Our health is depending on several physiological balances (necessary for the life of our cells) directly impacted by our nutrition and our environment.
Preserving or restoring these cellular and functional balances through comprehensive care is at the heart of the physionutrition concept.
This firstly involves preventing or restoring imbalances and micronutritional deficits induced by food, controlling our environment in the broadest sense (lifestyle, physical exercise, exposure to environmental pollutants, tobacco, alcohol...), managing our stress and emotions and maintaining our hormonal balance as well as that of our intestinal microbiota.
This is a real public health challenge to live longer and healthier.
Our daily diet should provide us with a sufficient quantity of macronutrients (carbohydrates, lipids and proteins) and micronutrients (vitamins, trace elements and minerals) to cover all our cellular and functional needs. However, even if the food supply in our western countries gives us the impression that we lack nothing, our current diet is far from meeting our needs and is the breeding ground for our future illnesses.
The recent major nutritional surveys are edifying :
- ABENA (2011-2012) : socio-economic determinants of dietary behaviour ;
- INRA (2012) : socio-economic determinants of dietary behaviour ;
- EPIPREF (2013) in collaboration with the Centre des Sciences du goût et de l'alimentation de Dijon : food preferences ;
- ESTEBAN (2014-2016), nutrition and physical exercise, determinants of obesity in young adults ;
- INCA 3 (2017) : consumption and eating habits of the French ;
- And… NUTRINET (2009) with 276,969 registrants !
The observation is simple: a large part of our population does not receive the recommended nutritional intake of vitamins, minerals and trace elements, and consumes too much sugar, bad fats and not enough good fats and fibres.
Why does our diet not cover our macro- and micro-nutrient needs ?
There are two main factors to be considered in this observation :
The first is that the reduction in overall calorie intake, a trend observed for several decades, has led to a decrease in our daily micronutrient intake. The decrease in calorie intake is explained by the decrease in energy expenditure due to a change in our lifestyles: shorter working hours, mechanisation of many manual activities, general introduction of elevators, journeys made by car or motorbike or other means, free time spent in front of the television or a computer...
And even though we eat more fruit and vegetables, we also eat more foods rich in sugar and saturated fats, with almost zero micronutrient density.
The second is the decrease in the micronutrient density of our food or « empty calorie concept », meaning that a food or ingredient provides energy in the form of bad sugar and bad fat most often with a very low concentration of fibre, minerals, vitamins and trace elements. Classics include refined flours, snack foods, industrial pastries, chocolate bars, alcohol, fast food and, in general, most industrial foods.
In addition, the micronutrient density of fruit and vegetables has also decreased significantly. This is due to the excessive watering of crops, the excessive use of fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides, the picking of fruit and vegetables before ripening, preservation treatments and transport time between picking and consumption.
Why do our environment and lifestyles contribute to nutritional imbalances and the genesis of diseases ?
Other ubiquitous factors of vitamin and mineral overuse exist, including air pollution, heavy metals and the many endocrine disruptors present in our food and environnement.
Other factors that increase needs or reduce intakes also affect large sections of the population : taking the pill at a very young age and for many years, intensive sport, unsupplemented vegetarian or vegan diets, an unbalanced diet, excessive consumption of coffee, tobacco, drugs, alcohol, exposure to the sun, taking medicines, etc
The place of our emotions is preponderant in the genesis of many pathologies such as gain weight, obesity, alcohol-smoking addiction, depression and certain acute or chronic inflammatory diseases... The management of our emotions and behaviours can therefore play a significant role in the prevention, accompaniment or treatment of certain diseases, in the management of age-related effects and thus participate in the concept of « living longer and healthier »
We have all experienced this to varying degrees :
- A decrease in motivation ;
- Acute professional or personal stress ;
- Anxiety disorders ;
- Moments of anxiety ;
- Difficulties in confronting on a daily basis his will to change with his loved ones ;
- A more or less acute depressive state, often masked, which leads to giving up everything ;
- Difficulty expressing, putting words into words and sharing with others what you are experiencing in your head or body ;
- Episodes of eating disorders ;
- Difficulties that lead to low self-esteem or self-confidence.
Setting up work programmes on motivation, stress, anxiety, eating habits, the level of assertiveness and self-esteem or the degree of physical activity can, depending on the emotional profile, help people to gain serenity and develop in order to live longer and healthier lives.
Our hormonal system is made up of glands: pituitary, epiphysis, hypothalamus, thymus, thyroid, adrenals, pancreas, ovaries and testicles. The cells in these glands produce hormones that are released in very small amounts into the bloodstream and act as chemical messengers throughout the body.
Our hormones control countless essential functions, including growth, sexual function, sleep, hunger, stress, mood and basic metabolism (carbohydrates, fat, protein, calcium, immunity, blood pressure, heart rate, water and salt balance, etc.). In fact, reduced libido, fatigue, sensitivity to stress, tendency to gain weight, painful periods... all these symptoms may be linked to hormonal imbalances evolving at low levels. They require effective treatment with natural bio-active compounds.
Properly orchestrating this complex hormonal symphony is an integral part of the concept of physionutrition.
The intestinal microbiota corresponds to all the micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses, parasites and non-pathogenic fungi) that colonise our digestive system. It houses nearly 1014 micro-organisms (2 to 10 times more than the number of cells that make up our body, for a weight of 2 kilos), more than 1,000 different species (the vast majority of which are of bacterial origin) and more than 3 million different genes (150 times more than the human genome).
The composition of the intestinal microbiota is influenced by many factors throughout life: birth (vaginal or caesarean section), child nutrition (breastfeeding or artificial feeding), antibiotic treatments, lifestyle, environment and diet. For each individual, the composition of the intestinal microbiota is unique. It has a preponderant role within the organism. In fact, beyond its role as the first barrier (it covers the largest exchange surface between the outside and inside of our body: the intestine), the intestinal microbiota is involved in the maturation of the immune system and in many fundamental metabolic pathways such as insulin resistance, the regulation of lipid storage, the fermentation of sugars and proteins as well as the metabolism of bile acids and xenobiotics...
The imbalance of the intestinal microbiota, called dysbiosis, has important functional consequences and is involved in the development of many metabolic pathologies such as obesity, but also digestive (IBD, colorectal cancer,...) or neuropsychiatric pathologies... In order to quantitatively and qualitatively improve our microbiota, it is essential to first adopt simple hygieno-dietary measures such as increasing the consumption of fibre, moderating the consumption of sugar and red meat, and practising regular physical activity. At the same time, taking probiotics in the form of food supplements can be essential to maintain a balanced intestinal flora.
It will then be easier to understand why the balance of the intestinal microbiota is also at the heart of the concept of physionutrition.
It can take some time, sometimes a very long time, before real clinical signs or biological disorders appear and reveal this or that pathology. However, long before that, many very varied and non-specific symptoms may suggest the presence of micronutritional deficiencies: reduced energy, reduced immunity, reduced ability to concentrate or memorise, cramps, eye fatigue, vulnerability to stress, mood instability, sleep disorders, reduced libido, menstrual cycle disorders, infertility, bleeding gums, transit disorders, slow healing, dry and dull skin...
Functional biology tests, and the significant disturbances they can reveal, are also predictive of potential future disease, especially when associated with discrete clinical signs
However, it is the persistence or even aggravation of these deficits in vitamins, minerals, trace elements, fatty acids, hormones, microbiota, which, from a certain threshold, variable according to our genetic terrain and the expression of our genes, will cause this functional symptomatology to shift towards the appearance of certain diseases such as diabetes, certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, certain chronic intestinal or joint pathologies...
Different for each of us, our genes activate the synthesis of a network of proteins, called « cell signalling », whose expression or repression regulates the functionality of our cells and therefore our health.
It is now indisputable that our type of food and our environment intervene, at the very heart of our cells, to influence the activity of such and such of our genes and therefore the production of this protein network, whether beneficial or dangerous.
For example, inflammation proteins will be produced in large numbers when we eat too much sugar. On the other hand, the intake of good fatty acids such as those found in fish, or the behavioural management of stress are accompanied by the production of anti-inflammatory and protective factors.
Our food, like our environment, therefore has the power to protect or destroy the cellular balance on which our energy and health depend ; this is the recent notion of « nutrient sensing » that Physionutrition has integrated.
Since micronutrient and bio-active compound intakes have a global impact on cellular functioning, beyond the treatment of deficiencies, we use, based on the most recent studies, the properties of nutrients and bio-active compounds to promote cellular signalling that protects cellular and functional balance.
Are you one of those who want to take charge of their health and nutritional balance ? You're right !
Be the protagonists of this preventive approach to improve health, quality of life and well-being.