Introduction to traditional Chinese medicine food therapy (Proceedings)

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Introduction to traditional Chinese medicine food therapy (Proceedings)

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Apr 01, 2009

Western Nutrition

Besides water, the most critical component considered in a diet is energy.

  • Gross Energy → Digestible Energy → Metabolizable Energy

o Gross Energy: Caloric value of food
o Digestible Energy: Energy that is available for absorption across the intestinal mucosa
o Metabolizable Energy: Amount of energy available after losses in urine and feces. Value most often used to express energy content of pet food ingredients
  • Energy Density (number of calories/volume or weight of food)

o Most important factor in determining the quantity of food an animal should eat/day

Food broken down into components

  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats
  • Protein and Amino Acids
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals

Sources of these components not necessarily evaluated
  • Differences in bioavailability

Digestion and absorption start in the mouth and continues throughout the GI system

  • Small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, ileum)

o Most of chemical digestion and absorption of nutrients
  • Large intestine (colon)

o Mostly involved in water absorption and certain electrolytes, most notably sodium

Two sets of published standards that provide nutrient requirements for dogs and cats

National Research Council (NRC)

  • Lists of minimum nutrient requirements

Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)

  • Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Nutrient Requirements of Cats

o Lists of minimum daily requirements of nutrients for dogs and cats

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Complete system of medicine

  • Diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease
  • Promotion of better health

Synergism between the five branches

  • Acupuncture
  • Chinese herbal medicine
  • Tui-na
  • Food therapy
  • Qi-gong, Tai-chi

For the body to retain its balance and harmony requires only following a proper diet." Sun Si Miao, Qian Jin Yao Fang (Prescriptions Worth a Thousand Gold Pieces for Emergencies)

"...diet is such an important part of our daily life that, unless one's diet is well adjusted, no amount of herbs, acupuncture, or other medicines or treatments can achieve a complete and lasting cure." Bob Flaws, 1998, The Tao of Healthy Eating

What is TCVM Food Therapy?

  • In TCM, herbs and food follow the same principles and are often from the same sources
  • Art and science combined to treat an individual for their current disharmony or disease process, on a daily basis, using food and herbs

o Treatment & prevention of disease
o Promotion of better health
  • In many cases, complete resolution of clinical signs cannot be achieved without changes in the diet
  • Selection of foods/herbs based on

o Energetics of food/herbs
o Species +/- breed
o Food preferences/aversions
o Current disharmony
o Geographical location