Is Food Really Medicine?

Sometimes, it is important look at things from the 50,000 foot view.  And sometimes it is better to get really really close.

One of the problems with medicine is that doctors often carry around a limited set of tools in our tool kit.  And, sometimes, we have the wrong tools altogether.  Ever try to screw in a long screw with a pair of plyers?  It can be done, but I do not recommend it.  It will leave you frustrated and your forearms quite sore.  Prescription medicines are nothing more than specialized tools that us doctors use.   Sometimes they help us fix a problem in need of fixing.  But, they are rarely the only tool in the tool kit.

Look at figure 1.  This is the chemical structure of Methotrexate.  Methotrexate is an immunosuppressant used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and a variety of cancers (leukemia, osteosarcoma, and breast cancer to name a few).  It inhibits an enzyme called dihydrofolate reductase and ultimately inhibits lymphocyte proliferation.  It is a very powerful tool.

Now look at figure 2.  Figure two is the chemical structure of cholesterol.   Notice anything?  Both are simply molecules comprised of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and in the case of Methotrexate… nitogen.

I am not trying to compare Methotrexate with cholesterol.  The point here is that the only difference between the food we eat and the medicines we ingest is the chemical structure of the molecule and what affect it has on our body.  They both exhibit their effects through biochemical reactions.  Both can block enzymes.  Both can affect hormone status.  Both can make you healthy… or sick.  Medicines just sound more “scientific” which is why they have become the primary tool in the doctor’s toolkit.   But, this is one of the reasons why the healthcare system is broken.  We have forgotten that food is medicine.  We have not paid attention to the fact that it is the food we are eating that has caused this country to get sick.  And, when we finally get sick?  That’s when most doctors pull out the hammer. … the only tool in the toolkit.

by | Aug 27, 2018

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