Documentation and Epidemiology for health and wellness network: Dr. V. Prakash

31 January 2014 | News | By Dr. V. Prakash

It is a great pleasure to convey a very happy New Year to our readers in the world of ‘New Foods’ through ‘NuFFooDS’. Have a great, productive, wonderful and healthy New Year.

The holistic approach of food, medicine, health, wellness, exercise, age, lifestyle is important to balance life with an appropriate integration rather than looking at each one of them in isolation. Perhaps traditional foods have taught us that use of selected natural material and spices in the process of cooking would lead to holistic adaptation of various ethnic foods for health depending upon the regio agri material and practices and epidemiological knowledge. This is especially so in use of herbs and condiments in various forms of cooking and more so in the current trend of food processing.

The traditional knowledge of many of the ethnic foods, which is all inclusive in biodiversity of several world food resources, in many countries is extremely well preserved and documented and that knowledge is sustainably supported with scientific data and can be used as treasure for the benefit of society with ‘Reverse Nutra’ approach! It is also an important factor that many of them, which are food based ingredients, will reach billions through the kitchen with an open source informatics.

It is perhaps here that information on Nutritionals, Nutraceuticals, Naturals and Ayurceuticals could be leveraged for value addition. How does one capitalise this knowledge base and transmit it from generation to generation to prevent or delay diseases or even sustained recoveries from diseases based on herbs, condiments, excipients, extracts and traditional foods?

Such a vast data, available in many old libraries in India, is either lost or buried in dust. Majority of times it does not reach the people, particularly, that which is written on palm leaves, or that which is lacquered with spice oil.

Today consumers are looking for food that has positive health or nutritional attributes the normal way in which we eat food. The power of such traditional formulations for health and wellness perhaps goes beyond science and engineering. It is also true of bringing in awareness of dietary guidelines and regulations on science-based approach to promote a healthy lifestyle, be it rural or urban.

Traditional knowledge and wisdom and digitisation is one process that needs to be given priority for easy retrieval of digitised knowledge. CSIR has taken lead globally in Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) and one needs to use it to ensure that such digitisation gives a global remuneration of knowledge.

I feel if every nation takes care of it like TKDL we can have for tomorrow’s nutraceuticals, functional foods, dietary supplements an overall ‘NuFFooDS’ where we could use documentation of epidemiology for health and wellness network globally.

 Dr. V. Prakash

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