Homeopathic remedy for arsenic toxicity?: Evidence-based findings from a randomized placebo-controlled double blind human trial.
Sci Total Environ. 2007 Oct 1 ;384(1-3):141-50. Epub 2007 Jul 12. PMID: 17628642
Millions of people are at risk of groundwater arsenic contamination, but supply of arsenic-free drinking water is grossly inadequate. The present study was intended to examine if a potentized homeopathic remedy reportedly showing ameliorating potentials in people inhabiting high-risk arsenic-contaminated areas but drinking arsenic-free water, can also ameliorate arsenic toxicity in subjects living in high-risk arsenic-contaminated areas, and drinking arsenic-contaminated water. This pilot study was conducted on 20 males and 19 females of village Dasdiya (arsenic contaminated) who initially agreed to act as volunteers; but as many as 14, mostly placebo-fed subjects, later dropped out. 18 volunteers, 14 males and 4 females, from a distant village, Padumbasan (arsenic-free), served as negative controls. In a double blind placebo-controlled study, a potentized remedy of homeopathic Arsenicum Album-30 and its placebo (Succussed Alcohol-30) were given randomly to volunteers. Arsenic contents in urine and blood and several widely accepted toxicity biomarkers and pathological parameters in blood were analyzed before and after 2 months of administration of either verum or placebo. Elevated levels of ESR, creatinine and eosinophils and increased activities of AST, ALT, LPO and GGT were recorded in arsenic exposed subjects. Decreased levels of hemoglobin, PCV, neutrophil percentages, and GSH content and low G-6-PD activity were also observed in the arsenic exposed people. The administration of"verum"appeared to make positive modulations of these parameters, suggestive of its ameliorative potentials. Most of the subjects reported better appetite and improvement in general health, thereby indicating possibility of its use in remote arsenic-contaminated areas as an interim health support measure to a large population at risk.