Nutrition and Health - Dissecting The Complexity

In my most recent post on nutrition and health, I highlighted the issue of the nature of complexity of nutrition in health and disease, and noted that we have a long way to go in research studies to better understand the relationship between nutrition and health. Although significant progress has been made in nutritional research within the biomedical model of health and disease, I am of the view that this is unlikely to lead us a better understanding of challenges in nutrition, health and disease. The current biomedical approaches have gone as far as employing more complex approaches as systems science (article: to explore potential connections between nutrition and health. The systems science approach, also grounded in the biomedical paradigm, however is likely to be less successful in addressing the current nutritional science problems, as the approaches incorporate some of the scientific research methodologies which are by their own virtue, deficient in scientific research rigor. Just to mention a one or two challenges on this matter: the issue of biochemical individuality is barely accounted for in current biomedical approaches; our current knowledge limitations and the ability to carry out modelling in dynamic living systems , (biochemical processes, nutrient interaction, byproducts, detoxification, biomarkers, health or disease outcomes) is anyone’s guess.

Suggestions forward:

I am of the belief that there is a need for a change in our approaches to scientific research, by expanding our research methodological approaches beyond biomedical paradigm. In my understanding, the natural/holistic health philosophical approaches appear quite logical to pursue for exploration of the food environment in health and disease. The views I hold are drawn from my experiences in my previous veterinary practice, where I had an opportunity to explore nutritional/food environment and metabolic disorders (heart attack or flip-over syndrome) in broiler chicken breeds, raised under intensive commercial/modern foods environment, and the near natural, free range nutritional/food environment.

The findings:

Resounding evidence of significant cases of heart attack (flip-over syndrome) in broilers raised under the commercial modern food system and non in broilers raised under the free range food system.

Paralleling my findings in the broiler chicken exploration of nutritional environment to human nutritional environment and metabolic, cardiovascular diseases, and in particular heart attack, I realized the need for acknowledging the current limitations of our knowledge on nutrition and health as well as the need for a paradigm shift, from the current, conventional scientific research approaches

Food for thought!


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