the alternative fix

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General Information

Research Studies on CAM

Dietary and Herbal Supplements




·  National Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Affiliated with the National Institute for Health, NCCAM is the federal government's lead agency for scientific research on complementary and alternative medicine. This comprehensive website describes different kinds of treatments, defines terms and reports research findings, and offers a variety of FAQs, fact sheets, etc.

·  The White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy (WHCCAMP)
The WHCCAMP was created by Executive Order on March 7, 2000. Comprised of doctors, public health officials, and experts in alternative medicine, the purpose of the commission was to explore pressing issues in CAM, notably research, public access, information dissemination, and the licensing of practioners. Upon publishing a final report of its findings and policy recommendations in March 2002, WHCCAMP was terminated by Executive Order. Visitors to the WHCCAMP website can read the commission's final report, learn about the commission's members, and read expert testimony.

·  Alternative Medicine Home Page
Created by a medical librarian at the University of Pittsburgh, this site contains an extensive selection of links to resources about complementary and alternative medicine, including government sources, searchable databases, and directories of practioners.

·  Alternative Medicine Association
This site offers a number of useful information resource guides on different alternative treatments and a database of studies and articles on many herbal supplements.

·  The Office Of Cancer and Complementary Alternative Medicine
The Office of Cancer and Complementary Alternative Medicine was established at the National Cancer Institute in 1998 to coordinate the agency's CAM-related research. OCCAM's website includes information about clinical trials and a comprehensive cancer database.

Research Studies on CAM

·  Current Research
This is a list of NCCAM's ongoing clinical trials of over more than 80 types of alternative and complementary medicine, from acupuncture to yoga. Entries are indexed both by treatment or by disease or condition treated, with contact information and the status of each project.

·  Understanding Clinical Trials
A primer from NCCAM on understanding how clinical trials of complementary and alternative medicines are conducted, plus information on how to participate in a trial.

·  The International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements (IBIDS) Database
Run jointly by the NIH and the USDA, the IBIDS Database allows visitors to access citations and abstracts from thousands of herbal supplement studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The database also contains links to consumer-oriented literature as well.

·  CAM on PubMed
"CAM on PubMed" was created by the National Institutes of Health as a special subset of the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) database of published studies relating specifically to complementary and alternative therapies. Visitors can perform keyword searches to access citations and abstracts of scientific studies on CAM methods, as well as links to many full-text articles.

·  MEDLINEplus: Alternative Medicine
Also jointly administered by the NIH and the NLM, MEDLINEplus provides information about CAM-related published studies, clinical trials, and news releases. It also has links to additional resources on alternative therapies indexed by modality, and a search engine that allows visitors to research alternative medicine topics arranged alphabetically from A - Z.

· is a service provided by the National Institutes of Health. Visitors can search the database by disease or by funding organization to learn up-to-date information about human clinical research being conducted in the United States.

·  Search the Studies at NIH
This website allows visitors to search studies being conducted at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center by condition, symptom, or keyword.

Dietary and Herbal Supplements

·  The Food and Nutrition Information Center
Part of the US Department of Agriculture, the FNIC is a great resource to learn about dietary and herbal supplements. The FNIC website includes a database of scientific published studies, as well as government reports and warnings.

·  The Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
The Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition is part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and has extensive information about dietary supplements, including FAQs, FDA warnings, safety information, and industry regulations.

·  Dietary Supplements: A Consumer Guide (PDF)
The National Consumers League (NCL), a well-established non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the interest of consumers and workers on issues relating to child labor, privacy, and food safety, has produced a highly readable two-page brochure on dietary supplements. It provides easy-to-understand information about how to read dietary supplement labels, a glossary of terms, and a checklist of questions to ask before buying any herbal product.

·  What's the Story? Drug-Supplement Interaction
A feature on drug-supplement interactions, including a detailed table of which drugs and herbal supplements "don't mix," from the American Council on Science and Health, Inc. (ACSH), a non-profit dedicated to educating consumers on issues related to nutrition and health issues.

·  The Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health
The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the NIH funds research on dietary supplements and disseminates the research findings. ODS provides fact sheets on a variety of dietary and herbal supplements, safety information, consumer resources, and links to dietary supplement research centers.

·  The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) Special Report: "Health Products for Seniors: Anti-aging Products Pose Potential for Physical and Economic Harm"
(PDF) The GAO's special report was presented at a hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Aging on September 10, 2001. The report focuses on products marketed to seniors because, as the authors state, "seniors are thought to be at particular risk of physical harm because they often take multiple prescription pharmaceuticals, increasing their risk of possibly dangerous drug-supplement interactions." Appendix II of the report (pp. 28-33) provides a table of known adverse effects, contraindications, and interactions for each of the following herbal supplements and specialty products: evening primrose oil, garlic, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, kava kava, saw palmetto, St. John's Wort, valerian, chondroitin sulfate, coenzyme Q10, DHEA, glucosamine, melatonin, omega-3 fatty acids, soy proteins, and shark cartilage.


·  Acupuncture Information and Resources from NCCAM
Includes FAQs, practitioner referral sources, and an explanation of existing theories about whether, and how, acupuncture works.

·  National Institutes of Health Consensus Statement on Acupuncture
A review of the research on acupuncture's effectiveness.

·  American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA)
The AAMA is a professional association of acupuncturists. Its website is loaded with information, including certification requirements, a listing of hospitals that provide medical acupuncture as well as a state-by-state listing of private practioners, and news and events.

·  British Acupuncture Council (BAC)
The BAC is an association of acupuncture practioners in Britain. On the BAC site you can read about the history of acupuncture and the medical conditions it is most likely to help. It also has a Q & A section for the most commonly asked questions about acupuncture.

·  British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS)
The BMAS is an association of medical practioners who work or are interested in acupuncture. On the BMAS site you can find information for patients, as well as a link to the medical journal, Acupuncture in Medicine, which you can search for abstracts.


·  National Center for Homeopathy (NCH)
The NCH is a non-profit dedicated to educating the public about homeopathy. The NCH site provides detailed information on homeopathy, a link to a database of studies, and a directory to find a homeopath. You can also get connected to a local study group in your area.

·  North American Society of Homeopaths (NASH)
NASH is a professional association of registered homeopaths. The NASH website provides a directory of registered homeopaths, as well as links to the organization's journal and newsletter.

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posted november 4, 2003

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