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

Archive for July, 2009

No to Ginkgo to prevent dementia

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Results from the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory (GEM) Study were published today.

It was designed to determine if Ginkgo biloba is better than placebo in preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly. (more…)

Garlic’s effect on blood pressure reviewed

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Reviewers from Hartford Hospital in Connecticut report that garlic lowers blood pressure in patients with an elevated systolic blood pressure (SBP), but not in people with normal SBP. (more…)

New conclusions on acupuncture for depression

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Researchers from the University of Hong Kong reviewed the evidence in major depression and post-stroke depression. (more…)

Consumer Alert: Steam dietary supplement

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

The FDA has told Nutracoastal Trading LLC to recall its dietary supplement product called Steam. (more…)

Consumer Alert: Tanning beds

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

According to this article on, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has elevated sunbeds for tanning to its highest cancer risk category. (more…)

Consumer Alert: Sports performance supplements

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

 The FDA warns against using products advertised as alternatives to anabolic steroids for increasing muscle mass and strength.

These products are promoted as dietary supplements to improve sports performance and aid in recovery from training and sporting events. (more…)

Active rehabilitation after lumbar disc surgery

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Cochrane review reports, “Exercise programs starting 4 to 6 weeks after the operation could lead to more rapid pain relief and a quicker recovery from disability — without increasing the risk of additional surgery” (more…)

Are organic kiwis healthier to eat?

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

A study by Dr. Maria Amodio from the University of California, Davis compared the nutritional profile of conventional and organic kiwis (aka, Chinese gooseberries).

Here are the results.


Safety review of popular herbal products

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Dr. Darrell Hulisz from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio reviews popular herbals.

Let’s focus on safety issues. (more…)

Supportive care for chronic fatigue syndrome

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Medscape has published a review written by clinicians from around the US.

Let’s focus on 6 supportive care options for chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome, aka chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and myalgic encephalomyelitis. (more…)

Does vitamin E protect from cancer?

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Except possibly for prostate cancer, the answer is no, according to researchers from the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (more…)

Use of Chinese medicine in HIV patients

Friday, July 24th, 2009

This survey of male Chinese HIV patients provides an opportunity to review the risk for interactions between Chinese herbal medicine and drugs used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). (more…)

Effects of green tea on weight loss

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

 Researchers from the Maastricht University, in The Netherlands reviewed the evidence.

But, there are limits over what can be claimed by manufacturers. (more…)

Multivitamins and the risk of death

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

 There’s little effect, according to researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle, Washington.

Should we be surprised? (more…)

Healthy living lowers the risk of heart disease

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

The risk of heart failure at age 40 years is approximately 1 in 5.

Here are 6 steps to improving your odds, according to this study by researchers in Boston. (more…)

Should we add CAM to Rx treatments?

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

 Researchers from the University of Queensland, in Australia evaluated the evidence for adding nutritional and herbal medicines to antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and benzodiazepines. (more…)

Kava and St. John’s wort: Evidence for mood and anxiety disorders

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

 A broad range of mood disorders were reviewed by researchers at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, in Queensland, Australia. (more…)

The Women’s Antioxidant Cardiovascular Study

Monday, July 20th, 2009

 The purpose was to investigate the long-term effects of taking vitamin C, vitamin E, and β-carotene to prevent type 2 diabetes. (more…)

Debating how to reduce the risk of diabetes

Monday, July 20th, 2009

 During the European Association for the Study of Diabetes 2008 Meeting, Dr. Paul Zimmet, who is Director of the International Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia argued for greater reliance on drugs.

Dr. Nick Wareham, who is Director of the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge in the UK advocated to control risk factors and support public health solutions. (more…)

The Cure Within

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Here’s a vignette from Anne Harrington’s book, The Cure Within: A History of Mind-Body Medicine, that sums the attraction of CAM for many people with cancer.

I’ve taken it from a review by Jerome Groopman in The New York Times. (more…)