Can Nutrition Prevent and Cure illness?
The new question that is gaining momentum all over the health starved world is – can Nutrition cure? What is nutrition? Is it not same as food? No! Junk food is not nutritious! Food is the combination of nutrition and waste. Nutrition is that which is absorbed by the body for utilization to build and sustain the body and waste is excreted to prevent collapse. The study of Nutrition as a prophylactic or as a medicine is called “Nutriceuticals” or “Nutraceuticals” and is the fastest growing sector for healthcare in the western world.
By the above mentioned definition of nutrition, water becomes a nutrient? Yes it is! How else was the concept of hydrotherapy evolved? What other reason can be there for so many moisturizers in the world market! But, water is not only the most important nutrient by itself, but also the carrier in the body of nutrients inward and wastes outward. So, water is the most important of all the nutrients as it is food and medicine … that is two-in-one.
The normal thought that occurs to any mind, when one thinks of treatment of a disease is that, it is essential to have a drug or a medicine for the Cure — while the word “Cure” itself is not well defined both medically and technically. It is necessary here to differentiate between a drug and a medicine here.
A drug imposes its will (property) on the body and takes control of it till it stays in the body. Eg. If you take strong purgative, no matter how much you wish to hold or prevent, you shall be forced into loose motion. Similarly if you are given anesthesia on a surgical table, you shall lose consciousness no matter how much you resist it and wish to be awake.
But medicine does not impose itself on the body or mind – but simply restores normalcy or functional ability of mind or body. If you are given saline water in dehydrated condition, you will be back to normal. Saline water here acts like the medicine as it restores normalcy. If some one has lost blood in an accident, blood transfusion acts like medicine and will restore him to normalcy. This differential mode of action is the crucial conceptual difference between medicine and drug.
In the contemporary medical world, “Cure” is explained and understood as the apparent diminution or removal of symptoms. This apparent diminution or removal is established not by dealing with the cause, but only by reducing or removing the capacity of the patient to perceive these symptoms, or, mostly by altering the physical manifestation of these symptoms. Thus the Cure here is illusory and not real. Often, it transforms one disease into another – and that is wrongly perceived as the cure of the former and the latter as the side effect. Often, side effects cause more sufferance then the original disease as can be seen in cancer treatment through chemo & radiation.
A disease is a “Vector” with a degenerative dynamic, which is a quantitative force with a qualitative identity. Where and how does it originate has never been thoroughly understood, nor, the study of this aspect was given the deserved importance in the modern medical research. Effects are interpreted as causes, generating limitless confusion in the path of understanding the true originating dynamics of a disease. In the process, the concept of treating a disease was developed around the concept of creating another “Vector” (Drug) that purely and squarely opposes the original “Vector” (Disease), in order to nullify its perceived existence or dynamic manifestation. Here the results do not always occur the way they are intended. This automatically results, mostly or invariably in the suppression of symptoms and not the elimination of them, which alone should actually be called a Cure.
Additionally, two interacting Vectors invariably engender several small component Vectors or a huge resultant Vector, which are easily explained away as side-effects. Very often, the patients find it more difficult to recover from the side-effects than the original disease.
The only way to eliminate the symptoms to obtain “Cure” is to deal with the cause than the symptoms alone. The route to this is, to dissipate the disease vector, than to oppose it and keep it suppressed & bottled. This is exactly what Nutrition can do. But, the key word is not just Nutrition, but a “Harmonious Nutrition”. This expression has many connotations. In Ayurveda, it is called “Sameekruta Aharam” or integrated food or balanced food.
One of the most important and appropriate part of balanced food is to include “Pro-Biotics”… the exact opposite of “Antibiotics”. Our most traditional habit of consuming milk & curds (dahi) in India is nothing but practice of probiotics. The micro-organisms called lactobacillus in the milk & curds which are human friendly – keep the intestines very clean by aiding digestion, eating up the unwanted byproducts of digestion by themselves while proliferating and depriving food for the unfriendly and harmful micro organisms and preventing such bacteria from proliferating and causing disease. Healthy stomach is the foundation for healthy body!
Pro-Biotics will enhance the vitality of the living cells in the intestines to such an extent that they not only become capable of their own survival, but will become powerful enough to overcome any toxicity that they are exposed to, and overpower any micro organism that attack them occasionally due to consumption from unhygienic food.
Another perceivable advantage of the concept of Pro-Biotics is overcoming the ” Inherently Self limiting” nature of the modern drugs for their application to a narrowed condition, such as Anti-Ring worm, Anti-Tape worm, Anti-Fungal, Anti-Allergy, Anti-Diarrhoea etc., finally becoming ineffective after long usage as the worms and germs that they are supposed to kill becoming totally immune to the drug.
A Pro-Biotic combination of Nutrients may be able to cater to a much wider and varied spectrum of diseased conditions even when consumed singularly, as they are not inherently self-limiting in nature and self defeating on long usage.
The outstanding example of the un-diminishing value of Nutrition can be seen in the usage of Turmeric, Ginger, Pepper, Coriander etc., in the Indian cookery which are acknowledged to be possessing curative properties for varied conditions – apart from being taste enhancers or modifiers. Thus these taste modifying nutrients actually work as prophylactic and occasionally curative for very wide-ranging disease conditions.
Health Care problems – Health Care products … there is a wide gap between what is claimed by the manufacturing and marketing companies, and what is experienced by the consumer at large. It is readily evident in respect of many skin care products in the world market which is most visible to all – like fairness creams. The message is loud and clear from the consumer’s frustration if one is attentive and circumspect. It appears that almost 90% of the products do not appear to work as per the claims. It can be particularly observed to be so if relief and satisfaction of the consumer (patient) is to be considered the true barometer of this measurement, and not the sales and its volumes.
It is necessary to differentiate between a disease and sickness. It is easy to understand “disease” as “dis-ease” or reduced sense of “ease”. On the other hand sickness is “reduced functional ability”. Disease is just a name given by man for identifying the nature and location of a problem in the body – but sickness is a whole condition of reduced functional ability and so more real and oppressively debilitating than a disease! A man can be sick without a disease but he cannot be diseased without sickness.
The need is to treat the sickness “the condition” – not the disease “the name”. Unfortunately the whole world is engaged in wrestling with existing and newly being invented names – but not duly addressing the condition of sickness, which actually is the acute dire need of the patients. Restoring the sense of well-being is more important that will improve the functional ability – than attacking names that will change its nature and location in the body.
There is a very wide gap between the demand and supply of health care products for the human societies, not in quantitative terms as there are countless products flooding the market, but, in qualitative terms of efficacy and effectiveness in providing relief and cure. There is little quantitative space but huge qualitative space for new good products in health care field of the world at large.
This observation with sincerity & honesty should propel the health care industry to have commitment & conviction to develop a new humanism to manufacture a family of health care products with a difference — the difference being “The Product Shall Work & Serve the Man”. We need medicines and not drugs. Nutrition can be a medicine without being a drug.
Posted on May 9, 2010, in Health and Health Care and tagged antibiotic, Ayurveda, Cure, disease, drug, food, Nurticeuticals, nutraceuticals, nutrients, nutrition, probiotic, side effects, stomach, vector. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.