Medical nutrition is a relatively new science. It includes vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids found in foods and supplements. Its philosophy starts with the principles of Nature Cure written in the early 19th century. When we look at nutrition as medicine, we are looking at the ingestion, digestion, absorption, transport, utilization, and excretion of food substances which are necessary for health. By supplying the body with the nutrients that it needs, the body can restore the delicate balance of essential nutrients and bring the body back to health.
Indications for Nutrition Counseling
- Abdominal distention
- Apthous stomatitis
- Cardiovascular disease
- Celiac disease
- Chemotherapy, during and following
- Dental infections
- Endocrine deficiencies
- Fibrocystic breasts Syndrome
- Gall bladder disease
- Heavy metal toxicity
- Herpes Simplex
- Herpes Zoster
- Hormonal deficiencies
- Hot flashes
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Introduction of solid food to infant
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Kidney stones
- Menstrual irregularities
- Metabolism problems
- Migraines after meals
- Muscle spasms
- Nervous exhaustion
- Pancreatic insufficiencies
- Peptic ulcer
- Restless leg
- Thyroid dysfunctions
- Uterine inflammation and fibroids
- Varicose veins
- Yeast infections
Whether preformed by a naturopathic physician or nutritional therapist, nutrition is a valuable enhancement to health and well-being.
Benefits of Nutrition
- Supplies energy
- Promotes growth and repair of body tissues
- Supports healing after injury or surgery
- Regulates body processes
- Improves circulation
- Improves cellular detoxification
- Decreases aches and pains
- Increases relaxation
- Gives a sense of well-being
Benefits of Nutritional Counseling
- Informative of what diet plan would be most advantageous for the individual considering disease status and allergy reactions
- Help optimize quantities of vitamin supplements – often decreasing the number of self-prescribed vitamins the patient needs to swallow.
- Offers quality vitamins that have been assayed for quantity of substance and are known to be digestible. (Try putting your vitamins in apple cider vinegar and see if they melt. Often vitamins go right through us and into the toilet.)
- Give information about Genetically Manipulated (GM) food and what you can do about it.
Brief History of Nutritional Counseling
In 1747, Dr. James Lind, a British physician, discovered the cause of scurvy, a disease suffered by many sailors , to be a lack of vitamin C. When adding foods high in ascorbic acid to their diet, the sailors recovered and future sailors had no problem. This was the beginning of a recognition that a food (fruit) deficiency can cause a disease.
During the early 1800’s scientists discovered that organic substances contained nitrogen, hydrogen, and carbon. One scientist, Justus von Liebig, determined that nitrogen was an important element which directly effected a foods nutrient value. Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, studied how food was used for energy and became known as the father of nutrition.
In 1912, Casimir Funk theorized that pellagra, beriberi, scurvy, and rickets were all “vitamine” deficiencies and not caused by viruses or bacteria. The word vitamine was invented by Funk from the Latin word vita, which means “essential to life” and amine, meaning a nitrogen containing compound. Later when it was found that not all “vitamines” contained the biochemical nitrogen group, the “e” was dropped and we called these substances vitamins.
Medical nutrition as a field of study began with the emergence of the American Institute of Nutrition in 1934. When we look at nutrition as medicine, we are looking at the ingestion, digestion, absorption, transport, utilization, and excretion of food substances which are necessary for life. A nutrient is a chemical substance that provides energy, is used to build body components, or assists in the body’s many processes. An essential nutrient is one that the body can not synthesize in sufficient quantities or fast enough to meet the body’s needs and therefore must be ingested.
Today we have some big controversies in the nutrition field. The reasons for this begin with how food is grown. Most food is grown on depleted soils. Processing and refining further deplete nutrients. Cooking is yet another way to loose vital nutrients. And now we have to worry about genetically modified (GM) foods.
Scientists are genetically altering our foods and farmers are growing genetically modified foods right next to organically grown foods. Cross pollination is a problem. Bees do not know the difference between GM and organic crops and can easily cross pollinate the two. The seeds from GM crops can also be found in the soil years after a farmer switches back to organic. This is threatening our natural/organic food supply.
GM companies are also looking to create one generation seeds which means that farmers will have to buy their seeds from the GM companies every year. The long term effects of GM foods have not been tested. We are the guinea pigs. There are many ways GM foods may lead to new diseases. This is a serious situation.
Europe has already banned GM food and will not import foods from countries that grow them. The U.S. is growing over 1.3 billion acres of GM foods. Learn more about what you can do to help.
|Contact Rosetta Koach, LMT, ND at 503-628-6357
for nutritional counseling