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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  • Recent Comments

    More bad new for vitamins to prevent cancer

     January is turning out to be a bad month for vitamins and their purported anticancer effects.

    Researchers from Harvard Medical School in Boston add to the negative results.

    First, the details.

    • 8171 women in the Women’s Antioxidant Cardiovascular Study were randomly assigned to take vitamin C (500 mg of ascorbic acid daily), natural-source vitamin E (600 IU of alpha-tocopherol every other day), and beta carotene (50 mg every other day) alone or in combination vs placebo.
    • 7627 of the women were cancer free before the study.

    And, the results.

    • During the next 9 years, 624 women developed invasive cancer and 176 women died from cancer.
    • There was no statistically significant effect of any vitamin on total cancer incidence.
    • Duration and combined use of the 3 antioxidants also had no effect on cancer incidence and cancer death.
    • There were no differences in side effects among the groups.

    The bottom line?
    This is the second study this month to conclude that taking vitamin C doesn’t prevent cancer, and the third to conclude vitamin E doesn’t either. Both were summarized here.

    It’s possible that the women who participated were not compliant with treatment. However, based on what we now know, taking vitamin E is not wise. It’s not a cancer preventative and may not be safe.

    A review of the literature in 2005 concluded, “High-dosage (greater than 400 IU/day) vitamin E supplements may increase all-cause mortality and should be avoided.”

    1/11/09 18:36 JR

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