The nutraceuticals landscape has matured significantly since the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) passed 18 years ago. In many ways, federal regulation has legitimized the category, providing consumers greater access to safe products. It seems, over time, mainstream medicine began to buy in.
According to a new study titled “Integrative Medicine in America: How Integrative Medicine Is Being Practiced in Clinical Centers Across the United States,”from The Bravewell Collaborative, Minneapolis, MN, integrative medicine has become a major component of U.S. healthcare. The report surveyed 29 integrative medicine centers, including programs at Cleveland Clinic, Duke, Mayo Clinic, Stanford and MD Anderson Cancer Center. Directors reported their centers most frequently prescribe, often in tandem, food/nutrition therapies (65%), supplements (60%), yoga (55%), meditation (51%), traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture (50%), massage (49%) and pharmaceutical interventions (46%).
“With chronic health issues costing the economy more than $1 trillion a year, it’s essential to find the best treatments and preventive practices,” said Donald Abrams, MD, co-author of the report and professor of clinical medicine at the University of California San Francisco. “The broader use of integrative medicine could fundamentally change how patients are being served in this country.”
All participating centers reported being affiliated with hospitals, health systems and/or medical and nursing schools, suggesting that integrative medicine has now become an established part of healthcare in the U.S., the report concluded.
Many U.S. corporations have also recognized the value of preventative medicine by joining the Corporate Health Improvement Program (CHIP), founded by Dr. Kenneth Pelletier at the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco to develop and evaluate preventative health and medical interventions for both clinical and cost effectiveness.
Companies currently participating in CHIP include American Specialty Health, Canyon Ranch Resorts, Cisco, Dow, Ford Motor Company, IBM, Mercer, NASA, Nestle, Pepsi, Pfizer, Prudential, Thomson Reuters and Walgreens.
Ford is conducting a two-year, randomized clinical trial using integrative interventions for back pain. NASA is looking at better ways to manage stress. Other projects are exploring if green tea can alleviate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), if nanotechnology can be used to broadcast biomarkers via a wireless Bluetooth system and how epigenesis may be able to provide genetic, biomarker and psychosocial indicators, which would be “amenable to lifestyle interventions within 10-12 weeks.”
So fast-forward 18 years from now and imagine where “modern medicine” will be. What sort of healthcare models will be in place? What sort of products will be available? Got any new dance moves?
Sean Moloughney has been the associate editor of Nutraceuticals World since 2008. He can be reached at email@example.com.