Q: Most doctors have no clue about nutrition and yet on a daily basis they consistently prescribe prescription drugs. Why is this a omission from medical training? I don’t believe drugs are always the answer to the problem. What’s your view point on natural medicine and food supplements, along with health food stores?
– Robert in Illinois

A: I’m in full agreement that most doctors know less than their many of their patients about nutrition. It’s particularly frustrating, since more often than not, to hedge their bets and protect their liability, you are told by other health-care professionals to “always talk to your doctor before taking supplements or beginning a new diet.” I don’t know why medical schools give prevention in general and nutrition more specifically so little attention. Seems like they focus more and more on medication dispensing and less and less on prevention. Even pregnant women get little or no nutrition counseling from their OBGYNs, according to the studies. There is a place for conventional medicine and there is a place for natural treatments. They are not mutually exclusive. You can’t cure cancer with vitamin supplements, but eating well is a huge contributing factor in the prevention of cancer and even in it’s treatment, along with conventional treatments such as chemo and radiation. On the other hand, some diseases such as Type II diabetes are almost completely preventable with lifestyle, and many, many cases of heart disease could be prevented and successfully treated with diet and exercise changes. – Elizabeth Somer