We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Clinical Nutrition?

By Bethany Keene
Updated Jan 28, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Clinical nutrition is the study of the relationship between food that is consumed and the health and well-being of the body. The field of clinical nutrition considers the way the body uses the nutrients found in foods and supplements, as well as the way the body processes the nutrients and then stores them for later use or eliminates them. Clinical nutrition also considers other contributing factors to health, such as the environment, family history, and overall well-being when trying to determine an individual's nutrient needs.

Clinical nutrition was first developed in the early 1900s, when scientists discovered that some diseases, such as beri-beri or scurvy, seemed to be caused by specific diets that were fairly limited in the amount of foods consumed. By 1912, Casimir Funk, a Polish biochemist, had discovered that eating brown rice seemed to prevent beri-beri. He set out to discover what substance was found in brown rice that would cause this, and discovered Thiamine, which he referred to as a "vitamine" because it contained an amine group. This would later come to be known as vitamin B1, and Funk correctly theorized that other diseases could be prevented with vitamins as well.

Scientists and nutritionists continue to evaluate the nutrients found in the healthiest diets to try to determine the minimum nutritional needs of individual people. Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) are the product of these studies, and illustrate in a basic way what people should try to eat every day. Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) attempt to illustrate the amount of nutrients that should be included in the diet for the purpose of disease prevention and treatment. A combination of these two recommendations generally supplies a complete picture of the foods and nutrients that will constitute a healthy diet.

Clinical nutrition also often references macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and are used for energy in the body as well as the maintenance of cells and tissues. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals, and they assist the body in breaking down macronutrients for energy by triggering chemical reactions. Macronutrients constitute the majority of the diet, whereas micronutrients are a much smaller portion of the diet. Most nutrients needed by the body must work in conjunction with other nutrients to achieve any effect; this is why it is important to eat a healthy diet, and not to simply rely on nutritional supplements, as scientists have yet not discovered all of the ways in which nutrients work together.

In general, people who eat a healthy, balanced diet, take a multivitamin, and who do not have any underlying medical conditions are able to meet their nutritional needs without any extra help. If anyone is concerned about their diet, however, a visit to a clinical nutritionist can help get them back on the right track. The nutritionist will assess their overall health and eating habits through a series of questions regarding lifestyle, medical history, and family history, as well as laboratory tests. The nutritionist will then be able to develop a healthy eating plan customized just for them, which often includes other recommendations for a healthy lifestyle, such as exercise.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.