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

Archive for June, 2010

Seal oil vs fish oil in patients with high triglyceride blood levels

Monday, June 28th, 2010

beating heartResearchers from the University of Wollongong, in Australia, report positive results with seal oil. (more…)

Side effects of medical cannabinoids

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Researchers from McGill University in Montreal reviewed the evidence. (more…)

Folic acid and prostate cancer risk

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

The effects of folic acid-containing supplements may differ from natural sources of folate, according to the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. (more…)

Importance of vitamin D screening and supplementation in diabetes

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

During the Endocrine Society’s Annual Meeting, Researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Sinai Hospital, in Baltimore, Maryland, reported an association between vitamin D deficiency and type 2 diabetes. (more…)

The role of adenosine in the analgesic response to acupuncture

Monday, June 21st, 2010

A valued reader of this site, Rachelle Holmes at Chicago Plastic Surgery Center, wrote to suggest the importance of understanding the adenosine A1 receptors in the mechanism of action of acupuncture for pain management.

Animal research is not usually covered here. However, considering that acupuncturists who read this site frequently tell me that conclusions in the literature (eg, fibromyalgia summarized here, here, and here) understate their experience, perhaps this latest study by researchers at the University of Rochester, in New York deserves mention.

First, the details.

  • Peripheral inflammation was induced by injection of Freund’s complete (CFA) in the bottom of the right hind paw of mice.
    • An equal amount of saline (0.1 ml) was injected in the bottom left hind paw as a control.
  • Neuropathic pain was induced by tying the right leg sciatic nerve in the anesthetized mice with polypropylene suture.
  • Response to pain was measured using a radiant heat source focused on the hind paw, and the time to move the paw from the heat.
  • A small acupuncture needle was gently inserted in a depth of 1.5 mm in the Zusanli point, and rotated every 5 minutes for 30 minutes.

And, the results.

  • Adenosine, a neuromodulator with anti-pain properties, was released during acupuncture in mice.
    • Neuromodulators potentiate or inhibit the transmission of a nerve impulse but is not the actual means of transmission itself.
  • Acupuncture’s anti-nociceptive actions required the presence of the adenosine A1 receptor.
  • Direct injection of an adenosine A1 receptor agonist mimicked the pain relieving effect of acupuncture.
  • Inhibition of enzymes involved in adenosine degradation increased the acupuncture-elicited increase in adenosine, as well as its anti-pain effect.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “These observations indicate that adenosine mediates the effects of acupuncture and that interfering with adenosine metabolism may prolong the clinical benefit of acupuncture.”

The study is important because it shows there’s a physiologic change in response to acupuncture that helps explain the pain relieving response.

It would be interesting to know whether sham acupuncture creates the same response.

6/21/10 19 JR

Consumer Alert: Magic Power Coffee

Monday, June 21st, 2010

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that this instant coffee product, marketed as a dietary supplement for sexual enhancement, contains an active drug ingredient that can dangerously lower blood pressure.

Goodness! How could this happen? (more…)

Risk from eggs of free-range chickens

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Paying a premium for free-range eggs might not buy you healthier eating, according to researchers at the National Cheng Kung University, in Tainan, Taiwan. (more…)

Review: Tai chi and fear of falling

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Tai chi is becoming increasingly popular as an option to prevent falls.

Researchers at the University Medical Centre Rotterdam, in The Netherlands, reviewed the evidence. (more…)

Effectiveness of CAM in diabetes

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Diabetes tool boxResearchers at the University of Ottawa, in Ontario reviewed the evidence for improved control of diabetes in type 2 diabetes mellitus. (more…)

Effect of high-dose cranberry juice on warfarin

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Researchers at the Northern Arizona VA Health Care System, in Prescott, Arizona report that no interaction occurred.

How should we consider these findings in light of other research showing an interaction? (more…)

FDA issues vitamin D recommendations for infants

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

The FDA is alerting parents and caregivers that some liquid Vitamin D supplement products are sold with droppers that could allow excessive dosing of Vitamin D to infants. (more…)

Homeopathy in cancer care

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Dr. Moshe Frenkel (photo), who is medical director of the Integrative Medicine Program at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston, Texas, has reviewed the evidence. (more…)

Avoid vitamin A deficiency during pregnancy

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore, Maryland compare beta carotene to vitamin A. (more…)

Vitamin C, stress, and the risk of infection

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Prolonged physical exertion and environmental stress may depress immune cell function and increase the risk of an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI).

Researchers from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia studied the response to vitamin C under these conditions. (more…)

Comparative review: Alexander technique and Feldenkrais method

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

Each has been practiced more than 50 years, in many countries, by thousands of students and teachers.

Here are the holistic highlights from an excellent comparative review written by researchers and clinicians in Champaign and Urbana, Illinois. (more…)

St. John’s wort + kava for major depression with anxiety

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

This is the first study of St. John’s wort + kava to treat major depressive disorder with underlying anxiety, according to researchers from The University of Queensland, Australia. (more…)

Is there a genetic predisposition to vitamin D deficiency?

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

The SUNLIGHT (Study of Underlying Genetic Determinants of Vitamin D and Highly Related Traits) Consortium reports its results.

The abstract in The Lancet is poor, but here’s a summary of the details from Medical News Today. (more…)

Dancing to improve quality of life in old people

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

Researchers at Aristotle University, in Thessaloniki, Greece, studied the effect of Greek traditional dances on quality of life. (more…)

Does Ginkgo reduce cardiovascular events?

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

Ginkgo bilobaCardiovascular events, of course, include heart attack, stroke or death due to diseased heart and blood vessels.

Researchers from the US looked for evidence of benefit from Ginkgo biloba. (more…)

Review: Herbal medicines to treat rheumatoid arthritis

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Researchers at Victoria University, in Melbourne, Australia reviewed the evidence.

But not everyone agrees with their conclusions. (more…)