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, 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

    Auricular acupuncture in obese women

    There were changes in hormones, but these women won’t being buying a smaller dress size.

    First, the details.

    • 45 obese women with body mass index (BMI) greater than 27 kg/m(2) and who had not received any other weight control measures within the last 3 months completed the study
      • A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal for most adults.
    • They were randomly assigned to a treatment twice each week for 6 weeks.
      • Auricular acupuncture
      • Sham auricular acupuncture using placebo needles
    • The women didn’t know their treatment — single-blind.

    And, the results.

    • There was no significant difference in percent reduction in body weight, BMI, and waist circumference between groups.
    • After treatment, there was a significant increase in ghrelin levels and decrease in leptin levels in the acupuncture group.
      • Ghrelin is a hormone in the stomach that appears to stimulate appetite.
      • Leptin is a hormone that is thought to suppress appetite and speed metabolism.
    • No side effects were reported.

    The bottom line?
    Somehow, the authors concluded, “Auricular acupuncture may have potential benefit on obesity-related hormone peptides.”

    Apparently, they didn’t see the 800 pound gorilla.

    5/19/09 17:18 JR

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