Pilot Study to Test the Naturopathic Anti-Inflammatory Diet on Inflammatory Markers in Type II Diabetics

A study lead by NUNM in partnership with OHSU

Principal Investigator: Heather Zwickey, PhD

Clinical Investigator: Andrew Erlandsen, ND

Background: Naturopathic physicians routinely recommend therapeutic diets as part of their medical practice. A common example is the “anti-inflammatory” diet, recommended to treat a diverse set of conditions classified by naturopathic physicians as “inflammatory.”  This diet prohibits dairy products, wheat (or gluten), citrus, nightshade vegetables, and red meat.  Obesity and diabetes have well-characterized abnormalities in inflammatory markers, including elevated hs-CRP, interleukins, and TNF-alpha.  These abnormalities accompany insulin resistance and dyslipidemia associated with increased cardiac risk.  While the diet is taught in all naturopathic medical schools and widely used in the treatment of diabetes, it has never been evaluated directly for its ability to alter inflammatory markers or modulate the immune system or its effect on neurotransmitters.

Objective: To establish feasibility of methodology for studying the anti-inflammatory diet in a clinical trial setting.  Goals will be to assess the effects of the experimental diets on inflammatory and metabolic parameters and the palatability and acceptability of these diets.