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Theory of adequate nutrition

The consequence of the classical theory of balanced nutrition was several extremely serious mistakes. One of them is the idea and attempts to create ballast-free food. The balancing approach and the idea of refined (ballastless) food, resulting from it, apparently caused considerable harm. Thus, the decrease in the share of vegetables and fruits in the diet, the use of refined cereals, refined products, etc., contributed to the development of many diseases, including the cardiovascular system, the gastrointestinal tract, the liver and biliary tract, metabolic disorders, obesity and others. A number of erroneous conclusions were also made about the ways of optimizing nutrition. Another mistake is the idea of using elemental nutrition as a physiologically complete replacement of traditional food. Similarly, never direct intravascular nutrition will not be able to provide the whole complex of biological effects that occur with natural nutrition. A completely different question is the use of monomers as food additives, and elemental diets are temporarily based on medical recommendations under extreme circumstances.

In order to understand the differences between the two theories and the reasons why classical theory becomes an important element of a more general theory of adequate nutrition, it is necessary to characterize the main points, theoretical consequences and practical recommendations of the new theory and to compare them with the classical theory. Conclusions on the theory of adequate nutrition published in the periodical press (Ugolev, 1986, 1987v, 1988) and in monographs that appeared in 1985 and 1987.

The basic postulates of the theory of adequate nutrition

  1. Nutrition supports molecular composition and reimburses the energy and plastic expenses of the body for basic metabolism, external work and growth (this postulate is the only one common for theories of balanced and adequate nutrition).
  2. Normal nutrition is due not to a single flow of nutrients from the gastrointestinal tract to the internal environment of the body, but several streams of nutritional and regulatory substances that are of vital importance.
  3. Necessary components of food are not only nutrients, but also ballast substances.
  4. In the metabolic and especially trophic relation, the assimilating organism is a superorganismic system.
  5. There is endoecology of the host organism, formed by the intestinal microflora, with which the host organism maintains complex symbiontic relations, as well as intestinal, or enteral, environment.
  6. The balance of nutrients in the body is achieved as a result of the release of nutrients from food structures during the enzymatic cleavage of its macromolecules due to cavitary and membrane digestion, and in some cases - intracellular (primary nutrients), as well as the synthesis of new substances, including irreplaceable, bacterial flora intestines (secondary nutrients). The relative role of primary and secondary nutrients varies widely.

Let us characterize some of these postulates in somewhat more detail.

As you can see, the basic postulates of the theory of adequate nutrition differ fundamentally from the theory of balanced nutrition. However, one of them is common. It consists in the fact that the food supports the molecular composition of the organism and ensures its energy and plastic needs.

Further, man and higher animals in metabolic and trophic relations are not organisms, but, in effect, supra-organismal systems. The latter include, in addition to the macroorganism, the microflora of its gastrointestinal tract - microecology and the enteral environment, which constitute the internal ecology of the organism, or endoecology. Between the host organism and its microecology, positive symbiotic relationships are maintained.

The theory of adequate nutrition, in contrast to the theory of balanced nutrition, not only connects normal nutrition and food assimilation with one flow to the internal environment of the organism of various nutrients released as a result of digestion of food in the gastrointestinal tract, but also accepts the existence of at least three other vital vital flows. The first is the flow of regulatory substances (hormones and hormone-like compounds) produced by the endocrine cells of the gastrointestinal tract, and also formed in its contents. The second stream consists of bacterial metabolites. It includes the ballast substances of food and nutrients modified by the bacterial flora of the intestine, as well as the products of its vital activity. With this flow, secondary nutrients enter the internal environment of the body. It also includes toxic substances, which include food toxins, as well as toxic metabolites, formed in the gastrointestinal tract due to the activity of the bacterial flora. Apparently, this flow is normally physiologic. The third stream consists of substances coming from contaminated food or contaminated environment, including xenobiotics. Finally, according to the theory of adequate nutrition, the so-called ballast substances, including mainly dietary fibers, are an evolutionarily important component of food.

All the postulates of the theory of adequate nutrition are interrelated and form a set of new and non-traditional representations, approaches, research methods and techniques.

Sometimes the theory of adequate nutrition is criticized for being too "digestive." It is not so - it is biologically and technologically, that is, it attaches great importance to the evolutionary features and peculiarities of the functioning of mechanisms that assure the assimilation of food. This approach allows us to consider a number of problems that have not been adequately evaluated by classical theory, but are of decisive importance from the point of view of trophology.

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Medical expert editor

Portnov Alexey Alexandrovich

Education: Kiev National Medical University. A.A. Bogomolets, Specialty - "General Medicine"

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