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.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    CAM for type 2 diabetes

    Researchers from the University of Ottawa, in Ontario focused their review on type 2 (AKA adult onset) diabetes.

    Here’s a summary of the evidence for CAM therapies.


    • 2 of 3 studies report a decrease in fasting blood sugar.
    • Overall, there’s moderate evidence that cinnamon lowers blood sugar levels.
    • Its effect on A1c  (a measure of long term diabetes control) appears negligible, but long-term studies are needed to properly evaluate this effect.


    • A1c and fasting blood sugar were significantly reduced in a meta-analysis of all data.
    • There’s strong evidence that 200 to 1000 mcg of chromium picolinate daily improves diabetes control.
    • Based on its safety and potential cost-effectiveness, a definitive study is needed.
    • Biotin might enhance its effects, but this combination requires further study.


    • Fasting blood sugar was reduced in some less well-designed studies.
    • There is insufficient evidence to support its use in diabetes.


    • A non-significant reduction in A1c was reported in 1 of 3 studies.
    • Fasting blood sugar was lowered in 6 of 12 studies.
    • Evidence of short-term benefit is conflicting.
    • Fiber can be recommended based on its benefit for other cardiovascular risk factors, however.

    Green tea

    • Fasting blood sugar was lowered in 1 of 3 studies.
    • There’s little evidence that green tea improves diabetes control.
    • Based on epidemiological evidence, further research is warranted.
    • Green tea can be recommended based on its potential for other health benefits.

    Bitter melon

    • No benefit on A1c or fasting blood sugar in 2 small studies.
    • Current evidence doesn’t support its use.
    • Further studies in cultures where it has been used traditionally might be useful.


    • Fasting blood sugar was lowered in 1 of 3 studies.
    • Limited supporting evidence for diabetes, and high doses might be impractical for most patients.
    • Lipid-lowering benefits should be studied.


    • A1c levels were reduced in 2 small studies.
    • This A1c response warrants further study.

    The bottom line?
    Today, A1c is the best test of a treatment’s value for controlling diabetes. Future studies must account for the fact that it takes 3 months to see a change in A1c in response to any treatment.

    Another recent reivew of herbals to treat diabetes is here.

    6/14/09 16:55 JR

    Leave a Comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment.