Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 540975
Title Let thy food be thy medicine….when possible
Author(s) Witkamp, Renger F.; Norren, Klaske van
Source European Journal of Pharmacology 836 (2018). - ISSN 0014-2999 - p. 102 - 114.
Department(s) Chair Nutrition and Pharmacology (HNE)
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) Food-drug interactions - Inflammation - Nutrition - Sarcopenia, Cachexia, Food-Pharma

There is no evidence that Hippocrates, although being credited for it, ever literally stated ‘let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food’. However, yet in line with Hippocrates’ philosophy, we are currently witnessing a reappraisal of the complementarity of nutrition and pharmacology. Recent studies not only underline the therapeutic potential of lifestyle interventions, but are also generating valuable insights in the complex and dynamic transition from health to disease. Next to this, nutritional biology can significantly contribute to the discovery of new molecular targets. It is clear that most of the current top-selling drugs used in chronic cardio-metabolic diseases modulate relatively late-stage complications, which generally indicate already longer existing homeostatic imbalances. Pharmacologists are increasingly aware that typical multifactorial disorders require subtle, multiple target pharmacological approaches, instead of the still often dominating ‘one disease - one target - one drug’ paradigm. This review discusses the recent developments in the pharma-nutrition interface and shows some relevant mechanisms, including receptors and other targets, and examples from clinical practice. The latter includes inflammatory diseases and progressive loss of muscle function. The examples also illustrate the potential of targeted combinations of medicines with nutrition and (or) other life-style interventions, to increase treatment efficacy and (or) reduce adverse effects. More attention to a potentially negative outcome of drug-food combinations is also required, as shown by the example of food-drug interactions. Together, the developments at the food-pharma interface underline the demand for intensified collaboration between the disciplines, in the clinic and in science.

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