Which is the best cure? food or drugs?

Food contains nutrients that are essential for living organisms to process internal mechanisms to drive growth and development. The components of food, contain substances that are essential for disease control in long-term use. Amounts of food and the duration of use for the desired health effect are not quantifiable or well described even though specific food substances have proven beneficial to certain groups of societies over decades. Food components are complex, and all individuals react to every food differently, this is after ruling out allergies. Drugs on the other hand are used when the normal bodily function is disrupted. The discussion on the comparison between food and drugs is not appropriate or comparable. The two products are different things with diverse uses and must never be compared with each other. Food is an everyday basic need while drugs are only to be used when there is a disruption in the physiology of the organism.

Hippocrates, a scientist who played a significant role in ancient medicine said, “let food be thy medicine”. This statement of his has been taken out of context by many. His statement meant the practice of consistent healthy eating habits. This does not imply that food can cure all diseases and must be used to replace drugs. Food is not medicine in its raw form. The medicinal benefit of food is clear when healthy food is taken daily and routinely to prevent the onset of diseases. Food can’t replace drugs. The probability for food to improve the efficacy of a drug is high, but food cannot replace drugs (conventional medicines). There is a lot of confusion about food and drugs both in academia and in society at large.

Pharmaceutical companies are tagged “extorters”. The absolute truth is that the only solution to failed healthy nutrition is the introduction of formulated compounds with targeted effects. Drugs are highly controlled and go through various quality control stages from start to finish. Food, on the other hand, does not go through vigorous checks. There is a difference between food and drugs and when their use can have the desired health benefit. All drugs contain excipients and active ingredients; almost every ingredient is made from food. Very few drugs have ingredients that have been synthesized from food into other forms that will either help in the delivery or administration of the drug positively. Pharmacognosy is a practice that practically demonstrates that food isn’t excluded from the discovery of modern medicines. Pharmaceutical companies are just like every other human institution in society, with records of corruption which requires extensive regulation as most drug producers enjoy monopoly, which gives them the chance to overprice to their advantage.

Food cannot automatically be a drug, as there is no clear target and dosage, which is a limiting factor. There is no clear amount of food a person can ingest to have the desired effect. Doses of nutritional products have not been given attention over the years. Food is complicated to study on its own as there are many limiting factors. The focus of food has been the nutrients and functional components. Even though some foods have been used to treat illness they are not popularly known to be medicines.

Concerns with conventional drugs are the long-term associated side effects. Most plants and animals contain toxins and not all foods are safe either. There is highly nutritious food containing toxins either from nature or acquired during the process of production.

Drug-associated side effects are not only limited to the components of drugs but also to a range of environmental factors that include ageing, and alcoholism.

Old age is associated with ill health, as well as hereditary diseases. Tissues and cellular functions are at their lowest in these times. An older patient’s deterioration in health is not due to the administered conventional medication but to a natural phenomenon. Ageing is associated with a weakened immune system and ineffective tissue repair mechanisms. Not all failed drug treatments are associated with ineffective medication. Alcohol interacts negatively with a wide range of medications. Therefore, doctors caution patients, not to use hard drugs while on prescribed medication. This reaction could be fatal, especially when anti-psychotic medications are taken close to the use of dopaminergic drugs and alcohol.

More studies are required to improve the potency and safety of drugs. Nevertheless, drugs are known to extend the lifespan of patients and cure diseases. It’s always confusing to hear people criticise drugs over food. Science is still evolving and there isn’t adequate information available on most chronic diseases. Pharmaceutical companies deserve some accolades for the massive inventions of drugs they develop to treat and manage those that can’t even be treated currently.

We are quick to blame the government and pharmaceutical companies for drug complications. Everybody needs to join the search for better solutions to make the world the perfect place we desire. A practical solution to good health is consistent good nutritional practices. Food and drugs are two different things that are not comparable.

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