The International College of Integrative Medicine dedicated its spring meeting to James P. Carter, M.D., Dr.P.H., who recently died after serving many years as the inspiration for ICIM’s emphasis on research and scientific activities. John Parks Trowbridge gave a moving remembrance of Dr. Carter to his surviving widow, Carolyn Harris, and to the many physicians in attendance who had been blessed by his work.
The March meeting led off with workshops by naturopathic physician Robin Murphy and homeopathic ophthalmologist Ed Kondrot. Dr. Murphy shared his extensive research in identifying super foods that detoxify and promote healing in many ways. Dr. Kondrot has developed a comprehensive integrative treatment program for chronic eye diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration that begins to see measurable improvement after only 3 days of intensive treatment. He trains skilled integrative physicians to offer the treatments to their patients with his guidance.
Program Chair Charles Adams introduced the main program, beginning with another presentation by Kondrot, this time on classical homeopathy. Tom Levy, who holds both medical and law degrees connected dentistry and medicine by describing how root canals can lead to chronic infections and excessive oxidation in the mouth that often affects other areas of the body.
Gervasio “Tony” Lamas, Chief Investigator for the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT), electrified the audience with the latest findings from the NIH-funded clinical trial. He listed 5 important conclusions from the study. The first is that EDTA-based chelation therapy reduces combined cardiovascular events in post MI patients treated with optimal medical therapy (5 year NNT=18). Next is that high dose oral vitamins and minerals demonstrate an additional 11% reduction in cardiac events. Third is that compared with optimal medical therapy plus placebo for chelation and placebo for high dose vitamins, active treatment demonstrates an enhanced reduction in cardiac events (p= 0.016, NNT=12). Fourth is that patients with diabetes demonstrate enhanced efficacy with chelation. They had a 41% reduction in cardiac events (p= 0.0002) and a 43% reduction in total mortality (p= 0.011). This amounts to a 5-year NNT of 7. Finally, Adding high dose vitamins to the diabetic group reduced the NNT to 5.5 to prevent one primary event over 5 years. These are incredible statistics.
If these results were obtained for a new drug application by a pharmaceutical company, it would immediately seek FDA approval. However, due to the long-term controversy over EDTA chelation, another study will probably be required to confirm the results. ICIM’s Board of Directors has offered a $20,000 grant to the best proposal to plan the next great study on chelation therapy for vascular disease and/or diabetes.
After a luncheon that featured some of the super foods suggested by Dr. Murphy, William Shaw introduced the group to the new concept that an overgrowth of Clostridia bacteria can lead to severe neurological and psychiatric disorders, including autism and depression. These problems can be detected with an organic acid urine test, and treatment can be very effective.
Internist Mathew Van Olm and Andy Chappell-Dick began the second day with a discussion of how sick buildings develop and the types of respiratory diseases that can result. Both toxicity and allergies are key mechanisms.