National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health

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Selected Research Results by Date

Research spotlights of selected studies are shown below. For a full list of published NCCIH Research to-date, see PubMed.

Spotlights for 2010

Doctor speaking to elderly man.
Benefits of a placebo in adults with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) do not depend upon deception, new study shows. (December 2010)
Researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial in which they studied the potential benefits of echinacea as a treatment for the common cold. (December 2010)
Green Tea
Tai chi and green tea supplements appear to be safe for postmenopausal women with low bone mineral density, but researchers noted that only tai chi had a positive impact on quality of life. (December 2010)
A boy with an adult recieves a shot from a health professional.
CAM use is associated with lower rates of childhood vaccinations and greater likelihood of contracting a vaccine-preventable disease. (November 2010)
A woman holds her head in pain.
National survey shows that people who suffer from pain and neurological conditions are more likely than others to use CAM. (November 2010)
A man holds his neck in pain.
Evidence report suggests CAM therapies for back and neck pain offer modest benefits. (October 2010)
Turmeric components called curcuminoids may protect bones against osteoporosis, according to a laboratory study in rats. (September 2010)
A back massage involves manipulation of the muscles and other soft tissues.
Study suggests that one session of Swedish massage can affect hormone production and the immune system in healthy adults. (September 2010)
A tea set
Laboratory study suggests white tea extract may have an anti-tumor effect in lung cancer cells. (September 2010)
A woman practices Tai Chi outside.
Patients with fibromyalgia benefited more from tai chi than from standard stretching exercises in a 6-month study of 66 patients. (August 2010)
Woman examining a pill bottle.
National survey data indicate that use of certain categories of complementary and alternative therapies may be statistically associated with better health outcomes for people age 55 and older. (July 2010)
A tai chi class.
A review of scientific literature suggests that there is strong evidence of beneficial health effects of tai chi and qi gong, including for bone health, cardiopulmonary fitness, balance, and quality of ... (July 2010)
Study results suggest that daily ingestion of Ginkgo biloba does not reduce the risk of cancer. (July 2010)
Milk Thistle
Silymarin, an extract of the milk thistle plant, shows multiple effects against the hepatitis C virus in cultured human liver cells. (June 2010)
Shark cartilage extract shows no survival benefit for patients with lung cancer. (June 2010)
Man with back pain
An analysis of the 2002 National Health Interview Survey found that about 6 percent of U.S. adults used CAM to treat their back pain and that many perceived the CAM therapy to be of great benefit. (June 2010)
Daniel O. Clegg, M.D. reading an X-Ray
A long-term study of 662 people with knee osteoarthritis pain found similar outcomes with glucosamine and chondroitin, celecoxib, and placebo. (June 2010)
Illustration of a head with a bright light bursting from the forehead.
Blue light affects the body’s internal clock, but new research shows that green light also plays a role in our circadian rhythms and sleep-related hormonal patterns. (May 2010)
Researchers compared gemcitabine-based chemotherapy with an alternative regimen in a group of patients with inoperable pancreatic cancer. (April 2010)
Woman sitting on bed holding stomach, head bowed
Study suggests that many adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease are using or would consider using complementary and alternative medicine to help manage their symptoms. (March 2010)
Asian Ginseng
An extract of American ginseng killed colorectal cancer cells in the laboratory and research suggests combined use with antioxidants may increase potency. (March 2010)
Herbalist weighing dried herbs.
Researchers used roundworms with a brief life span to study the effects of two complex herbal formulas that people take to combat adverse effects of aging. (February 2010)
A woman practices a meditative yoga pose.
Results from research suggest that women who practice yoga regularly recover from stress faster than less experienced yoga practitioners. (February 2010)
Man holding neck in pain.
Previous research suggests that spinal manipulative therapy may be helpful for various types of chronic headaches. (February 2010)
Doctor speaking to elderly man.
Clinical trial participants with irritable bowel syndrome benefited from placebo (simulated) acupuncture, especially when they had supportive interactions with the acupuncture practitioner. (February 2010)
Magnesium supplements may help people with mild-to-moderate asthma. (February 2010)
Green Tea
Mouse study shows green tea extract blocks UV-induced immunosuppression, indicating a mechanism by which it may prevent skin cancer. (February 2010)
Large study in older adults shows Ginkgo biloba does not prevent cardiovascular events but may reduce the risk of peripheral arterial disease. (January 2010)
Electroacupuncture needles in arm.
A form of acupuncture that uses electrical stimulation at points on the body may help people addicted to opioid drugs. (January 2010)
Pregnant woman in a robe.
A preliminary study of 144 women in the third trimester of pregnancy indicates that osteopathic manipulative treatment may have benefits for back function. (January 2010)