Important Issues in Nutritional Medicine
To make the most out of a specific nutritional protocol, you are best to see an integrative practitioner who specialises in this area after reading the appropriate sections on this site. Some interventions (eg, glucosamine, probiotics etc) are easy to trial without the help of a practitioner, however, if the simple recommendations suggested on this site are not effective, we advise you to seek help. Nutritional Medicine can be far more complicated than it would first appear on the chemist shelves and several key points demonstrate this.
1) Nutritional Medicine should be individualised
People with similar diseases do not necessarily require exactly the same doses, or sometimes, even the same nutrients. This may be due to multiple conditions that are present concurrently within the individual. Self diagnosis without extensive knowledge can lead to a lot of wasted time and money if dosage and correct nutrients required are not successfully used.
2) Nutritional Medicine is functional
If you have a particular disease requiring nutritional assistance and the appropriate nutrient is used, you will still need to be able to digest the nutrient in question successfully. If your gastrointestinal system is not working effectively, this may not necessarily occur.
Simplistic prescription differs to functional prescription in that the order of intervention in the latter is important. For instance, whatever your condition, successful food absorption needs to be achieved first for other nutrient prescription to be successful. Order of intervention is therefore critical.
3) Nutritional Medicine needs to be balanced
Different nutrients need to be supplied in balanced ratios to one another. Whilst a nutrient may be beneficial to a disease, supplying it out of balance with other nutrients can, in the long term, be detrimental.
4) Nutrients require correct forms to be effective.
Most nutrients come in different forms, both natural and artificial, and the effectiveness of the nutrient is often dependent upon which form is used.
For instance, Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3 are available in supplement form, however D3 is far more effective. Vitamin E comes in various tocopherol and tocotrienol forms, and a mix rather than a single form is generally preferable, with specific benefits related to different forms.
Magnesium is bound to different molecules in supplements, with different results. For instance, Magnesium Oxide may be effective for constipation and osteoporosis, yet the chelated forms are necessary form improved energy maintenance.
5) Nutrients require cofactors to work effectively
Nutrients work more like football teams than tennis players. And while you may have a star player, he can’t play alone even if he receives all the publicity. The same is true for nutrients. Nutrients that assist primary vitamins and minerals to function are called co-factors and an effective nutritional medicine regime respects this.
6) Supplement products vary in quality in regards to all of these factors
How do you choose a good supplement? How do you ensure the supplement is effective and balanced?
Supplements vary in quality and balance, which is why, however much laymen’s knowledge you achieve, a practitioner is essential. Medical doctors, naturopaths and other health professionals may have access to what is called Practitioner Only Products, scientifically formulated to be of the highest quality and backed by quality control standards. You may pay a little more but you can expect results that you can count on.
7) Supplements may interact with Pharmaceutical Medicine
...which is why when using supplements for disease management you must let your doctor know what you are taking. Better still, see an integrative medical doctor who can coordinate you pharmaceutical medicine with nutritional and herbal supplements for maximuim benefit and minimal risk.
So where do you begin if you have a Disease?
Start by familiarising yourself with what Integrative Medicine can provide by reading the Medical Conditions section. We aim to continue to expand this section as comprehensively as possible.
After which, if you want to follow this path, seek an experienced practitioner in your area to further guide your path.