Jonathan Chew

Secretary-General ICTM

Nutritional & Functional Medicine Practitioner, DSY Wellness & Longevity Center

McMed (NM), F’Ship Anti-Aging Metabolic & Functional Medicine (A4M, USA)

What is Functional Nutrition?

Food nourishes the health of the many different types of cells that make you who you are. Functional Nutrition, as a foundation of functional medicine, is a modality that is concerned with optimal physiological functioning of your cells. When your cells are nourished with the right foods, the root causes of your symptoms are addressed.


How Does Functional Nutrition Work?

Functional Nutrition, as a prevention-oriented approach to your healthcare, concentrates on finding and fixing root causes of your symptoms through proper nutrition.

Traditional healthcare typically treats patients who are complaining of multiple symptoms in a way that addresses each symptom independently. Functional Nutrition, on the other hand, seeks to determine if the multiple symptoms can be attributed to a single root cause, and addresses that root cause through proper cellular nourishing.

Individuals vary as to the imbalances that may be occurring within their individual systems. Functional medicine and functional nutrition strive to recognize the best approach for the individual. Such imbalances can include, as examples:
1.  Inflammation
2.  Hormones
3.  Digestive and microbial factor
4.  Varying levels and types of toxicity


These can lead to chronic diseases such as:
1.  Arthritis
2.  Obesity
3.  Cancer
4.  Diabetes
5.  Heart disease
6.  Auto-immune diseases

Functional Nutrition seeks to identify underlying factors such as imbalances and improper diets and rebuild or repair them with the biochemical and metabolic benefits of proper nutrients.


What are the Principles of Functional Nutrition?

Functional Nutrition…
Takes into account a person’s environment, genetics, and lifestyle when determining solutions that are nutrition-based.
Formulates solutions from the perspective that health and disease exist on a continuum.
Connects system imbalances with a disease’s root cause.
Is an important part of integrative, collaborative functional medicine.


Research indicates that disease prevention and surgical recovery are improved when supported by proper nutrition. However, clinicians are rarely offered even basic nutritional training in medical and osteopathic school, a study of incoming pediatric residency interns showed. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many patients do not have optimal nutrition, are experiencing record levels of chronic disease, and are most likely being treated with pharmaceuticals, despite the availability of other highly effective options.


When high-quality nutrition is applied effectively and consistently, it can prevent future chronic disease in adolescents, enhance cognition in people with dementia, and improve outcomes in patients receiving colorectal and GI oncological surgeries, to name a few. Moreover, in patients who have hospital stays for any reason, nutrition support is associated with fewer infectious complications and shorter lengths of stays.

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