Posted by: Chris Maloney | May 2, 2013

Does Naturopathic Health Care Prevent Heart Attacks?

Choice is always yours

Choice is always yours (Photo credit: Bindaas Madhavi)

One of the common criticisms of Naturopathic medicine is that it doesn’t have studies of the same caliber as conventional medicine. Conventional doctors outnumber Naturopathic doctors on a scale of a hundred to one, and the vast majority of research is funded by or for drug companies. So the comparison has been a bit unfair.

But when we do get a good study like the one published in this month’s Canadian Medical Association Journal (abstact here), it does show positive results. Over a year, randomized patients experienced a 3% drop in cardiovascular risk and a 17% drop in metabolic syndrome.

To anyone familiar with Naturopathic Medicine, with its strong focus on lifestyle change over drug interventions, the results should come as no surprise.  Yes, dealing with diet and lifestyle is an effective way to treat cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.  It seems a bit foolish that we need to do a study to show that the bread-and-butter of Naturopathic Medicine (or spouted-gluten-free bread and almond butter, if you prefer) is as effective as those same interventions by any medical group.  But as a tiny profession, Naturopathic Doctors have to show that they are an effective part of the healthcare puzzle.

Anyone interested in finding a local ND can start with  Naturopathic.org  the state-by-state listing of licensed N.D.s.  Those overseas and in unlicensed states should familiarized themselves with local licensing laws, as the level of education and training can vary widely.

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