Nutritional therapy is the science and philosophy of utilizing the healing power of nature and using it in a positive way, not only to cure illness but also to prevent it altogether. Nutritional therapy supports the self-healing process and avoids the use of chemical medicines wherever possible, although in some case technical intervention is needed and conventional medicine still saves lives. Nutritional therapy uses dietary methods, vitamins, minerals and herbal remedies, for the treatment to prevent ill health.
Through history many eminent figures embraced the nutritional medicine movement. Irwin Stone, Frederick Klenner, Linus Pauling and Carl Pfeiffer, each of these respected doctors and scientists fully supported the use of nutrition as a treatment for disease. Adam Hoffer, an eminent psychiatrist, believed that large doses of nutrients could have a beneficial effect on conditions like schizophrenia, many skeptics frowned at this, but he experienced a lot of success, and research of his methods and practices continues today.
Nutritional therapists recognize that even a minor deficiency can become a chronic or even an acute condition. A healthy immune system can destroy an isolated cancer cell, however if the immune system is weakened by nutritional deficiency the cancer-causing agent can mutate and develop into full blown non-curable cancer. Nutritional therapists, unlike orthodox nutritionists and doctors, believe that nutritional deficiency are extremely common we cannot assume that a modern diet is capable of building and maintaining a healthy body and mind.
THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
The first stage of digestion is in the mouth our food is mixed with saliva and must be well chewed. Saliva contains the enzyme called 'salivary amylase' which starts of the process of starch digestion.
The second stage is when the food leaves the stomach and enters the duodenum the acidity stimulates the liver and pancreas to release bicarbonate. This makes the food more alkaline.
In the third stage the alkaline created in the second stage is needed for the liver and gall bladder to release bile salts. Bile salts help to emulsify and reduce fat droplets. The alkaline also triggers the pancreas into action, which releases its own digestive enzymes.
Amylase for starch digestion
Protease for protein digestion
Lipase for fat or lipid digestion
In stage four components are, in a healthy person, then absorbed through the wall of the duodenum and small intestine into the bloodstream in the case of sugars and amino acids or into the lymphatic system in the case of fats. Blood then carries the nutrients to the tissues where assimilation can begin and the nutrients can be used for their various purposes in the maintenances of the body system.
Vitamins are absorbed from food in a similar way. The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K are absorbed along with the fats in the lower part of the intestines. The water-soluble vitamins are absorbed from the upper part of the intestine, the jejunum, with the exception of Vitamin B12, which must be combined with a protein called 'intrinsic factor' secreted by the stomach. In the case of minerals, some forms of minerals require an acid environment for absorption. Absorption rates can vary from nutrient to nutrient, and individual to individual.
THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Nutritional therapists agree that a diet consisting of fresh food, which is unrefined, minimally processes an lightly cooked to preserve the maximum nutrients is the best for health. In order to protect itself from disease the body has its own built in security system, the immune system.
The immune system is a complex network of on lymphocytes these are white blood cells formed in the lymph tissue, macrophages which are large scavenger white blood cells, antibodies that are proteins that can react with specific germs and tiny neutrophils, basophiles andeosinophils.
The immune system is an amazing system that when working properly has the ability to kill off invading cells a good diet is vital for the systems health and performance. If the immune system does not receive a wide variety of vitamins and minerals it is unable to perform all its tasks properly.
Apart from a shortage all the vitamins and minerals there are other factors which can damage the immune system these include processed foods (white flour, sugar oils and margarine) these can block immune system functions. Studies have shown that just one teaspoon of sugar in an infection will reduce neutrophil phagocytosis by 50% within half an hour and the effects last up to five hours. Fats and cholesterol levels are raised and antibody response is slow and phagocytosis inhibited. Fasting has been shown to increase phagocytosis by up to 50%.
THE THYMUS GLAND
The thymus gland responsibility is to make sure that T-cells form and perform correctly. Thymus hormones keep the lymph nodes on their toes by reminding them of their function are to fight bacteria and reject foreign cells.
Nutrients that stimulate thymus function are:
Arginine an amino acid
Vitamins A, C, E, and B6
Beta Carotene is an extremely powerful antioxidant, which protects the thymus against damage and shrinkage. Beta Carotene strengthens immune barriers, the skin and mucous membranes, and increases killer T-cell activity. Although beta-carotene is a form of vitamin A, the safety margin for its supplementation is much higher as it is relatively non-toxic. Studies have shown that gross excess of this nutriment may lead to a lower level of vitamin E status. Vitamin A is found in foods of animal origin but its precursor beta-carotene is present in fruit and vegetables
Deficiency symptoms, spinal infections, respiratory infections, scaly skin and scalp, poor hair and sight, pain in the eyeballs and dry eyes, eye ulceration, burning and itching eyes.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin is known as L-ascorbic acid, anti-scorbutic acid and ascorbyl palmitate.
This vitamin improves the rate of all immune cell production. Vitamin C completely protects blood fats against free radicals. It is an anti-oxidant, promotes iron absorption from food, maintains healthy collagen, provides resistance to infection, controls blood cholesterol levels, makes folic acid active and produces anti-stress hormones.
Deficiency symptoms include weakness and lassitude, muscle and joint pains, irritability, bleeding gums and gingivitis, loosening of the teeth.
Best sources of vitamin C are Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, watercress, cabbage, mustard tops, all other fruit and vegetables.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin it occurs naturally as cholecalciferol D3 found only in foods of animal origin. It is also known as the sunshine vitamin as substantial amounts are produced in the skin by the action of the sun. Vitamin D promotes absorption of calcium and phosphate from the food.
Deficiency symptoms include rickets, Osteomalacia, tetany, osteoporosis, celiac disease, allergies, depression and anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia and over-activity. Vitamin D is a detoxifying agent in lead, mercury, aluminium and cadmium poisoning. Cold and flu.
Best sources of vitamin D are cod liver oil, kippers, mackerel, canned salmon, tuna, eggs and milk.
Known as tocopherol it is a fat-soluble vitamin it functions as an antioxidant, reduces oxygen needs of muscles. It is an anti-blood clotting agent, blood vessel dilator and maintains healthy blood vessels.
Deficiency symptoms in children: Irritability, water retention hemolytic anemia. In adults: Lack of vitality, lethargy and apathy, lack of concentration, irritability and muscle weakness and decreased sexual interest.
Best sauces of vitamin E are cod liver oil, roasted peanuts, olive oil, green leaf vegetables, pulses, tomatoes, meats, fruits and root vegetables.
Water-soluble vitamin. It is a member of the Vitamin B complex. B1 is also known as thiamine. It acts as coenzyme in converting glucose into energy in muscles and nerves.
Deficiency symptoms include easily fatigued, muscle weakness, loss of appetite and nausea. Digestive upsets and constipation, impaired memory and lack of concentration, tender calves, tingling and burning in the toes and soles.
Best sauces of vitamin B1 are brown rice, wheat germ, nuts, wheat bran, Soya flour, oat flour, wholegrain and whole meal bread.
Water-soluble vitamin has a strong yellow color, enough to cause high-colored urine but is harmless. Vitamin B2 acts as a coenzymes flavin mononucleotide and flavin dinucleotide in converting protein, fats and sugars into energy. It is needed to repair and maintain body tissues and mucous membranes. Acts in conversion of tryptyphane to nicotinic acid along with vitamin B6.
Deficiency symptoms are bloodshot eyes and feeling grit under eyelids, tired eyes, sensitive to light, cracks and sores in the corners of the mouth, inflamed tongue and lips, scaling of the skin around the face, hair loss, trembling, dizziness, insomnia and slow learning.
Best sauces of vitamin B2 are cheese, eggs, wheat bran, meats, Soya flour, yogurt, milk, green vegetables and pulses.
B6 is a water-soluble vitamin, member of the vitamin B complex, known as pyridoxine
Vitamin B6 is needed for formation of nerve impulses, blood formation, energy production, anti-depressant and anti-allergy.
Deficiency symptoms include splitting of the lips and inflamed tongue, scaly skin on the face, inflamed nerve endings, migraine, mild depression and irritability. Breast discomfort and swollen abdomen. Puffy finger and ankles.
Best sauces of vitamin B6 are wheatgerm, wheat bran, oatflakes, Soya flour, bananas, wholewheat, nuts, meats, fatty fish, brown rice, potatoes, vegetables and eggs.
Contains cobalt this is why it is known as cobalamin. Water-soluble vitamin. It is a member of the vitamin B complex. Known as anti-pernicious anemia vitamin. Needs unique mechanism involving specific protein in the stomach called Intrinsic Factor and Calcium.
Deficiency symptoms include smooth, sore tongue. Nerve degeneration causing tremors. Psychosis and mental deterioration. Hand pigmentation in colored people. Typical symptoms of anemia.
Best sauces of vitamin B12 are beef, lamb, white fish, eggs and cheese.
Fat-soluble vitamin, derived from coagulation (Danish) Occurs naturally in foods as vitamin 1, also as anti-hemorrhagic vitamin. Intestinal bacteria produce it as vitamin K2. Synthetic vitamin is K3,
Deficiency causes in babies poor transfer of vitamin across placenta in pregnancy, low levels in human milk. Sterile intestines. In adults, malabsorption of fats, lack of bile salts. Celiac disease, antibiotic therapy and live disease of all kinds
Best food sources: Cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, string beans, meat, potatoes and pulses (beans).
Calcium is a very important mineral it is present in the skeleton and teeth, in the nerves, muscles and blood. Calcium in the blood is essential in the process of blood clotting. In the nerves, muscles, including the heart, it is necessary for nerve impulse transmission and good muscle function. Assists in the process of blood clotting, controls blood cholesterol levels and assists in the absorption of vitamin B12
Deficiency symptoms are in children rickets, excessive sweating of the head, and poor ability to sleep, constant head movements, bowlegs, knock-knees and pigeon breast. In adults Osteomalacia, bone pain, muscle weakness, delayed healing of fractures, which is also a symptom of vitamin D deficiency.
Best food sauces are hard cheese, soft cheese, canned fish, nuts, pulses, root vegetables, cereals, fruits, whole-meal flour, fresh fish, and human milk.
The name is derived from the Greek city of Magnesia where there are large deposits of magnesium carbonate. The functions of magnesium are for growth, cofactor in hormones, and cofactor in many body processes including cell replication and energy production. Co factor in vitamins B1 and B6.
Deficiency symptoms are weakness, vertigo, tiredness, convulsions and nervousness, muscle cramps. Tongue jerks, hyperactivity in children, irregular heartbeat, palpitations and low blood sugar.
Best food sauces are Soya beans, nuts, whole-wheat flour, brown rice, whole-meal bread, rye bread, dried fruits, vegetables, meats bananas and green leaf vegetables.
Manganese is an essential trace element its functions are growth, maintaining healthy nervous system. It is a co factor in energy production, female sex hormones and for vitamin B, C and E. It is important for development and maintenance of healthy bones.
Deficiency symptoms: diabetes, heart disease, schizophrenia, muscle wasting and weakness and rheumatoid arthritis.
Best food sauces are cereals, whole-meal bread, nuts, pulses, fruit, green leaf vegetables, root vegetables, meat and fish.
The name is derived from the moon goddess Selene it is an essential trace mineral needed for the preservation of normal liver function, protects against toxic minerals, promotes male sexual reproductive capacity in production of prostaglandin's, maintains healthy eyes and sight, healthy hair and skin. Maintains healthy heart. May protect against cancer. Protects the body as an anti-oxidant. Works with vitamin E in the production of ubiquinone.
Deficiency symptoms are Keshan Disease and White Muscle Disease.
Best food sauces. Fish and muscle meat whole-grains and cereals, dairy products, fruit and vegetables.