What is Functional Nutrition?

Functional nutrition is a unique form of practice unlike any other method that exists today. This form of nutrition practice evaluates the complex interactions among genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that influence chronic health issues.

Within this model, advanced nutrition assessment and thorough functional health history leads to a personalized therapeutic intervention used to promote optimal health and vitality.

Why do we need Functional Nutrition?

The prevalence of complex chronic diseases is increasing at an alarming rate around the globe. These conditions include diabetes, irritable bowel disorders, chronic fatigue, heart disease, depression, anxiety, thyroid disorders, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and many other debilitating disorders.

Chronic diseases are mainly diet and lifestyle related diseases that require dietary and lifestyle solutions. Functional nutrition focuses on the biochemical and molecular mechanisms that target the root of disease and provide the basis for individualized, innovative solutions to restore health.

The current healthcare system fails to take into account the unique genetic makeup of each individual or the ability of food and other environmental factors to impact gene expression. The relationship between genes, nutrient deficiencies and environmental factors is a critical component in the development of chronic disease and is a central focus in the functional nutrition model.

Most nutrition professionals are not adequately trained to look at nutrition from molecular and cellular levels with emerging research in evidence-based nutrition and nutritional genomics. These advanced nutrition practice skills are essential for preventing and managing chronic disorders.

IFM tree

What distinguishes a functional nutrition practitioner?

The functional nutrition assessment offers an organizational approach that includes a health history, laboratory exam, diet and lifestyle review that allows for nutrient-related findings and clinical patterns to emerge. The PCF-MVP model, which stands for, Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fats – Minerals, Vitamins, Phytonutrients, improves the identification of insufficiencies and imbalances.

Anthropomorphics are physical signs that help to identify altered body composition and abnormal vital signs.

Biomarkers and functional laboratory results uncover PFC-MVP nutrition insufficiencies and physiological patterns related to clinical imbalances.

Physical signs help to identify nutrition abnormalities that can be further explored with laboratory testing. This includes looking at the appearance of skin, eyes, nails, tongue, gums, teeth and more.

Diet, Nutrition and Lifestyle Journals evaluate not only the physical PFC-MVP intake but also the relationship with food including: habits, cravings, stress eating and beliefs surrounding food.

*This material has been modified from the Institute for Functional Medicine