The Power of Nutrition

Michael Stone, MD, describes why high-quality nutrition can enhance a patient’s life.

Research indicates that disease prevention and surgical recovery improve when supported by proper nutrition and supplementation.1,2 Yet clinicians often don’t get even basic nutritional training in medical and osteopathic school, a study of incoming pediatric residency interns showed.3 Unsurprisingly, many patients are malnourished,4 are experiencing record levels of chronic disease,5 and are most likely being treated with pharmaceuticals without learning about other, less invasive but highly effective options.6,7

When high-quality nutrition is applied effectively and consistently, it can prevent future chronic disease in adolescents,8 enhance cognition in people with dementia,9 and improve outcomes in patients receiving colorectal and GI oncological surgeries,10 to name a few. Moreover, in patients who have hospital stays for any reason, nutrition support is associated with fewer infectious complications and shorter length of stays.1

At The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), we educate healthcare providers on how to use Functional Nutrition to effectively prevent and even reverse chronic disease, as well as to support general health and wellness. Functional Nutrition is integrated into all of IFM’s courses, but is provided most comprehensively in Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice (AFMCP). In this five-day course, you will learn evidence-based nutritional strategies to restore your patients’ health and improve your patient outcomes.

To get started learning about Functional Nutrition, IFM provides a free, online Functional Nutrition course that shows you the basics of how Functional Nutrition can help your patients. IFM also has a Member Toolkit that contains more than 10 patient food plans that can be personalized based on the patient and their condition. To gain access to these food plans and more than 300 other resources, click the Membership link below.

Register for AFMCP

Complete Our Free, Online Introduction to Functional Nutrition Course



  1. Zhang H, Wang Y, Zhu-Ming J, et al. Impact of nutrition support on clinical outcome and cost-effectiveness analysis in patients at nutritional risk: a prospective cohort study with propensity score matching. Nutrition. 2017;37:53-59. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2016.12.004.
  2. Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Physical activity and good nutrition: essential elements to prevent chronic diseases and obesity 2003. Nutr Clin Care. 2003;6(3):135-38.
  3. Castillo M, Feinstein R, Tsang J, Fisher M. Basic nutrition knowledge of recent medical graduates entering a pediatric residency program. Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2016;28(4):357-61. doi:10.1515/ijamh-2015-0019.
  4. Wannairachige D. Malnourished patients often unacknowledged. CMAJ. 2015;187(4):242. doi:10.1503/cmaj.109-4991.
  5. Ward BW, Schiller JS, Goodman RA. Multiple chronic conditions among US adults: a 2012 update. Prev Chronic Dis. 2014;11: doi:10.5888/pcd11.130389.
  6. Robbins R. Big pharma’s big push to get patients to take their meds. STAT News. https://www.statnews.com/2016/02/04/big-pharma-medication-adherence. Published February 4, 2016. Accessed August 18, 2017.
  7. Cochran A. Does your doctor have ties to big pharma? How you’ll be able to find out. CBS News. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/does-your-doc-have-ties-to-big-pharma-how-youll-be-able-to-find-out. Published March 4, 2014. Accessed August 18, 2017.
  8. Ozdemir A. Macronutrients in adolescence. Int J Caring. 2016;9(2):1162-66.
  9. Anderson JG, Lopez RP, Rose KM, Specht JK. Nonpharmacological strategies for patients with early-stage dementia or mild cognitive impairment: a 10-year update. Res Gerontol Nurs. 2017;10(1):5-11. doi:10.3928/19404921-20161209-05.
  10. Williams JD, Wischmeyer PE. Assessment of perioperative nutrition practices and attitudes-a national survey of colorectal and GI surgical oncology programs. Am J Surg. 2017;213(6):1010-18. doi:10.1016/j.amjsurg.2016.10.008.

< Back to News & Insights