Health & WellnessDiet and lifestyleThe Evolving Picture of Nutrition

The Evolving Picture of Nutrition – Integrative GP, Dr Joe Kosterich

July 2019

We live in a time where our supermarket shelves are packed full of all manner of fresh produce, with an incredible variety of nutrients, yet more than 75 percent of the disease burden in western countries is related to lifestyle.[1] 

In previous generations, there simply wasn’t access to the variety we enjoy today whilst they battled infectous illness  such as tuberculosis, cholera and small pox.

Fortunately, medical science has evolved to create solutions to many complex diseases.  

So why with more health education than ever before and more access to sophisticated nutrition, are we seeing more health issues relating to nutritional deficiencies?[2]

If our diets are deficient in nutrients, this contributes to slow inflammation, the slow burn of disease linked to heart disease, stroke and potentially some cancers.

People are not necessarily afraid of dying as we know that it’s inevitable, they are concerned about loss of function and facility. Healthcare practitioners are increasingly focused on helping to combat chronic disease processes by looking a little closer at the specifics of each patient’s diet and lifestyle.

Giving patients general advice to have a well-balanced diet is not translating to a healthier population and healthcare practitioners need to hone in on the signs and symptoms of deficiencies to give more individualised advice. 

Finding a deficiency is rarely as simple as ordering a blood test, even though we know that more than 30% of Australians are deficient in vitamin D[3], women in reproductive years are often deficient in iron and we are seeing increasing rates of vitamin B12 deficiency[4].

For example, someone who has good levels of magnesium, exercises well and has some muscle soreness, may need a simple magnesium supplement that may help relieve the soreness and help them get back to training.[5]

The throw away line that supplements simply create ‘more expensive urine’ is outdated.

The body is an incredible machine which can identify what nutrients need to be retained from our diet and what can be eliminated.

We need to make sure the body is receiving all the nutrients it needs, through the food we eat and a supplement when needed, and to identify signs of nutritional deficiencies and be targeted with what dietary changes, additions or supplements might support achieving optimal levels.  

More than ever, there is a focus on understanding a person’s specific nutritional health and helping them turn the tide on the slow march of inflammation for better health and wellbeing. 

For more from Dr Joe,  please jump onto iTunes to download his latest podcast 

The Expert Voice podcast series is designed to help natural healthcare practitioners remain at the cutting edge of the ever- evolving nutritional therapies industry. The series covers topics across lifestyle and nutrition, stress and toxicity, healthy ageing, gut health, mental health, and more. It focuses on the role of nutritional supplementation in helping both healthcare practitioners and their patients on the journey to achieving and maintaining good health.


[1] The Global Health Burden of Chronic, World Health Organisation,

[2] The Global Health Burden of Chronic, World Health Organisation,

[3] Osteoporosis Australia,

[4] Alex Ankar; Anil Kumar, Vitamin B12 Deficiency, National Centre for Biotechnology Information,