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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Open Access

OA07.02. Naturopathic medicine for the prevention of cardiovascular disease: a pragmatic randomized clinical trial

  • D Seely1,
  • O Szczurko2,
  • C Kieran2,
  • H Fritz2,
  • P Herman3,
  • R Bradley4,
  • S Aberdour5,
  • C Herrington6,
  • P Rouchotas2,
  • D Lescheid2,
  • T Gignac2,
  • B Bernhardt2,
  • Q Zhou7 and
  • G Guyatt7
BMC Complementary and Alternative MedicineThe official journal of the International Society for Complementary Medicine Research (ISCMR)201212(Suppl 1):O26

Published: 12 June 2012


Metabolic SyndromeUsual CareAdult Treatment PanelHigh Relative RiskPoint Reduction


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is largely preventable through a number of dietary and lifestyle based interventions utilized in naturopathic medicine. We aimed to test the whole-practice of this discipline for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in a work place setting.


Multi-site pragmatic randomized controlled trial of enhanced usual care (EUC; usual care plus biometric screening) versus EUC plus naturopathic care (EUC+NC). NC consisted of individualized care provided in work-site clinics by licensed naturopathic doctors (NDs) utilizing one or more of the following strategies: lifestyle counseling, nutritional medicine, and/or dietary supplementation. EUC consisted of usual care provided by the participant's family physician in the community following identification as having a higher relative risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Primary outcomes were incidence of metabolic syndrome and 10-year risk of having a cardiovascular event based on the Framingham algorithm and the Adult Treatment Panel (ATP) III diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome.


A total of 246 participants were randomized and enrolled in study work-sites in three cities across Canada; 207 participants completed the study. The two groups were similar at baseline. After one year of individualized naturopathic care, there was a 3.6 percentage point reduction in 10-year cardiovascular risk (95% CI: -5.1, -2.3) and a 27.4% reduced prevalence of metabolic syndrome (95% CI; -41.7, -13.1) in the treatment arm (n=124) compared to the control arm (n=122).


This study is the first pragmatic whole-practice trial to formally evaluate the benefits of individualized naturopathic care for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. In this setting, and widely generalizable due to the whole-systems methodology employed, naturopathic medicine appears to provide safe and effective risk reduction for people at risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Authors’ Affiliations

Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre, Ottawa, Canada
Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, Toronto, Canada
University of Arizona, Tucson, USA
Bastyr University, Kenmore, USA
Private clinic, Vancouver, Canada
Private Clinic, Halifax, Canada
McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada


© Seely et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.