Nutritional Therapy (NT) is the application of nutrition science in the promotion of health, peak performance and individual care. Health is defined by the World Health Organisation as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. Nutritional Therapy embraces this definition and professional practice is underpinned by a set of fundamental principles which support optimal health outcomes, i.e.
• biochemical individuality: understanding and appreciating the importance of variations in metabolic function deriving from genetic, epigenetic and environmental differences among individuals;
• person centred: emphasising individual carerather than disease care, following Sir William Osler’s admonition that “It is more important to know what patient has the disease than to know what disease the patient has”
• dynamic balanced of internal and external factors: understanding that resilient homeostasis (the buffering capacity to respond to a perturbation) is important for physiological equilibrium;
• web-like interactions: understanding that human physiology functions as an orchestrated network of interconnected systems, rather than individual systems functioning autonomously and without effect on each other; and
• promotion of organ reserve: as the means to enhance health span by maintaining genomic stability and mitochondrial capacity so decreasing morbidity.
Nutritional Therapy practice is science and evidence-based and up-to-date. It uses a practice framework which facilitates individualised nutrition and lifestyle programmes by using a wide range of tools to assess health status.