Good Nutrition Nutrition and Nutrients

Nutrition Notes

Understanding Nutrition

There is confusion about the meaning of the term "nutrient." In Science, the name "nutrient" is reserved for only molecular species that are essential to metabolic processes. There are forty simple substances considered to be essential nutrients. Thousands of more complex substances are ingested every day as food to extract 40 or so simple substances. Molecules such as proteins and fats should be called "prenutrients." The meaning of a protein molecule is different from the meaning of the amino acids that make it up, just as these words have meaning that their letters alone do not imply. The study of biochemistry is essential to understand the meaning of nutrients. A student may learn about the Kreb's Citric Acid Cycle but fail to understand where the molecules are coming from an how their appearance is regulated, starting with food entering the digestive tract.

There is a big gap between food selection and nutrition, although for many years universities have graduated students who believed equations that suggested food = nutrients without complications. While it is true that foods can be analyzed chemically and some of the nutrients can identified and quantified, there are many complications and uncertainties that have been ignored . A whole food such as meat, milk, cheese, or carrots is not nourishing until it has been digested into individual nutrients. Nutrients must then be absorbed, processed in the liver, and passed on to cells, which have the intelligence and metabolic machinery to do something useful with them. There are many potential problems to consider along this path of promised nourishment.

At Alpha Online, some basic information about nutrients is presented with perspective on how to translate food intake into nutrient intake and at the same time to recognize all the disease causing properties of food after you swallow it. The goal is not to discourage enjoyment of foods, the goal is to avoid common disabling diseases caused by eating too much of the wrong food and exercising too little.

We recognize three basic truths

  • Many of the diseases that lead to premature disability and death are caused by eating too much of the wrong food and exercising too little
  • Normal is not normal: The foods that cause illnesses are common foods that almost everyone eats. To become a healthy person you have to redefine normal food
  • Each person is responsible for their own health. Rather than waiting for the next “miracle cure” for high blood pressure or diabetes 2, for example, responsible people get busy and fix the problem for themselves.
  • The premise of the Alpha Nutrition Program is that each person will have a best fit of safe, nourishing foods and nutrient supplements that permit a long and healthy life. Your best fit diet is likely to be different from other people’s best fit. Even close relatives will be different. Two parents with three children should have five different diets to suit the individual needs of each unique individual. The idea of a “normal diet” suitable for the whole family is flawed. A better idea is that a small selection of best foods may serve the needs of the whole family, but beyond this “core diet” individual differences will become all important in the determination of who does well, who does poorly, and who develops a disease.

    It may turn out that elemental nutrient formulas, custom-fitted, will be the best way to achieve optimal nutrition in the future. In my fantasy of a future medicine, individualized diets and/or nutrient formulas would be created from a combination of genetic information and metabolic measurements. Medicines will also be custom-fitted to fix specific problems.

    Three ideas are used in the design of Alpha Nutrient formulas

  • The first idea is that we need to take in about 40 substances to be healthy and function well. These substances are nutrients and are available from foods as long we eat enough of the right foods every day.
  • The second idea is that we can eat the 40 nutrients in their pure form and avoid all the negative effects of eating foods. Eating pure nutrients also permits good nutrient absorption when digestive tract function is impaired.
  • The third idea is that optimal nutrition requires a carefully calculated and balanced intake of nutrients. These three ideas are combined in the design of the Alpha Nutrient formulas. Forty nutrients are combined to provide carefully calculated and balanced intake of nutrients.