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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    Vitamins E and C and the risk of age-related cataract

    Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical, in Boston, studied the long-term effects.

    First, the details.

    • 11,545 apparently healthy male physicians 50 years or older without a diagnosis of cataract were randomly assigned to a treatment group.
    • Vitamin E (400 IU of synthetic alpha-tocopherol) or placebo every other day.
    • Within each of these treatment groups, the doctors were again randomly assigned to get either daily vitamin C (500 mg of synthetic ascorbic acid) or placebo.
    • The incidence of cataract was recorded of 8 years.

    And, the results.

    • 1174 incident cataracts were confirmed.
    • There were 579 cataracts in the vitamin E–treated group and 595 cases in the vitamin E placebo group.
    • For vitamin C, there were 593 cataracts in the treated group and 581 in the placebo group.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Long-term alternate-day use of 400 IU of vitamin E and daily use of 500 mg of vitamin C had no notable beneficial or harmful effect on the risk of cataract.”

    Earlier this year, researchers at Karolinska Institutet, in Stockholm, Sweden studied more than 24,000 women and concluded; “the use of vitamin C supplements may be associated with higher risk of age-related cataract among women.”

    11/9/10 20:26 JR

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