The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is 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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    CAM and diabetes: An update of recent studies

    The World Health Organization has predicted a 39% rise in the worldwide prevalence of diabetes by 2030. And an article in The Lancet indicates this might be an underestimation.

    Since November is Diabetes Month, here’s a round-up of CAM options for people with diabetes from 2006 through March 2007.

    No evidence that zinc can prevent type 2 diabetes

    Vegan diet
    Improve blood sugar and cholesterol control in patients with type 2 diabetes

    Trans fats
    Some substitutes actually raise blood sugar levels and lowers insulin in humans

    Improved fasting blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A 1C (A1c) values

    Improved A1c and fasting blood sugar levels

    Milk thistle
    Improved A1c and fasting blood sugar levels

    Soy yogurt
    Limited data that it improves blood sugar levels

    A complementary option for treating diabetic ulcers

    Chromium picolinate
    Adding chromium picolinate to a sulfonylurea drug (glipizide) improved insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control.

    No change in A1c

    Psychological support
    Might be useful in certain patients with type 2 and type 1 diabetes

    DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone)
    Lacks supporting data for the claims

    Whole-grain cereals
    Lower risk of death among men who ate at least one serving of whole-grain breakfast cereal per day vs those who rarely ate whole-grain cereal.

    Preliminary positive evidence

    Coffee drinking
    You have to drink a lot of coffee for any preventive effect

    Remember, these are complementary options. They do not replace diet, exercise and drug treatments prescribed by a physician. And fraudulent claims abound.

    Illustration: Diabetes Toolbox

    3/3/07 10:08 JR

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