Advances in Chiropractic Nutrition

By Elicia Rosen-Fox MS, DC, CCN, DACBN, CDN

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a national survey conducted in 2007 found that 17.7 percent of American adults had used "natural products” (i.e., dietary supplements other than vitamins and minerals) in the past 12 months. These patients would benefit from expert information from DCs who specialize in nutrition.

Since its inception in 1974, the ACA Council on Nutrition has been striving to promote continuing education in nutrition as an adjunct to the practice of chiropractic. Our yearly seminars provide DCs with the opportunity to maintain a dialogue with the top educators and researchers in the field of nutrition. Many doctors realize that while their patients are becoming more interested in proper eating and nutrition supplements, information on these topics can be unreliable. A Council on Nutrition symposium is a great place to build enthusiasm about how to assist patients in healing, but what if doctors want to learn more about how to better serve their patients?

The ACA Council on Nutrition is associated with several high-quality educational programs in nutrition in the United States. At our 2008 symposium, the ACA Nutrition Council members visited Life University, which gives students the opportunity to obtain an undergraduate degree in nutrition. Dr. Guy Riekeman, president of Life University; Dr. Jaleh Dehpahlavan, director of nutrition; and other staff stayed after hours to show us the different facilities and programs that Life has to offer.

The program is state of the art, and while many of the nutrition students will matriculate to the chiropractic program, others are looking for the chance to become nutrition professionals. Life University also offers a master’s degree in sports health science with a concentration in nutrition that focuses on the performance side of sports nutrition. Professors in this program have worked with world-class athletes and utilize the laboratories of the Life University Sports Science Institute. Life University is also in the process of approving a master’s program in clinical nutrition.  

David M. Brady, ND, DC, CCn, DACBN, a member of the Council on Nutrition, serves as director of the Human Nutrition Institute at the University of Bridgeport (UB), which offers a unique opportunity for doctors of varied disciplines to distinguish their practices by providing evidence-based knowledge in clinical nutrition. Since the nutrition program was first established in the late 1970s, it has been revised continuously, to remain at the cutting edge and stay clinically relevant, and it is the “brand name” in accredited, graduate-level integrative nutrition education.

UB’s master’s program in nutrition is unique in its integrative approach to clinical nutrition, providing the doctor with functional assessment techniques and analysis skills to pinpoint a patient’s biochemical imbalances and needs. The program is offered in both an interactive online format and on campus, one weekend per month. The graduates, who come from many health care disciplines, are qualified to sit for one of three different certification exams: CNS, CCN or DACBN. Gerard Mullin, MD, of Johns Hopkins Medical Center and Mark Houston, MD, of Vanderbilt Medical Center are among our nation’s most outstanding physicians, and their UB master’s in nutrition sets them apart in their profession.

The Council on Nutrition has a long-standing relationship with Anna R. Kelles, PhD, director of the School of Applied Clinical Nutrition at New York Chiropractic College (NYCC). NYCC offers an online master’s in applied clinical nutrition. This program emphasizes an integrative approach to health care for both the prevention and the management of disease. Students are trained in a diverse curriculum incorporating biochemistry, pharmacognosy, biostatistics, assessment, life cycle, therapeutics and sports. The program’s mission is to help students identify the etiology of complex conditions, develop successful individualized treatment plans and diversify their practices by incorporating nutrition as a complementary health care modality. The program is also designed to help undergraduates transition from a bachelor’s degree into graduate-level health care programs. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of settings, including private practice, integrative practice with other professionals, research and industry.  

The Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine partners with the American Clinical Board of Nutrition (ACBN) to provide didactic courses in nutrition as a key strategy in bridging the gap between conventional and complementary medicine. These courses can be utilized to accrue the required 300 hours for the ACBN examination to obtain the diplomate by qualified doctoral-level professionals.

If you are interested in learning more about nutrition and helping your patients with their nutritional needs, find out about the programs listed here and come to the Council on Nutrition’s 2011 symposium, “Innovative Therapies for the Nutrition Practitioner,” April 28-May 1, 2011 at the Grand Cypress Hyatt in Orlando, Fla. For more information, visit www.councilonnutrition.com or contact Ms. Bonnie Sealock at (540) 635-8844 or conacbn@shentel.net.

Elicia Rosen-Fox MS, DC, CCN, DACBN, CDN, is president of the ACA Council on Nutrition and president of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition.