Recurrent acute otitis media (rAOM) is frequently encountered in infants and children and the lack of any definitive treatment has led parents and physicians to try complementary and alternative therapies. We evaluated the efficacy of a propolis and zinc suspension in preventing AOM in 122 children aged 1-5 years with a documented history of rAOM, who were prospectively, blindly, randomized 1:1 to receive the suspension plus elimination of environmental risk factors or elimination of environmental risk factors only. AOM- and respiratory-related morbidity were assessed at study entry and every four weeks. In the 3-month treatment period AOM was diagnosed in 31 (50.8%) children given the propolis and zinc suspension and in 43 (70.5%) controls (p=0.04). The mean number of episodes of AOM per child/month was 0.23+/-0.26 in the propolis and zinc group and 0.34+/-0.29 in controls (reduction 32.0%, p=0.03). The administration of a propolis and zinc suspension to children with a history of rAOM can significantly reduce the risk of new AOM episodes and AOM-related antibiotic courses, with no problem of safety or tolerability, and with a very good degree of parental satisfaction. No effect can be expected on respiratory infections other than AOM.
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[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Conditions of stress and anxiety have complex interactions with insufficient vitamin intake and malnutrition. This study, based on literature research in Medline, analyzes the inter-relationship between vitamins and stress. This report concerns a number of vitamins that have been receiving much attention in earlier reviews of the literature, for their potential to protect against stress-related events, and focus is placed upon recent findings.
Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents 04/2011; 25(2):163-8. · 2.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Controlling environmental factors, chemoprophylaxis, immunoprophylaxis and surgery are considered possible means of preventing recurrent acute otitis media (RAOM), but there are no available data concerning the paediatric use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). We evaluated the uses of CAM (homeopathy and/or herbal medicine) as means of preventing AOM in children with a history of RAOM. Eight hundred and forty Italian children with RAOM (≥3 episodes in six months) aged 1-7 years were surveyed in 2009 using a face-to-face questionnaire, filled by parents or caregivers, that explored the prevalence, determinants, reasons, cost, and perceived safety and efficacy of CAM. About one-half (46%) of the children used CAM, significantly more than the number who used immunoprophylaxis (influenza vaccine 15%; p<0.05), PCV-7 34%; p<0.05) or chemoprophylaxis (2%; p<0.001). Use of CAM in the family was the only important factor positively associated with the use of CAM in children (adjusted OR 7.94; 95% CI: 5.26-11.99). The main reasons for using CAM were a fear of the adverse effects of conventional medicine (40%) and to increase host defences (20%). CAM was widely seen as safe (95%) and highly effective (68%). CAM prescribers were paediatricians in 50.7% of cases; self-initiation was reported by 23% of respondents. CAM expenditure was between Euro 25 and Euro 50/month in 27.6% of cases and ≥ Euro 50/month in 16%. Children with RAOM should be considered among the categories of subjects likely to be using CAM. Together with the fact that paediatricians are the main prescribers, this is worrying because of the current lack of evidence regarding the efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness of CAM in the prevention of RAOM.
International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 04/2011; 24(2):441-9. · 1.62 Impact Factor