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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    Absorbability of arsenic and lead in traditional Ayurvedic medicines

    Researchers at the Royal Military College of Canada, tested 42 medicines.

    First, the details.

    • The laboratory test consisted of a gastric phase at pH 1.8, which containing organic acids, pepsin and salt.
    • Then, an intestinal phase, at pH 7 contained bile and pancreatin.

    And, the results.

    • Bioaccessible lead was found in 76% of samples, with a large range of bioaccessibility.
    • 29% of samples had bioaccessible arsenic.
    • Lead bioaccessibility was close to 100% in a medicine (Mahayograj Guggulu) that had been compounded with bhasmas (calcined minerals), including naga (lead) bhasma.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, ā€œConsumption at recommended doses of all medicines with bioaccessibile lead or arsenic would lead to the exceedance of at least one standard for acceptable daily intake of toxic elements.ā€

    Earlier studies (summarized here, here, and here) documented the extent of heavy metals in Ayurvedic medicine. This study is important because it documents in the lab that arsenic and lead in these medicines is absorbed into the circulation.

    8/26/11 21:46 JR

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