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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    Alternate-day fasting

    DietUniversity of Illinois at Chicago researchers report that a modified version of a plan called “alternate-day fasting” may be a viable way to lose weight.

    First, the details.

    • 16 obese adults completed were assigned to participates in each of 3 phases in the study.
      • Phase 1: 2-weeks where participants ate and exercised normally
      • Phase 2: 4-week weight loss/alternate day fast based on meals prepared for them
      • Phase 3: 4-week weight loss/alternate day fast based on self-selected food intake based on what they had learned about alternate day dieting
    • All weighed more than 210 pounds and had body mass indexes between 30 and 39.9.
    • The participants consumed 20% to 25% of their energy needs on the fast day and ate food as needed the following day.

    And, the results.

    • More than 8 out of 10 participants were able to adhere to their diet during each phase of the study.
    • The response to both alternate day fast diets was about the same.
    • Body weight decreased  from 10 to 30 pounds after 8 weeks of diet; the researchers expected an average loss of only 5 pounds .
    • Percentage body fat decreased significantly from 45% and 42%.
    • Total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglycerides decreased significantly by 21%, 25%, and 32%, respectively, after 8 weeks
    • HDL (good) cholesterol remained unchanged.
    • Systolic blood pressure decreased significantly from 124 to 116 mm Hg.

    The bottom line?

    The authors also reported, “It takes about 2 weeks to adjust to the diet, after which people don’t feel hungry on the fast day.”

    11/7/09 20:39 JR

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