Natural Healing Through Specific Nutrition


          Natural vs. Pharmaceutical vs. Nutraceutical


The common medical or pharmaceutical approach to health involves looking for that “something” that the body needs in order to function correctly. Something is not being produced in the body that should be. If this “something” can be mimicked by a chemical that is made in the laboratory and then given to the person that has it missing, then that particular chemical pathway in the body can continue and function is restored and the person’s symptoms disappear. Drugs work by copying a natural substance normally found in the body. With pharmaceuticals, profit gets in the way. Since a chemical exactly as it is found in nature cannot be patented, the chemicals or drugs that are given are twisted forms of the natural chemicals that produce a similar effect but also many undesirable effects that we know as side effects. Many cannot be properly broken down and recycled, so they clog pathways and cause toxic effects.


The nutraceutical approach to health is pretty much the same as the pharmaceutical approach. Even the name capitalizes on the medical PR machine. You supply the missing substance or chemical by making it in a laboratory. The difference is that nutraceutical manufacturers attempt to make the missing chemical through synthesis or extraction as more exact copies to those that are found in nature. These cannot be patented, so they usually are much less expensive. The idea is that, “We can produce the same type of effect as drugs without all of the side effects”. This is commendable. Included in these are a host of chemical names such as 5-HTTP, pregnenalone, melatonin, DHEA, MSM, lutein, co-enzyme Q10, hyaluronic acid, creatine, L-cartinine and many more. Also included are the synthetic vitamins A through Z. Unfortunately, the synthetic supplements are not exactly as found in nature either, so they can produce problems. Taking high amounts of only one chemical that is found in a biological pathway can actually cause shortages in the body of others. In nature these things are never found by themselves. They are packaged with the other things that are needed. It’s like trying to bake a cake using only flour. If you have everything else but have a shortage of flour you can bake some wonderful cakes for a short period when flour is received but eventually you’ll grind to a halt. Nature supplies the whole cake mix. Furthermore, many of the forms synthesized in the laboratory are not in the exact forms that are found in nature. There have been many cases where people did not become better from taking synthetic vitamins, that then responded to the natural or food based. Every once in a while the news will have a study about how those people taking a certain vitamin fared no better or were worse than those who didn’t. This is why. They always use synthetics or synthetic extracts.


The natural approach to health takes a different tack*. If there is something in the body that is not working; if there is something in the body that is not being produced correctly then the goal becomes to find out why. In other words, it was OK, now it is not. What happened? If the body is missing something that should be in its diet, then put it in the diet in the form that it was designed to handle --food. If there are other interferences to proper function, then remove them whether they are in the form of chemical toxins, nerve interference, old injuries that need to be healed or whatever the case may be. Once the interferences are removed and the proper nutrition is supplied the body is able to heal and resume normal function.


The pharmaceutical and nutraceutical approaches are not really health approaches in the purest sense of the word. Because they are oriented at removing the symptoms associated with the malfunction, rather than correcting what underlies the malfunction. They are palliative (a fancy word meaning to ease or lessen without actually fixing). It is sort of a fake fix that then assumes that the person will take the pharmaceutical or nutraceutical for life or else at least until the body happens to haphazardly fix itself. You could say, “Hey! Wait a minute! You always need to eat food too!”. Okay, you do. But this is the way the body was designed to function in nature. That is why it is called natural.


Many times patients will use whole food supplements with a pharmaceutical or nutraceutical approach. They will say, “I have this symptom so therefore I will take such and such supplement because that’s what I took last time, and my symptom went away”. Sometimes you can get away with that and it works. The patient who really understands the natural approach understands that the same symptom can be caused by many different things. They say, “I need to be checked to find out what I need to fix it this time”.


The proper order of approach to health using the “missing chemical” analogy would be whole organic foods first, concentrated whole food supplements second, nutraceuticals third and pharmaceuticals as a last resort. Mother Nature always has and always will do a better job than scientists and chemists. If you or someone you know is looking for a natural approach to health contact the office for an appointment at (260) 459-6160 (Ft. Wayne) or (773) 929-3964 (Chicago).


Dave Murdock DC

* tack- a course of action or policy, esp. one differing from another or preceding course. Webster’s NW dict



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