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Book Review: Food and Nutrients in Disease Management, Edited by Ingrid Kohlstadt

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In the Preface of Food and Nutrients in Disease Management, Ingrid Kohlstadt writes “Food and nutrients are the original medicine. They are the molecules of biochemistry, physiology, and immunology, and the shoulders on which modern medicine stands.” But, she also states “In recent decades food and medicine have taken divergent paths. Food has become bereft of nutrients, and modern medicine has sought to heal with technical advances and initially seem dazzlingly more powerful than food.”” Given this concept, Kohlstadt compiled data from scientists and doctors to “help physicians reunite food and medicine in clinical practice.” The bottom line is to help the patient heal in the healthiest approach, which may not be using chemical-based drugs.

Areas covered in Food and Nutrients in Disease Managementare in sections: Disorders of the Ears, Eyes, Nose, and Throat; Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Diseases; Gastrointestinal Diseases; Endocrine and Dermatologic Diseases; Renal Diseases, Neurologic and Psychiatric Disorders; Musculoskeletal and Soft Tissues Disorders, Neoplasms; and, Reproductive Health. Each section has data presented by the experts plus a summary and references. As well, for example, the Gastrointestinal Diseases section covers gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcer disease, viral hepatitis and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and food reactivates.

Considering gastroesophageal reflux disease is on the rise in our society, I was interested in knowing the adverse affects of drug treatment. As I suspected, “proton pump inhibitors [PPI] are currently the third top-selling drugs in America in a $252 billion drug market … [and] ‘Over-the-counter antacids including Tums, Rolaids, and Maalox account for $1 billion annual sales.’ People want an easy fix rather than using food and nutrient treatments for the disease. According to Mark Hyman, M.D., PPIs may also increase the risk of gastric cancer … gastric polyps, community-acquired pneumonia, and pediatric pneumonia and gastroenteritis.” Hyman suggests elimination of dietary triggers and using a food allergy elimination diet.

Although Food and Nutrients in Disease Management, edited by Ingrid Kohlstadt, is geared toward the physician, this book would be of utmost importance for nutritionists and anyone working in the alternative health field. As well, for a patient of any of the diseases mentioned, this book would give clarity and direction of using food as a healing mechanism. Of course, self-diagnosis is discouraged but taking this book to your primary care physician or specialist in the field of your disease to have him or her concur with your decision would be advisable. This could be one of the most important books for your library.

Reviewed by Irene Watson for Reader Views

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About Cristina Lanzi

  • The first thing to do is to get a complete food allergy panel from an experienced gastro-enterologist. This blood test series will indicate chronic allergy conditions from specific foods.

    Then, the patient can work with a nutritionist to design a diet which exploits this valuable blood profile. Initially, the thing to do is to reduce the acidity in the pH readings or raise the pH to a more basic level.

    The pH readings from 0-6.9 are acidic. A reading of 7.0 is amphoteric (neither acid nor base). Readings over 7.0 are a base.

    Colored fruits and vegetables can accomplish the task of reducing acidic readings. Coffee and caffeine reduction is also important.

  • Ari

    Curious about who Ingrid Kohlstadt, Editor is and found this information; appears she is well credentialed: Ingrid Kohlstadt MD, MPH is a physician graduate of Johns Hopkins Medical School. She is an Associate Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the largest school of public health in the world. Board certified in preventive medicine, Dr. Kohlstadt earned a Masters Degree in Public Health (Epidemiology), with an undergraduate degree in biochemistry. She is a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine, and most recently completed a two year appointment to the US Food and Drug Administration in the Office of the Commissioner, Division of Pediatric Therapeutics. Her goal to transform the health of children and their families through nutrition is profoundly shaped by her clinical, public health, research and regulatory work.

    Dr. Kohlstadt is considered a thought leader in nutritional medicine, and her latest medical reference textbook entitled Food and Nutrients in Disease Management (CRC Press 2009) was reviewed in both the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and also in Hopkins Medicine Magazine.

    Dr. Kohlstadt has worked for the CDC, the USDA, the USFDA, the Indian Health Service, and the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Program. Having practiced medicine on every continent including as station doctor in Antarctica, she is convinced that nutrition is a powerful yet underutilized tool in combating disease, and that educating our children is a key “INGRIDient” to our nation’s future wellness and health.

    “Nutrition is much broader than health. It is an expression of our inter-connectedness with the earth and future generations, with each other and those who have gone before us.”
    (quote by Ingrid Kohlstadt MD, MPH)