Nutrients and other food components influence the function of the body, protect against disease, restore health, and determine people’s response to changes in the environment. Under certain circumstances and in some individuals, diet can be a serious risk factor for a number of diseases. Common dietary chemicals can act on the human genome, either directly or indirectly, to alter gene expression or structure. The degree to which diet influences the balance between healthy and disease states may depend on an individual’s genetic makeup. Some dietregulated genes (and their normal, common variants) are likely to play a role in the onset, incidence, progression, and/or severity of chronic diseases. Dietary intervention based on knowledge of nutritional requirement, nutritional status, and genotype (i.e., “personalised nutrition”) can be used to prevent, mitigate or cure chronic disease.
Nutritional Therapy is the application of nutrition science in the promotion of health, peak performance and individual care. Registered Nutritional Therapists use a wide range of tools to assess and identify potential nutritional imbalances and understand how these may contribute to an individual’s symptoms and health concerns. This approach allows them to work with individuals to address nutritional balance and help support the body towards maintaining health. Nutritional Therapy is recognised as a complementary medicine and is relevant for individuals with chronic conditions, as well as those looking for support to enhance their health and wellbeing. Practitioners consider each individual to be unique and recommend personalised nutrition and lifestyle programmes rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
Practitioners never recommend nutritional therapy as a replacement for medical advice and always refer any client with ‘red flag’ signs or symptoms to their medical professional. They will also frequently work alongside a medical professional and will communicate with other healthcare professionals involved in the client’s care to explain any nutritional therapy programme that has been provided.