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NCCAM Research on Specific Health Issues

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (formerly the Office for Alternative Medicine and part of NIH) has funded thirteen research centers that focus on specific health issues. While the term "complementary and alternative medicine" covers approximately 15 different kinds of therapies, supplementation is one of them, and the research conducted at the centers shown here does include a variety of dietary supplements. Useful research about the effects of supplements on a variety of health concerns is available through these links.

See also our summaries of current research (as of June 2000) in NCCAM centers.

Addiction: Center for Addiction and Alternative Medicine Research (CAAMR)

CAAMR research findings include the usefulness of including nutrition and vitamin therapy in alcohol treatment programs. [Editor's Note Sept 2003: CAAMR's website has disappeared from its home at the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation. This may indicate a end to that research project.]

Aging: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Program at Stanford (CAMPS), at Stanford University, CA

Many problems that older people experience are caused by specific diseases rather than an inevitable slide into poor health.  CAMPS is currently reviewing existing knowledge on selected alternative therapies as they relate to successful aging.  Programs include review teams focusing on nutrition and herbal medicine and and traditional Chinese medicine.

Asthma: Center for Alternative Medicine Research in Asthma and Immunology (CAMRAI), at University of California at Davis

Asthma-related deaths have almost doubled in the past 20 years, and the yearly cost of health care for asthma now exceeds $4.6 billion.  CAMRAI is surveying health care professionals and asthma sufferers to find out what alternative treatments they use.  Current research includes work on vitamins C and E, and the effect of botanicals on key immune responses.  Publications on the CAMRAI website include treating asthma with vitamin B12 and herbs, and reducing cardiovascular risk with a variety of vitamins and other dietary supplements.

Cancer: University of Texas Center for Alternative Medicine (UT-CAM), Austin TX

The UT-CAM evaluates biopharmacologic and herbal therapies used for cancer prevention and treatment, and is co-funded by the National Cancer Institute.  Current research includes clinical studies of melatonin, animal studies of ginseng and shark cartilage, and laboratory studies of coenzyme Q10.  UT-CAM is currently designing a clinical trial of high-dosage Vitamin C.

HIV: Bastyr University AIDS Research Center (BUARC), Seattle WA

Studies of the HIV-infected population suggest that more than half are using a variety of alternative therapies, including Chinese herbal medicine and mega-vitamin therapy.  This website contains a list of BUARC's publications.  Also, the Bastyr University Library has more than 8,000 books on naturopathic and alternative medicine, and subscribes to approximately 250 journals in these fields.  This extensive collection is available to the public.

Women's Health Issues: Center for CAM Research in Women's Health (CCRWH) - Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Center For Complementary and Alternative Medicine, at Columbia University, New York NY

The CCRWH is reviewing the alternative medicine literature on women's health issues in order to develop a research agenda.  The CCRWH will then establish networks of researchers and will conduct collaborative research.  Clinical studies include the effect of a Chinese herbal preparation on menopausal hot flashes, and use of a red clover product for the treatment of uterine fibroids.  A prospective outcomes research study examines traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of uterine fibroids.  A pilot outcomes study examines herbal therapies for women's health.



Other Links:

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Sources of research information:

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NCCAM research on specific health issues

Ethnobotanical information (Use of plants by indigenous peoples)

Industry resources:

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Government regulation:

DSHEA: Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act

US government agencies

Codex Alimentarius Commission (UN)

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(c) Copyright 1999-2003 Dietary Supplement Quality Initiative. For permission to reprint, please contact our editor.