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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    Taking “medical food” during pregnancy

    Researchers in the US and Mexico studied the value of taking supplements with a medical food — bars containing L-arginine + antioxidant vitamins — on the risk of pre-eclampsia.

    First, the details.

    • 672 pregnant women with a history of a previous pregnancy complicated by pre-eclampsia, or pre-eclampsia in a first degree relative, and at increased risk of recurrence of the disease were studied from week 14 to 32 of gestation and followed until delivery.
    • They were assigned to a treatment group.
      • Medical food: Bars containing L-arginine + antioxidant vitamins
      • Antioxidant vitamins alone
      • Placebo
    • Women had 4 to 8 prenatal visits while receiving the bars.

    And, the results.

    • The risk of pre-eclampsia was reduced significantly with medical food vs placebo.
    • Taking L-arginine + antioxidant vitamins resulted in a significant risk reduction in pre-eclampsia vs antioxidant vitamins alone
    • Antioxidant vitamins alone showed benefit, but this was not significantly different from placebo.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Supplementation during pregnancy with a medical food containing L-arginine and antioxidant vitamins reduced the incidence of pre-eclampsia in a population at high risk of the condition. Antioxidant vitamins alone did not have a protective effect for prevention of pre-eclampsia.”

    They would like to see studies of supplementation with L-arginine + antioxidant vitamins in a low risk population.

    5/23/11 20:23 JR

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