The mission of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) interventions and their roles in improving health and health care. The Center's vision is that scientific evidence informs decision making by the public, by health care professionals, and by health policymakers regarding use and integration of CAM. NCCAM sponsors and conducts research to study complementary health approaches, using scientific methods and advanced technologies, at scientific institutions in the United States and around the world. Examples of studies include investigator-initiated and NCCAM-solicited projects, intramural research, basic mechanistic research, translational research, clinical trials, and research centers. Its inception was in 1999. (NIH)
In the past 10 years, NCCAM has funded more than 2,500 research projects resulting in more than 3,300 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals. This work has increased the knowledge base of the effects, efficacy, safety, and promise of many CAM interventions. NCCAM is strengthening its research portfolio on nonpharmacological methods for the prevention, reduction, or amelioration of pain. To that end, NCCAM recently refined its signature research program, Centers of Excellence for Research on CAM (CERC), to focus on studying CAM therapies for pain management. Many people use natural products such as fish oil, glucosamine, and Echinacea and other botanicals for the treatment of a variety of conditions and/or to improve or maintain their general health. NCCAM’s research has substantially contributed to the understanding of both the safety and the efficacy of natural products. Furthermore, NCCAM’s research has contributed to greater public awareness of how to use dietary supplements wisely. NCCAM has embarked on a comprehensive strategic planning process that will ensure that the...
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