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

    Does zinc prevent middle ear infections?

    Otitis media (inflammation of the middle ear, usually caused by infection) affects people of all ages, but is particularly common in young children.

    This Cochrane review evaluated studies of children younger than 5 years.

    First, the details.

    • 12 studies were selected for this review.

    And, the results.

    • In healthy children living in low-income communities
      • 2 studies in 3191 participants reported no difference between the zinc and placebo in the numbers of participants with otitis media during follow up.
      • Another study showed a significantly lower incidence of otitis media in the zinc group.
    • Infants treated for severe malnutrition
      • A small study of 39 infants suggested a benefit of zinc on the mean number of episodes of otitis media.
    • There were no serious side effects, although a small minority of children vomited shortly after taking the supplements.

    The bottom line?

    Results are mixed.

    The authors concluded, “There is some evidence of benefit in children being treated for marasmus [extreme malnutrition and emaciation], but this is based on one small trial and should therefore be treated with caution.

    2/19/10 22:34 JR

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