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Can a Food Be a Drug and a Supplement?

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” — Hippocrates of Cos (ca.460 BC – ca. 370 BC)

The Drug-Like Properties of Foods

Many foods have drug-like properties. For example, foods with vitamin C (such as citrus fruit) can cure scurvy, the dreaded disease of 17th Century sailors; likewise, seafood can cure (thyroid) goiters because seafood represents a unique source of iodine; most obviously, food can cure malnutrition and starvation and protein-containing foods are a remedy for kwashiorkor (a protein deficiency disease).