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

Archive for November, 2008

Effects of therapeutic touch on cancer pain

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

Therapeutic touch (TT) reduced pain and fatigue in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, according to this study by researchers in Iran.

But, how do we account for the placebo effect? (more…)

Physical activity guidelines for Americans

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

And anyone else who’s interested.

The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans provides science-based guidance to improve health through appropriate physical activity.

You can download the book for free here. (more…)

Should everyone get zinc?

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

The immune system depends on this essential trace element.

Many (but not all) diseases respond positively when zinc is used to support immunity or correct a zinc deficiency. (more…)

Inability to prevent back pain when lifting heavy objects

Friday, November 28th, 2008

Common recommendations to prevent back pain have no benefit, according to this review of the medical literature. (more…)

FDA warning on 2 weight loss products

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

A company called Fashion Sanctuary is removing from the market all Zhen De Shou Fat Loss Capsules sold in 10-count blister cards.

In addition, Balanced Health Products, Inc. is voluntarily recalling Starcaps Diet System Dietary Supplement sold in 30-capsule plastic bottles. (more…)

More contaminated foods from China

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

As an update to yesterday’s discussion about undeclared ingredients in medicine and other products from China, here’s the latest FDA advisory, warning the public not to consume certain dairy products because of possible melamine contamination.

A list of the products and a brief discussion of the dangers of melamine follows. (more…)

Tung Shueh Pills not legal in the US

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

A reader who gets pain relief from this Chinese “herbal” product asks why it’s illegal in the US. (more…)

Smoking marijuana increases the risk of driving accidents

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Are you surprised? (more…)

Testing soy shakes for fibromyalgia

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

Studies suggest that soy relieves neuropathic pain in animals and reduces pain and improves range of motion in people with osteoarthritis.

Based on this, researchers from the Mayo Clinic thought it reasonable to look for benefits of soy in people with fibromyalgia. (more…)

Making ayurveda an international medical system

Friday, November 21st, 2008

Dr. Raghunath Anant Mashelkar is the former Director General of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research in India.

During the Second World Ayurveda Congress he shared his thoughts about bhasmas — the Ayurvedic “supplements” with the highest reported heavy metal (lead, tin, iron, arsenic) content. (more…)

Reviewing acupuncture to treat chronic headache

Friday, November 21st, 2008

Reviewers from Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina conclude it’s better than sham acupuncture and even drugs. (more…)

Risk factors for liver toxicity from kava

Friday, November 21st, 2008

Researchers from Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main in Germany took a detailed look at reports of liver toxicity associated with taking kava.

They uncover potential risks associated with taking this popular herbal. (more…)

Black cohosh not associated with liver disease, again

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

This is the second review published this year, and the second to conclude “there is no evidence for a causal relationship between treatment by black cohosh and the observed liver disease.” (more…)

Benefits of biofeedback in older women with urge urinary incontinence

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

It’s mostly in your head. (more…)

More evidence against intensive whiplash treatment

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Once again, less is more. (more…)

Does it make sense to take dietary supplements?

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Dr. Jamaluddin Moloo is Chief of the Department of Medicine at Palmetto Health Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina. He has reviewed the evidence and finds it lacking.

Here are the highlights for beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium supplementation. (more…)

Skills of the healers

Monday, November 17th, 2008

It’s recognized that doctors’ relationships with their patients can have healing effects, but the skills in this area of medical practice are understudied.

How does one recognize a “healer?” (more…)

Is there a role for acupuncture to lower blood pressure?

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

“The notion that acupuncture may lower high blood pressure is inconclusive, according to reviewers from the Sangji University in Kangwondo, South Korea. (more…)

More tooth tunes? Music therapy during root canal

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

A while back, there was a toothbrush that played music to encourage kids to brush their teeth. That was fun.

Now, researchers from Tzu Chi University in Taiwan have studied the potential benefits of music therapy for a more serious activity — root canal treatment. (more…)

Success with peppermint oil for IBS symptoms

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

An international group of researchers report that peppermint oil is “more effective than placebo in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).”

It compared favorably to fiber and antispasmodic drugs too. (more…)