Nutritional medicine is the science of how the macronutrient and micronutrients present in food influences human health, and is a fundamental part of naturopathic medicine.
These macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats), and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, enzymes, water, phytochemicals) are the building blocks necessary for the body to function, and they each perform a range of chemical and biological functions and processes.
Nutritional medicine assessment involves evaluating nutritional status, that is:
- What is the current nutritional intake (dietary and supplemental sources)?
- Are there any nutritional imbalances (excessive or inadequate intake of any
macro- or micronutrients)?
- What are the internal levels of nutrients in relevant body tissues, cells, urine or
This information can then be used to determine how nutritional status may be contributing to specific signs, symptoms or health issues.
Many structural, chemical and biological factors influence our nutritional status, including how the body digests foods, absorbs and uses nutrients and gets rid of waste material.
Genetic and environmental factors can also play a significant role.
A naturopathic consultation involves assessment of these factors, and how along with nutritional status, they are contributing to an individuals’ current health status.
Following thorough assessment, personalised nutritional and dietary recommendations can
be made – food is medicine after all!