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NCIRE-The Veterans Health Research Institute is the leading private nonprofit institute devoted to Veterans health research in the United States. Our mission is to advance Veterans health through research.

We support the work of some of the nation's foremost physicians and scientists at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the premier biomedical research facility in the VA system. All have faculty appointments at the University of California, San Francisco, which has its own proud traditions of research and patient care. We also partner with the U.S. Department of Defense to support health research on behalf of our men and women in the Armed Forces.

Those who have served in uniform have given their best for their country. In return, we believe that they deserve nothing less than the best health care research we can provide.

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Stephen Bent, MD

Staff Physician, Medical Service, SFVAHCS
Associate Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, UCSF

Email: stephen.bent@ucsf.edu

Safety and Efficacy of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Dr. Bent's main research interest is the evaluation of the safety and efficacy of herbal remedies and dietary supplements. He served as the project director for one of the first large randomized controlled trials of saw palmetto for enlarged prostate, which gained international recognition for demonstrating that this commonly used herb was no more effective than placebo. Dr. Bent has also served as the principal investigator or co-investigator of several other large randomized controlled trials, including a study of a Chinese herbal remedy used to treat fatigue in the elderly and an internet-based study examining the efficacy of the herbs valerian (for sleep) and kava (for anxiety). Recently, Dr. Bent has stated to conduct randomized controlled trials of complementary and alternative therapies in children with autism, including studies of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Dr. Bent is also the Principal Investigator of the first-ever fully internet-based randomized controlled trial of a pharmaceutical drug, and he hopes to develop the internet-based technology to speed the testing of promising new therapies. Dr. Bent is an expert in evidence-based medicine and ambulatory care, and has coauthored textbooks in both areas.

To see Dr. Bent on Pub Med, click here.