We’ll investigate the topic of human nutrition with the goal of being able to provide effective nutritional guidance, from the perspectives of evidence-based medical practice, human physiology, and traditional dietary lore, considering the usefulness and limitations of each of these approaches.
There are few topics so replete with opinion, yet deficient in offered evidence-based support, as that of human nutrition.
Hahnemann recognized the essential role of nutrition in health & healing (see e.g. aph. 4, & aphs. 76-78 in the Organon), yet wrestled with determining the essential dimensions of nutritional support (see e.g. his 1797 essay Are the Obstacles to Certainty and Simplicity in Practical Medicine Insurmountable?) His recorded advice on “the homeopathic diet” was intended to minimize medicinal influences that might interfere with what he felt might be the subtleties of action of highly attenuated remedies; something which homeopathic practice experience over time suggests may be a relative non-issue. But the essential role of nutritional deficiencies & excesses as external factors in disease initiation & maintenance, and of nutrition in addressing these, is an issue often considered outside the scope of daily homeopathic care. We need to recognize that the use of our potentized remedies is only one part of the revolutionized medicine Hahnemann promoted, addressing the use of these in treating dynamic disease, and that addressing external factors involved in disease generation & maintenance (aphs. 4, 76-78) is an essential part of Hahnemann’s healing art as well.
We’ll examine human nutrition from a physiologic perspective, investigating what we know regarding the digestion, absorption, distribution and metabolism of major nutrients, along with our relationship with the gut microbiome and its role in nutrition; and will discuss the uses and difficulties in using these understandings, embracing nutrition as well from an evidence-based perspective based on retrospective and prospective studies of human health & disease. We’ll take a look at contemporary & historical dietary/nutritional traditions, fads & fancies, including vegetarian, vegan & paleo diets, juicing, gluten-free diets, low-fat & low-carb diets, and the physiologic and evidence-based issues these involve, and will investigate the impact of contemporary agricultural, animal husbandry, and industrial food practices practices on human nutrition. We’ll focus on nutritional guidance informed by evidence-based experience with the “Mediterranean Diet,” with references and recipes based on this tradition, and will conclude with some material on change facilitation, investigating how we might not only “lead a horse to water,” but inspire them to “drink.”
8 weeks, Wednesday evenings April 27 - June 15 2016, 5-7pm US Pacific daylight time (UTC-7).
(time & date of session 1 in your timezone)
- Teacher: Will Taylor