CAM: Naturopathic Dietary Interventions for Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

Principal Investigators: Erica Oberg ND, MPH and Ryan Bradley ND, MPH

Objective: To test feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness of a naturopathic dietary intervention in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Methods: Prospective observational pilot study evaluating the change in clinical and patient-centered outcome measures following a 12-week individualized and group dietary education program delivered in naturopathic primary care.

Results: HbA1c improved in all participants (n ¼ 12); mean – 0.4% þ/0.49% SD, (p ¼ 0.02). Adherence to healthful eating increased from 3.5 d/wk to 5.3 d/wk (p ¼ 0.05). Specific nutritional behavior modification included: days/week consuming 5 servings of fruit/vegetables (p ¼ 0.01), attention to fat intake (p ¼ 0.05), and 11.3% carbohydrate reduction. Measures of physical activity, self-efficacy and self-management also improved significantly.

Conclusion: A naturopathic dietary approach to diabetes appears to be feasible to implement among Type 2 diabetes patients. The intervention may also improve self-management, glycemic control, and have influences in other domains of self-care behaviors. Clinical trials evaluating naturopathic approaches to Type 2 diabetes are warranted.

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