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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    The omega-3 primer

    The University of Maryland website has a review of omega-3 fatty acids.

    Here are the essentials

    • The body doesn’t make them.
    • They must be obtained from food or supplements.
    • Three major types: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
    • Once eaten, ALA is converted to EPA and DHA, which are most readily used by the body.

    Beneficial effects

    • Reduces inflammation and helps prevent heart disease and arthritis.
    • Important for cognitive and behavioral function.
    • May reduce cyclosporine side effects (ie, high blood pressure and kidney damage) in transplant patients.
    • Adding omega-3 fatty acids (specifically EPA) to etretinate (Tegison) and topical corticosteroids may improve symptoms of psoriasis.
    • Helps statins treat hypercholesterolemia.


    • If you take anticoagulants (drugs to “thin” the blood [warfarin, Coumadin]) make your physician aware that you are taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements.

    The article also discusses how to take omega-3 fatty acids and more safety information.

    12/7/06 09:55 JR

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