Supported by Science?: What Canadian Naturopaths Advertise to the Public
The increasing popularity of complementary and alternative medicines in Canada has led to regulatory reforms in Ontario and British Columbia. Yet the evidence for efficacy of these therapies is still a source of debate.
Those who are supportive of naturopathic medicine often support the field by claiming that the naturopathic treatments are supported by science and scientific research.
To compare provinces that are regulated and unregulated, we examined the websites of 53 naturopathic clinics in Alberta and British Columbia to gain a sense of the degree to which the services advertised by naturopaths are science based.
There were very few differences between the provinces in terms of the types of services offered and conditions treated. Many of the most common treatments - such as homeopathy, chelation and colon cleanses - are viewed by the scientific community to be of questionable value and have no scientific evidence of efficacy beyond placebo.
A review of the therapies advertised on the websites of clinics offering naturopathic treatments does not support the proposition that naturopathic medicine is a science and evidence-based practice.