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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    Using fish oil in treating phenylketonuria

    Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a genetic disorder that can cause brain damage and mental retardation. Treatment is a low-protein diet.

    Now, we learn that fish oil supplementation in children with PKU improved their motor skills (ie, writing, tying shoes, walking and kicking).

    First, the details.

    • 24 patients older than 4 years of age were evaluated before and after supplementation with fish oil for 3 months (15 mg docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]/kg body weight daily).
    • Their response was compared to 22 similar children who did not get the fish oil.

    And, the results.

    • At the start of the study, patients had low omega-3 fatty acid blood levels, and poor motor skills performance compared to controls.
    • Fish oil supplementation increased omega-3 fatty acids and decreased omega-6 fatty acids.
    • The patients treated with fish oil also showed improvement in motor skills.
    • There were no serious side effects and 8 out of 10 patients reported that omega-3 treatment was well tolerated.

    The bottom line?
    Dr. Berthold Koletzko and colleagues from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany concluded that “Since early and continuously treated patients with PKU benefit from dietary supplementation with n-3 LC-PUFA [omega-3 fatty acids], their addition to the synthetic amino acid mixtures appears advisable.”

    More info on PKU is here.

    Quiz: Why is the Moby Dick photo used with this post?

    7/8/07 14:12 JR

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