Nutritional Therapy, true or woo?


Hi guys! Recently my son’s pediatrician told us that nutritional therapy might help us figure out his food intolerance issues but I sort of brushed it aside in my mind as more pseudoscience than evidence based. I was intrigued to hear about nutritional therapy today on the podcast, and I’m still wondering if it’s based in science.

(Katie the Quiche Scoffing Stick Ninja ) #2

All I hear is “Money Grab” Don’t mind me. I’m skeptical.

Is this like an elimination diet?


I listened to most of the podcast but it really lost me when one of the interviewees said that he heard about new things like ‘duodenum’ and thought - ‘’ wow! I have to do some more study! " and then right a book!
Most high school kids have a good grasp of the gross anatomy of the digestive tract.

The interviewee may not be a good representative of the “profession” but if she is I would steer clear.
Money grab.
I think the dudes dropped the ball a bit on that last podcast, but that is just my opinion.


I don’t really know a lot about it but it’s not covered by my insurance and they offer things like muscle testing and tell you a list of things you are intolerant of.

And muscle testing is an evaluation of weakness when the patient holds a food in their hand?


This is from the NTA website (the Aussie version of the US course I believe) found here

What is an NTP?

A Nutritional Therapy Practitioner™ (NTP) is a paraprofessional certified by the Nutritional Therapy Association, Inc.®, trained to evaluate a client’s nutritional needs, support normal function, and identify nutritional deficiencies.

An NTP is not trained to provide medical diagnosis, to prescribe or treat any medical or pathological condition, illness, injury or disease, and is not a replacement for a medical doctor.


The red flag for me was when the nutritional therapist noted that she does not order bloodwork, but she will recommend tests and have the patient get them done and bring them back to her. Is a nutritional therapist qualified to interpret labs and dispense medical advice?

Overall I’m open to this being a real thing. Honestly I WANT it to be real, with what we’ve been going through healthwise, with the feeling like there just aren’t any answers. But I get really perturbed at those who rise up to take the money of people feeling like that, and it happens often.


I reckon the Dudes owed Jimmy a favour.
They have well and truly paid it back now.
I bet Richard was cringing listening to that!

(it's official - I'm forked) #8

This seems like yet another bit of evidence for the “avoid Jimmy” file.

(Edith) #9

It seems an actual nutritionist or registered dietician would be a better bet.


Only if you can find one that’s not stuck on CICO. :expressionless:

(Ethan) #11

This is how Jimmy jokes around. He takes terms and pretends he doesn’t know what they are. It’s supposed to connect him with the least-informed and least-educated listener or reader of his books and podcasts. He often asks experts the “dumbest” questions to make sure the least common denominator is addressed.

(Ethan) #12

Are you or I qualified to interpret them? We can be trained and often do it here! Only a doctor can order labs. Nutritional therapists cannot order them, so they have to get your doctor to do it.


Speaking for myself, no I am not a trained medical professional so I am not qualified to interpret lab results. I educate myself as much as possible on mine and my family’s, but I am well aware of the limitations of my knowledge.

What anyone discusses on the internet in pursuit of knowledge is very very different from charging money and dispensing medical advice.

My question was not meant to be snarky. I sincerely want to learn about this type of practitioner so if there is any science you can share about it, please do!

(Ethan) #14

Technically, no medical advice is being dispensed. Only nutritional.

(Ethan) #15

I think it is based in science, but not a regulated practice–kind of like functional medicine.


How is interpreting labs not medical advice?

(Ethan) #17

Because it’s from a nutritional standpoint. It’s all about context. They are not treating a disease or condition, but helping give holistic nutrition-based advice


I understand that’s your opinion, but I’m looking for evidence to demonstrate that a nutritional therapist is qualified to provide this kind of advice. For example, is nutritional therapy a science-based practice? What kind of licensing requirements are there? How rigorous is the education?


Well it doesnt do him any favours.
I probably wont bother listening to him again.
Plenty of other good, informative information out there.

(Ethan) #20

It annoys some people. He knows that. He has even said it. He says others like it because he makes sure the simple questions are asked.