Issues and Advances in Human and Clinical Nutrition
As any medical historian will testify, the history of medicine is replete with controversies, many of which are related to nutrition. Webster defines the word controversy as a “discussion of a question in which opposing opinions clash; debate, disputation; a quarrel or a dispute; controversy connotes a disagreement of lengthy duration of a matter of some weight or importance.”1 This definition, while adequate for most purposes, is inadequate for others, since it makes no reference to what should or should not be accepted in a discussion of a question. When should the discussion include theoretical considerations, or universally accepted or proven facts? If we allowed only the latter, there would be no controversy nor would any conference ever have been planned. If on the other hand we allow theoretical considerations, we should insist, I believe, that they be connected by a series of simple logical steps to generally accepted knowledge, and that they be put to the best possible experimental test. For example, antihistamines help mitigate effects of the common cold. High doses of vitamin C have antihistaminic effects; therefore high doses of vitamin C may be beneficial to individuals with colds — logical! To carry this further and believe that high doses of vitamin C may prevent the common cold would be illogical.
KeywordsCholesterol Sugar Obesity Folic Acid Smoke
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