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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    Taking “medical food” during pregnancy

    Researchers in the US and Mexico studied the value of taking supplements with a medical food — bars containing L-arginine + antioxidant vitamins — on the risk of pre-eclampsia.

    First, the details.

    • 672 pregnant women with a history of a previous pregnancy complicated by pre-eclampsia, or pre-eclampsia in a first degree relative, and at increased risk of recurrence of the disease were studied from week 14 to 32 of gestation and followed until delivery.
    • They were assigned to a treatment group.
      • Medical food: Bars containing L-arginine + antioxidant vitamins
      • Antioxidant vitamins alone
      • Placebo
    • Women had 4 to 8 prenatal visits while receiving the bars.

    And, the results.

    • The risk of pre-eclampsia was reduced significantly with medical food vs placebo.
    • Taking L-arginine + antioxidant vitamins resulted in a significant risk reduction in pre-eclampsia vs antioxidant vitamins alone
    • Antioxidant vitamins alone showed benefit, but this was not significantly different from placebo.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Supplementation during pregnancy with a medical food containing L-arginine and antioxidant vitamins reduced the incidence of pre-eclampsia in a population at high risk of the condition. Antioxidant vitamins alone did not have a protective effect for prevention of pre-eclampsia.”

    They would like to see studies of supplementation with L-arginine + antioxidant vitamins in a low risk population.

    5/23/11 20:23 JR

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