Introduction to traditional Chinese medicine food therapy (Proceedings)


Introduction to traditional Chinese medicine food therapy (Proceedings)

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)

" 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

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