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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    Vitamins E and C and the risk of age-related cataract

    Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical, in Boston, studied the long-term effects.

    First, the details.

    • 11,545 apparently healthy male physicians 50 years or older without a diagnosis of cataract were randomly assigned to a treatment group.
    • Vitamin E (400 IU of synthetic alpha-tocopherol) or placebo every other day.
    • Within each of these treatment groups, the doctors were again randomly assigned to get either daily vitamin C (500 mg of synthetic ascorbic acid) or placebo.
    • The incidence of cataract was recorded of 8 years.

    And, the results.

    • 1174 incident cataracts were confirmed.
    • There were 579 cataracts in the vitamin E–treated group and 595 cases in the vitamin E placebo group.
    • For vitamin C, there were 593 cataracts in the treated group and 581 in the placebo group.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Long-term alternate-day use of 400 IU of vitamin E and daily use of 500 mg of vitamin C had no notable beneficial or harmful effect on the risk of cataract.”

    Earlier this year, researchers at Karolinska Institutet, in Stockholm, Sweden studied more than 24,000 women and concluded; “the use of vitamin C supplements may be associated with higher risk of age-related cataract among women.”

    11/9/10 20:26 JR

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