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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    Benefits of omega-3 in kidney dialysis

    HDL (good) cholesterol went up, while triglyceride levels declined.

    And, there’s more.

    First, the details.

    • 33 patients on kidney dialysis with triglycerides blood levels higher than 200 mg/dL and total cholesterol levels higher than 220 mg/dL were randomly assigned 2-gram pearls of omega-3 per day taken in 2 equal doses, or a control group who did not receive omega-3.
    • The study lasted 12 weeks.

    And, the results.

    • There was a significant (28%) increase in HDL cholesterol in the omega-3 group.
    • Triglyceride blood levels decreased significantly in the omega-3 group.
    • There were no changes in total cholesterol or LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in either group.

    The bottom line?
    This study shows that “supplementation with low-dose omega-3 has a favorable effect on plasma lipid levels in patients on hemodialysis.”

    In 2006, researchers from Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis recommended that omega-3 supplementation of dialysis patients was premature until long-term and adverse effects are better defined.

    Since then we have learned that taking omega-3 fatty acids “did not reduce the total number of cardiovascular events and death in [a] high-risk population.” However, it was associated with “significantly reduced … number of myocardial infarctions as a secondary outcome — a finding that might be of clinical interest.”

    In addition, we now know that fibrinogen, hemoglobin, platelet, red and white blood cell counts, parathormone, partial thromboplastin time, serum total cholesterol, triglycerides [as reported elsewhere], apolipoprotein A and B, C-reactive protein (CRP) and albumin levels do not change significantly in kidney dialysis patients taking omega-3, nor do homocysteine levels.

    4/16/08 21:24 JR

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