The purposes of this page are to:
- increase awareness of pharmaconutrition, based on good quality evidence, and
- suggest how you can include this research evidence in your clinical practice - what we've found that works.
Ology means the study of. For example psychology is about the mind.
The interface between prescribed medicines and nutritional factors is so overlooked or disregarded that it is a "field without a name". To address this oversight we have long debated between 2 worthwhile field names, being pharmaconutrition and mediconutrition. We ultimately decided mediconutrition may be interpreted as "medicine in relation to doctors" rather than "medicine as a pharmaceutical", so have settled on Pharmaconutrition as being an appropriate field name. Pharmaconutrology is therefore about the medications and nutrition interface; specialists would become pharmaconutrologists.
The pharmaconutrition interactions are overlooked because
- research papers are scattered across a plethora of journals and subjects, and realistically busy clinicians don't have the time to invest in pulling together the evidence,
- the studies are mostly small,
- there is an assumption that food intake will cover the drug-induced nutrient losses - there is no evidence to support this assumption,
- doctors and pharmacists don't know about nutrition. The international journals periodically acknowledge this deficit along with calls to address this issue however the calls continue to fall on deaf ears.
That many of the studies are small is a valid point however who will do the research? There is a noticeable lack of contenders:
- pharmaceutical industry. The negative nutritional impacts of their products should be included in the adverse reactions component of their product discovery, however no regulatory authorities hold them to account on this matter;
- governmental research bodies. There is a lot of competition for funding from many similarly worthwhile causes, and the percentage of success, especially in Australia, is rapidly diminishing;
- philanthropic bodies. Many philanthropic bodies support a specific area of research and become significant supporters of that research, and some dispense smaller grants to a larger number of applicants; sadly there aren't any philanthropic bodies with a particular interest in this area of expertise.