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Cara Francis
Director, Public Relations
William Osler Health System

Ground-breaking Study to Evaluate the Impact of Naturopathic Care on Type 2 Diabetes Patients

Results will be shared with diabetes centres around the world

March 10, 2015, BRAMPTON – A group of health care organizations have begun work to study the effectiveness of both naturopathic and conventional medicine in treating Type 2 diabetes.

Through a $418,000 grant, researchers will have the opportunity to gain valuable insight into alternative treatment options, which will be shared to help diabetes patients around the world.

“With the presence of diabetes in this community significantly higher than the provincial average, this is an excellent opportunity to look more closely at how integrative care can lead to improved overall health outcomes for those with Type 2 diabetes,” said Harinder Malhi, MPP Brampton-Springdale. “We look forward to the results of this study and to learning more about the work of these high-quality health care partners.”

The Brampton-based study will be a collaborative project among the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM), William Osler Health System (Osler), and the Wise Elephant Family Team (WE-FHT) – a local primary health-care organization.

“This partnership is a significant step forward in understanding and evaluating patient-centred, integrative care for diabetes” says Dugald Seely, Director of Research at CCNM. “We’re excited at the prospect of producing sound evidence for a promising novel therapeutic approach for a disease that has a devastating impact on the health of many Canadians.”

Diabetes is more prevalent in Brampton than in any other area in the province. Its incidence is 2.5 times higher than the provincial average of 9.64 diabetes cases for every 100 adults.

“Osler’s high patient volumes coupled with the distinctive characteristics of the population it serves provides a rich source of information and creates a natural opportunity for us to learn,” said Dr. Ron Heslegrave, Chief of Research, William Osler Health System. “As a result, we are in a unique position to conduct this research and evaluate the additional value of naturopathic interventions coupled with more traditional medical approaches to diabetes care. This combined approach has tremendous potential to positively impact the lives of diabetes patients and their families in our region and around the world.”

Patients who already receive care at WE-FHT will be offered the opportunity to participate in the clinical trial, which Osler’s research team, in partnership with CCNM, will oversee. Those participants who are randomly selected for the active treatment group will receive naturopathic care at CCNM’s Brampton Naturopathic Teaching Clinic (BNTC), which is located at Osler’s Brampton Civic Hospital, in addition to their ongoing treatment.

“Naturopathic doctors provide a valuable role in enhancing the outcomes of patients within Family Health Teams,” said Dr. Sanjeev Goel, Lead Physician, WE-FHT, Brampton. “This study should help a significant proportion of the Type 2 diabetes patients at Wise Elephant Family Health Team achieve adequate control of diabetes and help improve their overall quality of life.”