Dr. Ron’s Research Review – January 23, 2019

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This week’s research review focuses on detoxification

An online survey was conducted of naturopathic doctors (NDs) who were licensed in the United States. Responses were analyzed descriptively regarding the use of clinical detoxification therapies. Surveys were sent out to 1442 e-mail addresses (261 were returned to sender); a total of 196 respondents completed the survey (16.6%). Ninety-two percent (92%) of respondents reported using clinical detoxification therapies. Over 75% of respondents utilized detoxification therapies primarily to treat patients for environmental exposures, general cleansing/preventive medicine, gastrointestinal disorders, and autoimmune disease. Regarding methods used, >75% reported using dietary measures, reducing environmental exposures, and using botanicals as detoxification therapies. Eighty-three percent (83%) of NDs surveyed reported using follow-up measurements to determine efficacy of detoxification therapies. The most common were patient symptom questionnaires (66%), patient medical histories (54%), and urinary provocative challenge testing (53%). The majority of NDs responding to this survey reported routine use of clinical detoxification therapies to treat a range of medical conditions utilizing multiple therapeutic approaches. (Allen et al., 2011)

This study investigated whether a 7-day program of detoxification can improve well-being and enhance the activity of liver detoxification pathways.  In this pilot, patient-outcome-focused, non-controlled clinical intervention, 25 disease-free participants were recruited. Pre- and post-measures were taken using the Metabolic Screening Questionnaire (as a subjective assessment of well-being) and drug challenge tests to assess hepatic detoxification capacity.  A statistically significant (47%) reduction in the Metabolic Screening Questionnaire scores resulted. This improvement in patient-assessed health occurred concurrently with a 23% increase in liver detoxification capacity, as reflected by the caffeine clearance measure. There was an increase in the urinary sulfate-to-creatinine ratio after treatment, indicating a trend toward improved liver function.  In disease-free adults, a 7-day course of detoxification may produce improvements in subjective health reports. This simple, short-term intervention may be appropriate for disease-free individuals without specific toxin exposure, for the purpose of enhancing health and preventing the development of disease. (MacIntosh and Ball, 2000)

Dr. Ron


 

Articles

Detoxification in naturopathic medicine: a survey.
            (Allen et al., 2011) Download
OBJECTIVES:  This study sought to assess the use of clinical detoxification therapies used by licensed naturopathic doctors (NDs) in the United States. DESIGN:  This was a qualitative, descriptive, online survey of a convenience sample of NDs. METHODS:  An online survey was conducted of NDs who were licensed in the United States. Responses were analyzed descriptively regarding the use of clinical detoxification therapies. Respondents were recruited from a membership list provided by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, and from alumni e-mail lists of Council of Naturopathic Medical Education accredited naturopathic medical schools. RESULTS:  Surveys were sent out to 1442 e-mail addresses (261 were returned to sender); a total of 196 respondents completed the survey (16.6%). Ninety-two percent (92%) of respondents reported using clinical detoxification therapies. Over 75% of respondents utilized detoxification therapies primarily to treat patients for environmental exposures, general cleansing/preventive medicine, gastrointestinal disorders, and autoimmune disease. Regarding methods used, >75% reported using dietary measures, reducing environmental exposures, and using botanicals as detoxification therapies. Eighty-three percent (83%) of NDs surveyed reported using follow-up measurements to determine efficacy of detoxification therapies. The most common were patient symptom questionnaires (66%), patient medical histories (54%), and urinary provocative challenge testing (53%). CONCLUSIONS:  The majority of NDs responding to this survey reported routine use of clinical detoxification therapies to treat a range of medical conditions utilizing multiple therapeutic approaches. Although the majority of NDs reported using some follow-up measurements after detoxification therapy, few of these are an objective means to determine treatment efficacy. Further research is needed in the field of complementary and alternative medicine clinical detoxification to determine the safety and efficacy of these approaches. (Allen et al., 2011)

The effects of a short program of detoxification in disease-free individuals.
            (MacIntosh and Ball, 2000) Download
CONTEXT:  Removal of toxins from the body is an integral part of Ayurvedic, yogic, and naturopathic medicine. Symptoms of poor health in people free from diagnosed disease may be related to toxin buildup. OBJECTIVE:  This study investigates whether a 7-day program of detoxification can improve well-being and enhance the activity of liver detoxification pathways. METHODS:  In this pilot, patient-outcome-focused, noncontrolled clinical intervention, 25 disease-free participants were recruited. Pre- and postmeasures were taken using the Metabolic Screening Questionnaire (as a subjective assessment of well-being) and drug challenge tests to assess hepatic detoxification capacity. RESULTS:  A statistically significant (47%) reduction in the Metabolic Screening Questionnaire scores resulted. This improvement in patient-assessed health occurred concurrently with a 23% increase in liver detoxification capacity, as reflected by the caffeine clearance measure. There was an increase in the urinary sulfate-to-creatinine ratio after treatment, indicating a trend toward improved liver function. DISCUSSION:  In disease-free adults, a 7-day course of detoxification may produce improvements in subjective health reports. This simple, short-term intervention may be appropriate for disease-free individuals without specific toxin exposure, for the purpose of enhancing health and preventing the development of disease. CONCLUSIONS:  A simple 7-day detoxification program resulted in a significant reduction in participant symptomology. The tendency toward improvement in liver detoxification measures is consistent with the hypothesis that improved liver detoxification capacity may contribute to well-being.

 

References

Allen, J, et al. (2011), ‘Detoxification in naturopathic medicine: a survey.’, J Altern Complement Med, 17 (12), 1175-80. PubMed: 22103982
MacIntosh, A and K Ball (2000), ‘The effects of a short program of detoxification in disease-free individuals.’, Altern Ther Health Med, 6 (4), 70-76. PubMed: 10895516