International Journal of Nutrition, Pharmacology, Neurological Diseases

: 2011  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 89-

Invited editorial

Mushtaq A Memon 
 Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA

Correspondence Address:
Mushtaq A Memon
Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington

How to cite this article:
Memon MA. Invited editorial.Int J Nutr Pharmacol Neurol Dis 2011;1:89-89

How to cite this URL:
Memon MA. Invited editorial. Int J Nutr Pharmacol Neurol Dis [serial online] 2011 [cited 2022 Sep 29 ];1:89-89
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Full Text

Search for remedies to cure illnesses are as old as human civilization. A few centuries ago, the main source of these remedies was from natural products available locally, including fruits, plants, spices, animal components, etc. The recipes of the curing medicines were prepared by experienced elders of families and communities.The need for organized medical teaching and transfer of the knowledge gave birth to medical sciences and its research to ultimately treat and prevent diseases. Countless contributions of scientists have enhanced our understanding of disease causative agents (bacteria, viruses, etc), disease diagnostic technologies (blood tests, MRI, etc), discoveries and innovations of new therapies (antibiotics, etc), and outstanding centers and hospitals to coordinate all aspects of health-related activities. With all these advances, we still are grappling with and trying to find cure of age-old diseases, such as autism and many neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis. At present, most of the drugs approved by the FDA have shown limited benefit in treating the neurodegenerative diseases.

In the past few years, scientists have reported beneficial effects of naturally occurring ingredients found in fruits, plants, and other natural compounds. Phytochemicals are biologically active compounds from plants and have been a focus of many investigators. Potential therapeutic benefits of phytochemicals in neurodegenerative diseases are encouraging. Nutritional intervention with products containing phytochemicalshas shown promise in treatment and the possibilities of preventing some neurodegenerative diseases.

Skeptics question the benefits and demand the evidence-based double-blind, controlled studies to show the health benefits of various food products. It has been said that humans started drinking water many centuries before we discovered the chemical structure of the water. This is not to undermine the importance of research however; clinical observations by experienced clinicians should not be readily discredited. In contrast, the clinical observation may help us to design studies to effectively study the product in question. The recent observations showing health benefits of antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and foods rich in phytochemicals deserves further study.These studies may be the new frontiers of health and nutritional science, especially in finding therapeutic benefits for neurodegenerative diseases.

Global awareness and the importance of whole foods and their health benefits have encouraged numerous governmental organizations (e.g. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institute of Health, USA), and many private non-profit organizations are dedicated to funding proposals to investigate the potential health benefits of natural compounds.The International Journal of Nutrition, Pharmacology, Neurological Diseases recognizes the logical connection and provides an important platform to report findings on health-related benefits to potentially treat and prevent diseases.