Can Food Be Medicine?

Dr. Sushrut Jangi explored the fascinating history and current environment of nutritional therapies in the United States in his article in New Republic entitled The Nutrition Gap: Are Doctors Ready to Think Outside the Pillbox?

The article examines historic uses of food as medicine (e.g. citrus fruits for combating scurvy), explains how and when specific diets fell out of favor, investigates why certain people are taking nutritional therapies into their own hands, and asks us whether or not it’s time to reconsider using food to fight disease.

Despite the economic success and reasonable efficacy of the pharmaceutical industry, some patients disenchanted by the costs and side effects of drugs have been flocking to other solutions. Nutritional therapies have become an attractive self-treatment… more than 75 percent of patients diagnosed with cancer will try dietary and other alternative therapies and many do not disclose them to their doctors, relying instead on the advice of friends or the media.

How will the pharmaceutical and medical communities react to this resurgence of nutritional therapies?  It’s probably too soon to tell, but the discussion that ensues could shape our country’s health and wellness philosophy for years to come.