Despite the deplorable state of nutrition science that we are wont to point out, (for example
“OK, so now what are we supposed to eat?” posted on August 16, 2020, Portsmouth Daily Times) especially in the setting of the obesity pandemic, there are areas where diet has actually been very helpful and important and well defined and documented.
Mostly the good news has been in the domain of question number 4 from the strategic goals for answering the key areas of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) strategic nutrition research plan for 2020 to 2030. (1) Question 4 is “How can we improve the use of food as medicine?” to reduce the burden of disease in clinical settings.
Examples of how food is medicine already include: – the DASH diet, (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) which works as well as most single anti-hypertensive medications, – diets for reducing blood cholesterol levels that are varied but specific to some special situations and – low carb diets for diabetes that we have recently written about. (Portsmouth Daily Times posted online March 30, 2020)
The other 3 strategic goals that are proposed in the NIH vision for the future of precision nutrition are going to be harder. But it is still worth the initial investment of $150 million over 6 years. Those 3 are: 1. “What do we eat and how does it affect us?” 2. “What and when should we eat?” and 3. “How does what we eat promote health across our lifespan?” These are very broad and vague but laudable.
Maybe recent advances in bioinformatics, neurobiology, genomics, microbiome information (Google them) and other technology advances will help in our eternal spring of hope.
1. Rodgers GP, Collins FS. Precision nutrition – the answer to “What to eat to stay healthy.” JAMA August 25, 2020;324(8):735-6.
This writer’s opinion is their own and not the opinion of this newspaper
John DiTraglia M.D. is a Pediatrician in Portsmouth. He can be reached by e-mail- firstname.lastname@example.org or phone-354-6605.