Understanding Food and Food–Drug Synergy

Nutrition has a unique and important role in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease. From a prevention perspective, many individuals modify their diet, even subtly, to modify their risk of chronic diseases. Some commonreasons for dietary modifications include improving blood lipid profile, controlling blood glucose, maintaining a healthy body weight, and ensuring adequate calcium in the diet to maintain a strong skeleton. While using foods to promote health seems intuitive, delineating the complex interactions
within a food and among different foods is challenging and at times perplexing.

Moreover, when combining foods with drugs, there are additional interactions, positive or negative, that can influence health outcomes. Using the diet to promote optimal health requires knowledge of the beneficial effects resulting from these interactions among foods, individual food components, and/or drugs. There are multiple interactions that can occur among foods; components within a food; components from different foods; foods and drugs; or individual food components and drugs. Because of the wide variety of interactions, there is a vast potential for synergistic relationships to be observed.

What is food synergy and food–drug synergy? In the context of this article, food synergy encompasses the following:
• The interaction of two or more components within a food or of two or more foods working together such that the potential health benefit is greater than the effect of the single component or food;
• The additive effects of multiple foods or food components that confer a health benefit;
• The ability of a food or food component to attenuate or negate an unwanted side effect of another food or food component.

Similarly, food–drug synergy includes the following:
• The interaction of a food (or food component) and a specific drug that confers a greater health benefit than either the food (or food component) or drug alone;
• The additive effects of a drug in combination with a food (or food component) that confer a health benefit;
• The ability of a food (or food component) to attenuate or negate a negative side effect of a drug.

by Umaee
image: hispanically***.com

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