lower lycopene levels than the average healthy population.
    • Fat contained in fruits, vegetables and nuts, and oil consumption was a significant dietary determinant of carotenoid blood concentrations.

    The bottom line?
    It appears that most people following the raw food diet maintain normal vitamin A levels and achieve beta-carotene blood concentrations recommended for chronic disease prevention. However, they are at risk of low lycopene levels in the blood.

    The basic message from the raw food diet is that eating fresh vegetables, sprouts, nuts, and seeds is good for you.

    Here, an advocate advises how to get started.

    7/14/08 11:56 JR

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