Why is the Science of Nutrition Ignored in Medicine? | T. Colin Campbell | TEDxCornellUniversity

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Katrin r. Reviewer rosa rey as i was introduced my topic is about nutrition. A a big big topic.
A word a concept an idea that weve all spoken from time to time. But in reality. It seems to me that we havent been able to find very much consensus about what that word really means so i want to share with you some of the stuff that ive learned in the last 60 years.
With many students and colleagues and others honest question concerning. What is nutrition and what is the right kind of food to eat in order to get the best possible health. Let me start out with a big idea.
Its one that has sort of come to me over the years that i think is worth saying. Namely nutrition. When done right can create more health than all the pills and procedures combined.
I know thats a big startling idea. But i really mean that if we do it right if we eat the right food. We get away from drugs.
We can be healthy. So theres a problem basically and this is the problem. I wanted to address here nutrition is not taught in medical schools.
Theres not a medical school in the united states that properly teaches nutrition hardly at all in many of them secondly among the 130 or so medical specialties. Which is a sort of procedure by which physicians are reimbursed for services of the 130 medical specialties. That we now have not one is called nutrition.
So heres a problem here are the professionals who are supposed to be offering us their services in the area of health care and not been taught the one subject that is the most important in my view of all and secondly even if they did know something about it and they got some training. Theyre not really going to be able to get reimbursed for services. Therein lies some of the problem with the fact that some people many people in this country have difficulty understanding what this question is really all about of course.
As i mentioned the public is massively confused thats one of the reasons. And it needs to be solved. Because theres so much to offer actually its very difficult to know quite frankly.
And i think you would agree with this that one of the problems with this issue is about confusion. Its very difficult to know for the average person whether another claim on radio tv conversations or whatever. Its very difficult to know how valid that claim may be and im sure many of you know that claims are all over the map and quite in contrast with each other so as i look back over the years.
I have been involved in this ive sorted out a couple of ideas that if we stick to these two ideas alone. Well get to that sort of land that im talking about where. So much health could be created first of all eat whole foods.
Whole foods. Not the individual nutrients and food fragments within them and by that i mean no nutrient supplements. Weve done a lot of research on nutrient supplements.
Its a huge industry multi billion dollars a year fifty percent of the population uses nutrient supplements as a means to nutrition. Im not talking about that nutrients taken out of the food out of the context. Do not do exactly the same thing for the most part that they do when they are in food.
And secondly. There are fragments taken out of even plants incidentally and im referring to plants as a good form of nutrition.

a physician who specializes in the study of tumors is known as a(n)-0
a physician who specializes in the study of tumors is known as a(n)-0

Even the stuff taken out of plants like oil sugar. If you will maybe its the right kind of food in a sense. But when you take it out and use it separately we get a different response in what we do generally speaking than the whole food.
This is another idea to keep in mind. Plants provide all the protein. We need thats somewhere around 8 10 of total calories turns out if you look at the literature.
More carefully thats enough we do not need to eat animal foods to get the animal protein plants have all the protein. We need to have so just those two ideas whole foods obviously meaning plants because we dont need animal protein animal foods to go along with that that combination really works now my career started as i said many many years ago. And i happened to come across an idea when i was working in the philippines helping to co ordinate.
A national program to feed the malnourished children. Where in fact. Our efforts were intended to actually make sure these children got enough protein even good quality protein animal protein.
If you like and i saw something that sort of didnt exactly agree with that and we are not getting onto. These details. But it led to this question animal based protein.
Which was my background. Did not look to be as good as it was touted to be so we organized a study as we started to look into this question is protein as good as what we think. It is as i had thought it was here is one little display of some information among hundreds of things like this cancer.
We all tend to agree starts with a gene being mutated its happening more or less all the time in some of our cells. So it starts with a gene mutation normal cell to a cancer cell as a result of it starting with a gene. If we have a cancer gene.
We will have cancer right that leads to some suggestions. We should get analyzed for genetic background and this and that but in my view. Cancer is not a genetic disease.
Even though. Thats the most highly touted. Maxim.
If you will of the cancer industry. Heres what happens. This is an experimental animal study that we used much in my career early on it started as a mutated gene and we followed the progression of the early cancer over the first twelve weeks.
If we fed lower levels of protein. 5. Remember.
I said. 8 to 10 is fine is good enough so we start with 5 and we feed the animals who had the mutated gene. 5 of protein we get no cancer.
If. We feed them on the other hand the higher levels of protein 20 . We get lots of cancer so.
Here is a striking difference between 5 and. 20 .

a physician who specializes in the study of tumors is known as a(n)-1
a physician who specializes in the study of tumors is known as a(n)-1

But then we went to the next question we wanted to know what would happen if we just switched the diet. Back and forth between 5 and 20 so starting with 20 . The first three weeks the cancers are growing these.
Are precancerous lesions if. You will switching to 5 turns it off 20 we. Turned it back on again 5.
. It turns it off that was striking at that time it still is today for a lot of people because if we assume that cancer is all coming from genes and if you have the genes you will get cancer maybe if you dont you wont in this. Particular case.
What we are showing is that nutrition is important so it leads to this idea here. We may have cancer genes all of us whether we were born with them or whether they were created in our lifetime. Theyre sort of hanging around they remain basically silent until they are nourished.
So it puts. The onus then on the question concerning nutrition being the cause of cancer. Not genetics.
We think of nutrition in a very simplistic way we tend to think of individual nutrients doing their individual things we value foods. According to how much nutrients. It has this that or something else most of our thinking about nutrition is focused on individual nutrients in reality.
It turns out and this is just one thought it turns out the amount of nutrients. We consume lets say in a spoonful or cupful or whatever we can know how much is there in theory. But that has little relationship to how much nutrients there may be at the functional site wherever that may be in the body.
So the amount. We are consuming here has almost nothing to do quantitatively speaking with the amount thats operating in the functional site. Which raises a question.
Theres a lot going on between here and there and its sort of an activity. A bunch of activities thats very very complex and then individual nutrients when they are examined for their activities. Generally.
We think of this is the way it tends to get taught this nutrient causes. This response and here is the mechanism by which it works thats the way we tend to think. And thats the way cause and effect relationships often happen.
It turns out that in our hands. The protein turned on the cancer. I wanted to know what was the mechanism by which it worked which enzyme.
Which transport mechanism or what have you might be working thats the basis for the entire drug industry in large measure. If we see something going wrong. And we want to solve the problem.
We want to know what the mechanism is so maybe we can make a chemical to block. It if we wish or enhance. It whatever the case might be it turned out in our hands.
The protein caused cancer. But not by one mechanism every time.

a physician who specializes in the study of tumors is known as a(n)-2
a physician who specializes in the study of tumors is known as a(n)-2

We looked for a mechanism in a sense. We found one it got up to about ten or so and in a couple of those mechanisms. Not only was the protein turning on the process.
It was actually attenuating or minimizing. The effect of those processes that tend to protect us. So the high protein diet was actually sort of getting the whole bucketful of mechanisms.
Working together like a symphony to create a response. It was a very exciting idea again it shows some degree of complexity which i would suggest is really important in this consideration. And then this leads us to the idea that nutrients work best in whole foods as i mentioned before it worked best in whole foods.
You take them out to work with them individually. Its altogether different oftentimes sometimes they work sort of the way you expect them to do. But its not necessarily a life style practice.
So those. Three observations are pointed to a different philosophical concept regarding. What nutrition is its not a function of individual nutrients.
And adding up these effects. Its all of them basically working together. When we consume the foods animal based foods in order to get that good protein.
We heard so much about what that tends to do is to displace the consumption of the foods that we otherwise should be consuming so when we look at the totality of the food effect on the various disease processes. Its not just one thing working be it protein or anything else. Its the combination the presence of those nutrients as opposed to the lack of those things that are not there now.
We know weve got good evidence for this and not generally known that kind of diet. We heard from our grandmothers. Eat your vegetables and so forth.
And so on and prevent future disease not sure we paid a lot of attention to that especially when we were young. We figured out well get a solution to that problem when it comes. But in reality.
Now we know and this is not yet published. Very well namely the kind of diet that actually prevents future problems when its done right actually can be used to treat existing problems so now we have altogether. A new paradigm.
If you will instead of relying on single chemicals be they drugs or whatever else to correct the problem now we can simply look at this kind of food to sort of do it and it happens very quickly within ten days two weeks or so you can see remarkable changes occur in sort of biochemistries. If you will once we get to thinking about food as a means of treatment. Were in a different territory.
Theres something really meaningful in that case. Because you can see the results. So fast.
Theres a lot of people now doing this as a result of some of the work. We did with some of my colleagues. This is now being tried by people and many of you here.
I think probably would agree with that you switch you got a problem you can see the results. Very quickly without side effects.

a physician who specializes in the study of tumors is known as a(n)-3
a physician who specializes in the study of tumors is known as a(n)-3

Why is nutrition not taken seriously by the medical profession as i said before its not it needs to be taken seriously medicine or the practice of medicine. Whether were doing research or practicing is what i call reductionist. Were looking at one thing at a time.
Were looking at just this disease not some other disease just this disease. Were looking at usually just one antidote this drug or that nutrient. If you will and also at the same time.
Were thinking about one mechanism at a time. And so medicine is a reductionist process thats what our system is its highly reductionist. We now know we have a lot of problems with that approach things are not working like they should.
Theres a lot of evidence to show that its also very very expensive and if we are going to rely on that highly technical philosophy to keep us well we need third party care. Namely. The doctors or others.
In contrast nutrition. When everything is working together. As it is simply as i suggested.
Its working basically comprehensively. Its not working one mechanism. All of these seem to be changed.
The same way and the same direction to create the same response. Thats a very exciting concept that in turn leads us to just wonder what kind of foods should we eat to get that effect and thats first person health care. All of a sudden now the locus of control comes back to us what we need to do is just do it and in that way we can actually eliminate a substantial proportion of pharmaceuticals for our treatment or other pills and procedures and finally i want to ask the question.
Why is nutrition not taken seriously by the nutrition science community. You probably thought that they are taking it seriously. Im not sure they are ive been in that community.
Lets say for a very very long time. We have problems and the sense is is that the problems are largely related to too much corporate interference and control whether its coming in the form of money that may be supplying the funding. Which sort of tethers us to that idea or whether its coming from our participation with corporate sections on the outside.
Not that we shouldnt we need to do that we need to have this relationship thats not the issue. But the corporate influence is such now that we keep falling back on pills and procedures looking at things very specifically were losing track. Were not getting the essence of what we can learn from nutrition.
So this happens also at the level of policy. I spent about 20 years on national policy development. Where we attempted to translate the latest science into something we can tell the public and once again.
Its a very complex process. But the center of that interaction is again falling back on looking at things in a very very fine way and so in the whole process. Whether in practicing medicine in policy development.
Or doing research. Which we did a lot of that just focusing on one thing at the time. We are losing track of what really matters and so were doing that i would suggest to use a tough word our system is corrupted.
Its seriously corrupted from top to bottom and were all part of it and what we really need to do is to do it right and make people well because the cost to this society at large is huge the cost of health care being the highest per capita of any country in the world lets redesign nutrition. I call it nutrition renaissance. Im almost in a position of throwing away what we have done in the past gather the whole idea and then use it again to actually help to explain basically cancer and i would argue that we are in a position.
Now to take the evidence. We now have and just go forward. And do that thank you very much .

a physician who specializes in the study of tumors is known as a(n)-4
a physician who specializes in the study of tumors is known as a(n)-4

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