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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    Most commonly used natural products

    Here’s a follow-up to an earlier post on the use of CAM in the US in 2007 as surveyed by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).

    Most commonly used natural products by adults, 2007.

    • Fish oil/omega-3/DHA (docosahexaenoic acid): 37%
    • Glucosamine: 20%
    • Echinacea: 20%
    • Flaxseed oil or pills: 16%
    • Ginseng: 14%
    • Combination herb pill: 13%
    • Ginkgo biloba: 11%
    • Chondroitin: 11%
    • Garlic supplements: 11%
    • Coenzyme Q-10: 9%
    • Fiber or psyllium: 7%
    • Green tea pills: 6%
    • Cranberry (pills, gelcaps): 6%
    • Saw palmetto: 5%
    • Soy supplements or isofavones: 5%
    • Melatonin: 5%
    • Grape seed extract: 4%
    • MSM (methysulfonylmethane): 4%
    • Milk thistle: 4%
    • Lutein: 3%

    The most commonly used natural products by children younger than 18 years.

    • Echinacea: 37%
    • Fish oil/omega/3/DHA: 31%
    • Combination herb pill: 18%
    • Flaxseed oil or pills: 17%
    • Prebiotics or probiotics: 14%
    • Goldenseal: 9%
    • Garlic supplements: 6%
    • Melatonin: 6%
    • Cranberry (pills, gelcaps): 2%

    Natural products are defined as “nonvitamin, nonmineral, natural products for health reasons.”

    You can search through the archives here to learn more about the research that supports (or doesn’t) the use of these natural products.

    Or, Drs. Gayle Nicholas Scott (Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk) and Gary Elmer (University of Washington, Seattle) have a published a concise (but somewhat dated) review on most of them here.

    1/18/09 15:53 JR

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