Nutrition has long been seen as a “soft” science. Would-be doctors going through medical school in the United States might receive three hours in their entire years-long tenure of medical school learning about how what we put in our bodies at least three times a day might possibly have an influence on our health. Instead, they are instructed on which pharmaceutical agents work to counter which disease state.
As the Chinese proverb goes: The superior doctor prevents sickness; the mediocre doctor attends to impending sickness; the inferior doctor treats actual sickness.
Wouldn't you know it, the entire establishment allopathic American medical model is based on doctors being inferior! (No offense, Dr. Matt – just sayin'.)
And so we are left with nutrition – the classic preventive medicine, based on the concept that we are what we eat. Imagine that.
Granted, much of what passes for nutritional medicine today is reductionist in scope – gleaning the singular molecule in, say, a tomato to address prostate cancer.
Is a reductionist way of looking at nutrition science the way to go? If this concept intrigues you, check out Bill Sardi's love letter to the industry on page 36.
Of course, even when some natural nutritional bioactive is shown to treat some disease condition, the regulatory bodies invariably prevent companies from making that claim.
Instead, far too often dietary supplements are derided as "hope in a bottle."
For the sake of this issue of Functional Ingredients, we might call such a conceit “faith in a bottle.” No offense intended, mind you.
But of course, consumers en masse don't really buy the bullying, and get the idea that better nutrition – through organic or fortified foods or dietary supplements – can improve their health and "wellth."
That's where we come in. To help deliver to you the latest nutrition science, and connect the dots to new product development, with an eye toward marketing language and regulatory say-so.
And in this, the first issue of the new year, we present to you insight and intelligence to get you ready for the calendar year we face. Here's to you – the superior doctors of the world!
To your wellth,
Letter From the Editor: Functional Ingredients, January 2011