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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  • Recent Comments

    Fine-tuning vitamin E recommendations

    There is evidence for a protective role of vitamin E treatment in the prevention of heart disease. But is it for everyone?

    This GISSI-Prevenzione study advises caution.

    For background, The GISSI-Prevenzione trial was one of the studies that made the Mediterranean diet popular.

    For this study, the effect of vitamin E on development of congestive heart failure was evaluated in more than 8000 patients who had a heart attack but no evidence of heart failure.

    • Patients were followed for 3.5 years.
    • 2.6% of these patients eventually developed heart failure, defined as hospitalization or death related to congestive heart failure.
    • Patients taking vitamin E had a nonsignificant 20% increased risk of developing heart failure.
    • Importantly, among those patients with a dysfunctional left ventricle, vitamin E treatment was associated with a significant 50% increase in heart failure.

    Taking vitamin E for its heart benefits is OK. But, those with any history of heart disease should check with their doctor to be sure they do not have evidence of “left ventricular dysfunction.”

    The absence of symptoms of heart failure is not enough reason to assume there is no problem with the heart. Remember, in this study, the patients had no signs or symptoms of heart failure when they started taking vitamin D.

    3/9/07 10:49 JR

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