NCCAM has supported a fair number of studies on the potential health benefits of yoga. Of particular interest has been exploring the role of yoga as a strategy for alleviating symptoms such as chronic pain or stress or for promoting healthier lifestyles. There is still a lot we don’t know, but there is a growing body of clinical research evidence that now suggests that yoga can enhance quality of life, reduce psychological stress, and improve some mental health outcomes.
Past Blog Posts
This week, one of the most e-mailed articles on The New York Times Web site was its Well blog, which discussed how grapefruit is responsible for many drug reactions. We’re learning that the chemical constituents within grapefruit affect the bioavailability of many drugs, including some cholesterol, high blood pressure, and anti-cancer drugs—as well as some opiates, birth control pills, and many other medications.
Recently, six of NCCAM’s outstanding natural products research grantees were invited to present posters following the 2012 Stephen E. Straus Distinguished Lecture in the Science of Complementary Health Therapies delivered by David Kingston, Ph.D. Their research presentations were a small sample of the importance and scientific merit of natural products research supported by NCCAM, and they complemented Dr. Kingston’s talk.
We are planning a series of blog posts to highlight some exciting work from our research portfolio. Research we support has led to more than 3,000 peer-reviewed papers; hundreds are published each year. We plan to highlight a few here, choosing examples that illustrate both the promise and the challenges of research on complementary health practices.
This post addresses a couple of themes that are coming up with some regularity in comments posted to this blog. They include: 1) questions about what makes something “specifically complementary and alternative medicine (CAM),” or why other NIH Institutes or Centers (ICs) can’t do what NCCAM does, since the scientific methods and approaches are the same; and 2) a perspective that CAM borrows from other science-based fields “to lend false legitimacy to pre-scientific magical thinking.”