The basis of all disease is biochemistry

Biochemistry is the chemistry of human cellular function. Harpers biochemistry textbook published by Lange books states “all diseases have a biochemical basis”.

For disease and symptoms to occur, normal human biochemistry must be abnormal. Behind all changes in health leading to disease and symptoms are cellular and nutrient resource management issues. If a biological system had the resources to meet a challenge or a stimulus demand, the result would be perfect balance and the system would remain normal. The human body manages a multitude of highly complex interactions to maintain balance and continually return the body’s systems to functioning within a normal range. This process is essential to the survival of the person and to our species.

For normal function to be maintained certain rules and assumptions apply:

  • Biochemistry occurs mostly in the cell not in the blood stream.
    This means that an apparently normal blood test result may mask a tissue or cellular disturbance.
  • Cells require nutrients to function normally
    This seems obvious, but medical science would have you believe the answer to improving a biochemical dysfunction is to take patented, synthesised chemicals rather than obtain your requirements from nutrition. Nutrients in the proper quantities, are all the body requires for optimal function.
  • There is no average person.
    We are as unique from one another as our finger prints, but the loudest voice is the call for evidence based medicine and treatment, which treats everyone the same, regardless of our biochemical differences. It ignores the differences of causation and assumes that the same treatment is appropriate for all – no matter what.
  • There is no average cell.
    Each cell is a specialist in its own area. For instance a cardiac cell would not be well placed to function normally in the liver. Therefore both cells cannot be treated the same way and unique nutrients must be made available to a cell for it to be able to do its job to optimal functionality.
  • Cells are defined by their output.
    For instance, an oral salivary cell is defined by the output of saliva.
  • Nutrients function better when toxin levels are low.
    Toxins can impede the function of the cell at best and at worst destroy the cell. They also compete with, and destroy the chemicals and fuel that that cell needs to be able to function properly.
  • If there is to be a normal range for something, there must be a compensatory mechanism to keep it within the range.
    This means that there is a mechanism to stop a nutrient getting too low and another to stop a nutrient getting too high. If nutrients are out of range the compensatory mechanisms must have failed or be faulty.

Nutrition Medicine is looking for the process or cause that is pushing nutrients out of range. This involves looking at why the biological system failed to correct itself. This is likely to involve toxicity, damage or a deficiency of appropriate nutrition. If resources were perfect the biological system SHOULD be able to correct itself.

The Nutritional Biochemist/Clinical Nutritionist

Nutritional biochemistry is the study of nutrition as a science. While nutritional science is composed of various studies in food components, nutrients, and their function regarding humans and other mammals, nutritional biochemistry specifically focuses on nutrient chemical components, and how they function metabolically, physiologically, biochemically as well as their impact on disease.

Nutritional Biochemical research is primarily centred upon defining dietary and nutritional needs in sick and healthy individuals and the reduction of side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. The clinical nutritionist is conceptually driven rather than protocol driven when dealing with disease. This conceptual approach promotes flexibility, innovative thought and experimentation for the evolution of new and better treatments .[1]

Nutritional biochemistry is an integrative form of science as it uses other sciences such as physiology, medicine, microbiology, pharmacology, chemistry and biology and applies these sciences specifically to the study of health, diet, nutrition, disease, drug treatment and the connections that exist among them. Malnutrition both macro and micro is typically a serious concern for nutritional biochemists. Nutritional deficiencies or over-nutrition are often the cause of disabilities, disease, and other problems. These conditions in particular include diabetes, cancer, birth defects, obesity, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular disease and even mental health. A nutritional biochemist can develop plans to counteract these afflictions, identifying both nutritional causes as well as preventative measures.

Nutritional biochemical therapy refers to specific nutrition procedures including assessment and interventions in the treatment of an illness, injury or disease condition. Nutritional biochemical therapy procedures define the level, content and frequency of nutrition supplementation that are appropriate for optimal care and nutrition outcomes.

Nutrition is a life sustaining treatment. The major goals of nutrition therapy are:

  • To optimize nutrition status, immunity, fertility and overall wellbeing of an individual.
  • To prevent specific nutrient deficiencies be they relative or constitutional.
  • To prevent loss of weight and lean body mass in chronic illnesses and in the aged.
  • To maximize the effectiveness of medical and pharmacological treatments.
  • Reduce inflammation and regulate gene expression
  • To minimize health care costs.

Research shows that nutritional biochemical therapy saves lives, reduces morbidity, improves health outcomes, and reduces healthcare costs and patients’ length of hospital stay.

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