A review of Complementary and Alternative Therapies for the Management of Menopause-Related Symptoms reports
Nearly half of adults in the United States use complementary and alternative therapies each year for a variety of reasons. These therapies are increasingly popular among women seeking alternatives to treatment with estrogen for managing menopausal symptoms. The objective of this review was to assess the effectiveness of complementary and alternative therapies in the management of menopausal symptoms. [...] Although individual trials suggest benefits from certain therapies, data are insufficient to support the effectiveness of any complementary and alternative therapy in this review for the management of menopausal symptoms. Many of these potential therapies warrant further study in trials with rigorous scientific designs to determine benefit and safety.
Meanwhile, Australian Doctor (28th July 2006) reports on a study from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
There is no evidence that dietary supplementation and modification alters the clinical course of cancer or precancer, according to a study that may dash the hopes of many patients seeking a dietary cure. The analysis of 25 randomised controlled trials in patients with cancer and 34 in patients with preinvasive lesions, such as colorectal and oesophageal, found no evidence that dietary changes altered the course of the disease of improved survival. [...] The analysis of various diets and supplements, including vitamins, antioxidants, retinol and garlic, found most trials had methodological weaknesses. A healthy diet alone or in combination with dietary supplements, weight loss of exercise had no effect on all-cause mortality. [...] Professor Ian Olver, CEO of the Cancer Council Australia, said the study was important because it underlined that just because something like diet sounded helpful, that did not make it so.
Elsewhere in the same issue, studied a concern dear to alties' hearts: Big Pharma's twisting of drug trial results (reported in BJU International 2006; 98:377-80):
Clinical trials of new drugs are expensive and difficult to organise, so most are funded by the pharmaceutical industry, raising concerns about their credibility. But analysis of 24 different studies of oxybutynin and tolterodine for overactive bladder found industry-sponsored trials were no more likely to produce positive results. All the studies, whether industry-sponsored or not, would have benefitted from closer adherence to current standards for randomised trials.