The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is 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 www.Vicus.com, 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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    CAM for heart disease: Current state of the evidence

    During a seminar at the American Heart Association 2006 meeting titled “The Science Behind Popular Nutrition Claims,” medical researchers summarized the research on a number of complementary options to “help maintain a healthy heart.”

    Here is a summary of the Medscape article. Links to more info are highlighted.

    Stanols

    • Reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol 10% when taken at maximum doses (2 to 3 grams per day).

    Policosanol

    • Not recommended because 4 recently published human studies reported no effect on LDL cholesterol.
    • These results contradict earlier studies done in Cuba.
    • More background here.

    Lipoic acid

    • Data are “confusing,” but it appears to be of benefit to treat diabetic neuropathy.
    • The best dose needs to be determined.

    Coenzyme Q10

    • Preliminary evidence supports coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone, ubiquinol, and ubidecarenone) to treat heart failure.
    • But it’s unclear which patients benefit.
    • More background here.

    Vitamin E

    • Overall, the evidence doesn’t support vitamin E to prevent/treat heart disease.
    • However, one study in older women reported a reduction in death from heart disease.

    B6 and folate

    • For patients with heart disease, observational data suggested a benefit of B6 and folate, because they lower homocysteine levels.
    • Major studies have failed to confirm this.
    • More here, and here.

    Green tea

    • Data are mixed, but claims of its efficacy are founded on its well-documented antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
    • Lots more here.

    12/6/06 20:19 JR

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