Can naturopathic medicine prevent cardiovascular disease? That’s what a recent randomized clinical trial from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine was looking to find out. Why is this question so important? Beyond the straight-forward desire to halt or retard the development of cardiovascular disease, preventive treatments cost less. Government healthcare programs and individuals would be able to greatly extent their budgets if more people received the less expensive preventive care, rather than the more costly conventional care that treats problems once they been allowed to develop. The cost would also be lower in terms of physical suffering and emotional distress on behalf of patients and their loved ones.
Over one hundred patients in the study group saw naturopathic doctors, in addition to routine treatment by their family physicians. Among the study subjects, the researchers found a “significant reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease” in those who had used naturopathic treatment. This was measured using a number of different indicators, such as an individual’s risk of cardiovascular problems or metabolic syndrome. It’s not surprising to report that they also found the naturopathy group to have a healthier weight and better overall well-being.
“Care is complex” and each naturopathy patient received individualized treatment, though for the sake of consistency in the study, the naturopathic practitioners based their choices from the same set of diet and lifestyle recommendations, and prescriptions came from a pre-selected list of approved natural products. Nevertheless, the individualized aspect of the study has come under some perhaps unreasonable criticism. Yes, this study does not allow researchers to learn anything new about specific supplements or any other aspect of the individual care, but under what circumstances could a human study remove the variable of the individual? The idea of the study was to determine the value of naturopathic care as a field in preventive medicine, and research into individual aspects of naturopathic practice is a place for further inquiry.
Read the entire article here: Positive Naturopathic Integrative Medicine Cardiovascular Risk Study Provokes Editorial in Top Medical Journal