Ask Your Doctor? Maybe not about Nutrition!

One of my challenges as a wellness educator and holistic health practitioner is working with consumers who want to ask their doctor to evaluate nutritional products. It seems like a good idea, but is it? Consider how many hours the average doctor has studied nutrition. While some doctors are educated about nutrition, most fall woefully short of being expert consultants in this area. The ones who are educated in this area, have usually pursued it on their own after medical school.

In an article released on April 12, 2006 published at, Stephen Daniells details the disquieting news that indeed, US medical schools provide very minimal nutrition education to their students. 60% do not meet even the minimal requirements of 25 hours of education recommend in 1985 by The National Academy of Sciences. This data was culled from a new survey published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Vol. 83, pp. 941S-944S).

“Dr Daniel Fabricant, vice president of scientific affairs of the National Nutritional Foods Association, applauded the authors of the study, but said that it seemed to confirm what many in the research community have long believed to be true.

‘There is an ever increasing amount of good science that demonstrates how very important nutritive factors, like the use of dietary supplements, are for not only maintaining health, but in preventing disease.'”

Some doctors have been very proactive about nutrition education and pursued holistic health programs, continuing education programs and independent studies. We work with many such doctors today. To see continuing education programs for health professionals on glycobiology and glyconutrition, visit:

Next time you hve a burning question about nutrition or a particular supplement you are considering and you want to ask your doctor, you might preface your conversation with a question about whether or not they have worked with nutrition extensively with disease conditions. If the answer is “no,” they are probably not qualified to give an opinion about nutrition choices. You’re better off asking someone like me or another wellness educator or holistic practitioner.

Have a question about mixing nutrition and pharmaceuticals? Ask someone who is qualified such as a pharmacist trained in nutraceuticals. They’re available with or without your doctor’s involvement at

Contact us at with any questions or to receive our Health E-Newsletter! 866-741-2922


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