The Coexistence of Natural and Pharmaceutical Medicines

From the very beginning the natural order has enabled our continued existence through the interaction of human physiology and food chemistry. The human cellular system and the ingredients of food exhibit an inherent synergy in bio-chemistry. The interdependent activities of the “natural system” involve ordered reactions for the purpose of maintaining balance (homeostasis) and regulated control of biochemical pathways. These physiological processes are ensured through food chemistry in respect of included ingredients, their proportions and concentrations. 

The beneficial effects of food are keyed to composition (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) for energy needs and for medicine in regard to nutrients participating in the process of metabolism. An important role of specific ingredients in food relates to maintaining biochemical balance (homeostasis), by which means unintended biochemical pathways are avoided. This essential functioning of the physiological process is ensured by the chemical equivalent of our traffic control system in avoiding biochemical “chaos” in general and “collisions” in particular. A fail-safe physiological order is naturally maintained by the interplay of ingredient composition and relative “limiting” concentrations.  With regard to medicinal activities the natural process is primarily preventive of disease through its cellular immune system aimed at destroying microbial attackers. Effective treatment of disease involves longer time periods because the composition and concentration of ingredients in foods are more compatible with achieving balance as distinct from the direct pathways of impeding the symptomatic progress of disease.

Applying direct pathways designed to impede the progress of disease as an alternative to the naturally based immune system has become the established practice of “modern medicine”.

It is a necessary emergency method of avoiding the demise of acute diseases which afford little time for alternative treatment methods to perform.

Unfortunately, there is a downside to this pharmaceutical medicine approach as well as potential lifesaving benefits. It involves a fast track method of treating disease that requires much higher concentrations of “active Ingredients” than those available in naturally sourced materials. For example, the required treatment concentrations of resveratrol far exceed those obtainable from dietary portions of grapes (a natural source). The therapeutic doses of resveratrol consumed from grapes directly would result in a parade of very obese patients.  The question arises as to the shortfall of disease treating ingredients present in natural foods.  The answer appears to distinguish between the concentrations required for disease prevention as distinct from fast track cure requirements. By choosing the rapid cure approach, we sacrifice the natural controls afforded by the complementary, relative concentrations of ingredients in natural foods in exchange for fast track cures with attendant side effects, both major and minor. It appears that we are participating in a form of medical lotto. Do we choose the slower natural treatment approach with the risk that time may run out on us or select the fast track method of successful treatment with the downside of associated issues?  Logically, for acute diseases where time is of the essence the emergency choice of pharmaceutical remedies would appear advisable.