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Oregon Naturopathic Physicians Support OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute COVID-19 Statement

Friday, May 8, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Beth Martin
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Op-Ed 

 

May 5, 2020

 

Oregon Naturopathic Physicians Support OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute COVID-19 Statement

Oregonians are facing a dangerous treatment gap between hand washing and social distancing, and hospital care for the most severely ill.  Naturopathic physicians, NDs, serve to bridge this gap and increase personal resilience before, during and after COVID-19 infection.  While we wait for an FDA approved treatment specific for COVID-19, it is critical to support the nutritional factors that support the immune system.  There is an ever growing body of knowledge that highlights the importance of proper immune system function in surviving and recovering from all kinds of infectious viral diseases.

On April 24th the Oregon Statesman Journal published an article on OSU Linus Pauling Institute’s Dr. Adrian Gombart’s interpretation of the body of scientific research regarding the impact of nutritional factors on the immune system.  He makes a strong public health statement that specific pharmaceutical drug treatments for these types of viral infections should not be the totality of what we consider for our rescue.  Nutritional support is another important line of defense that we should be placing our attention upon. 

In Oregon we are fortunate to have the scientific research conducted and reviewed by the Pauling Institute scientists and their worldwide collaborators.  For more than 50 years the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland has trained naturopathic physicians while also conducting clinical research at its Helfgott Research Institute. Since licensure in Oregon in 1927, naturopathic physicians in Oregon have been front line healthcare providers applying this information with the aim to help optimize the health and resiliency of our citizens.  NDs maintain an excellent patient safety record in the care they provide.

Oregon, the US and the world are experiencing a pandemic that is likely to continue in waves over the next 18-24 months, especially as we loosen up public health guidelines to allow for more normal economic activity.  The same timespan expected for the epidemic is also the minimum time frame predicted for potential development of a safe and effective vaccine specifically against this virus. 

FDA approval is required to make specific health claims for any substance to diagnose, treat or prevent disease. An approval is economically unattainable for anything that is not a patented pharmaceutical drug. However the federal Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) recognizes scientifically established structure and function claims in support of supplement usage. For example, Dr. Gombart's notification that vitamins D, C and other micronutrients are essential to a properly functioning immune system response to infectious viral disease.  Maintaining patient access to NDs and their application of scientifically established health information is going to be necessary to continue saving lives. 

Public health leaders would do Oregonians a positive service to acknowledge and embrace nutritional science and naturopathic medicine as additional important resources in the fight to protect our population. We must work together and use all available health strategies to allow as many Oregonians as possible to survive this ongoing pandemic.

 


Dr. Kaley Bourgeois
President, OANP


Dr. Jeff Clark
Legislative Chair, OANP

 


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OREGON ASSOCIATION OF NATUROPATHIC PHYSICIANS
PO Box 5876
Portland, OR 97228

Phone: 503-262-8586