Functional medicine can sometimes clash with the broader healthcare industry, which focuses on treating specific systems or diseases. In functional medicine, practitioners offer a more holistic and preventative approach to care, often recommending lifestyle, diet, and nutritional supplements. However, the norms of pharmaceutical research don’t necessarily translate into effective supplement research. Moreover, nutritional supplements often fall into gray areas in drug regulation, making the safe and effective use of supplements difficult for many functional medicine clinicians.
Despite these obstacles, the frontiers of medical research into chronic conditions is pushing mainstream healthcare closer to the holistic approach of functional medicine. Doctors are beginning to accept that obesity, diabetes, and heart disease often develop from a system-wide breakdown of health, not a cause that can be cured with a pill.
In this whitepaper, Jeffrey Bland, PhD, co-founder of the Institute for Functional Medicine, and Thomas G. Guilliams, PhD, explain how advances in cardiovascular research have left functional medicine facing cultural obstacles, but has also created exciting opportunities for future treatments.