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

    Cod liver oil lowers need for NSAIDs in arthritis

    This study suggests that cod liver oil supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the need for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

    First, the details.

    • 97 patients with rheumatoid arthritis were randomly assigned to take 10 grams (10 capsules) of cod liver oil containing 2.2 grams of omega-3 fatty acid or air-filled identical placebo capsules.
    • Documentation of NSAID daily requirement, disease activity, and safety were done at 0, 4, 12, 24 and 36 weeks.
    • The most commonly used NSAIDs were diclofenac (Voltaren), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Anaprox, Naprelan), and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).
    • At 12 weeks, patients were told to gradually reduce, and if possible, stop their NSAID use.
    • Neither the researchers nor patients knew their treatment (double-blind).

    And, the results.

    • 60% of the patients completed the study.
    • 39% of those in the cod liver oil group vs 10% in the placebo group were able to reduce their daily NSAID requirement by more than 30% — a significant difference.
    • There were no differences between the groups in disease activity or side-effects.

    The bottom line?
    The results illustrate a practical benefit of taking fish oil capsules. And the results are support by an earlier study showing benefit in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

    In that study of 43 patients, by researchers at the Institute for Phytopharmaceuticals in Berlin, Germany, 3 months of taking 1 gram (1 capsule) of cod liver oil each day was accompanied by significant decreases in morning stiffness (52%), painful (43%) and swollen (40%) joints, and pain intensity (68%).

    8/30/08 18:00 JR

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