Bioterapia Nutrizionale® is a therapeutic method that uses food in the prevention and cure of diseases and disorders.
Despite the impressive success of pharmacology in the treatment of acute illnesses, there is a growing awareness throughout scientific community that drugs have not proved themselves equally effective in chronic degenerative diseases. More importantly, they can neither substitute a healthy diet and lifestyle, necessary to prevent disease and illness, nor be used as part of a comprehensive, long-term “therapy of well-being.” It is an ever-growing consensus that food can carry out a complimentary function in combination with traditional medical therapies, provided one has knowledge of the effects the nutrients in a given food have on a body’s organs. Clinical studies, increasing at an exponential rate, are singling out nutritional errors as etiopathogenetic causes of numerous afflictions. A consequence of this knowledge is the emergence of schools and institutions that focus on nutrition. In this context, research into the therapeutic value of the human diet, beyond the purely nutritional aspect, is becoming increasingly relevant and necessary. Bioterapia Nutrizionale®, (literally translated from Italian: “Nutritional Biotherapy”) registered trademark of Dr. Domenica Arcari Morini, is the use of diet for therapeutic ends. This therapy has been practiced clinically for several decades and has been passed down to numerous students entrusted with the responsibility of applying, disseminating, and perfecting the method in accordance with the intentions of the school’s founder, who passed away September 18, 2007. Characterized by a series of principles codified through reflection, hypothesis, study, and proven in vivo by clinical results, Bioterapia Nutrizionale® sharply distinguishes itself from other nutritional schools, including those which have illicitly adopted the same name. Without detracting from other legitimate and qualified nutritional schools, each one with its own scientific foundation, it is possible to expound on a few said principles and thus highlight the differences that distinguish this school from others.
One of the more brilliant intuitions of the late Dr. Domenica Arcari Morini was to imagine nutrition as an interaction between two vital systems: on one hand, the organism; on the other, food as nature supplies it, or with as little modification as possible, indispensable processes of cooking and conservation aside. Food not only provides a particular percentage of nutrients but, equipped with an internal biochemical balance, is capable of transporting an energetic message of vitality and wellbeing- something that supplements and other nutritional substitutes will never be able to do. Where organic food is not readily found, ordinary food is used. Items to be avoided are all those which are subjected to unnatural manipulation, useful in the utilitarian and commercial logistics of storage, conservation, and distribution, but which are produced with little regard for human health. Naturally, the doctor encourages the patient to adhere to this without provoking, in subjects psychologically predisposed to such behaviors, obsessive tendencies regarding the purity of food.
A necessity for every living organism, food is consumed in response to a physiological, conscious sense of hunger. The choice regarding which food to consume, however, is subconscious and may be a precise indication of a body’s needs. This is called appetite. The price, however, of social, cultural, and economic progress has been the loss of instinct-based choice, which still characterizes certain non-industrialized populations and animals in the wild. Appetite today should therefore be decoded, and the distinction should be made between cravings which arise from the need to satisfy a specific deficiency in the body and cravings which are pathological, as the craving for sugar by a diabetic. Such a craving would only aggravate the patient’s illness.
If poor nutrition is potentially poisonous, there is no serious scientific motivation to delegitimize research that would aim to transform this poison into medicine and assign to it a therapeutic value. Since the 1960s, Bioterapia Nutrizionale® has structured its method based on this fundamental idea, owing to the determination of Dr. Domenica Arcari Morini, tenacious in her research, clever in formulating hypotheses regarding food-based therapy, and critical in her observation of clinical results.
The tendency of researchers has been to study food with the same methodology reserved for the study of active ingredients in pharmacology. After identifying compounds, their biochemical and physiological effects are determined and hypotheses are formed regarding their eventual clinical and therapeutic use. The mass disclosure of this scientific data has had two consequences: a) the tendency to improperly consume foods containing a certain active ingredient, only to change habits following a new discovery and follow another trend; b) the industrial production of the active ingredient discovered in the food, the effect of which can never be balanced as it would be in its natural state. In any case, the commonly held belief does not change: the healing power is found in the drug, dose dependent, even when the active ingredient is present in a certain food. According to Bioterapia Nutrizionale®, however, the effect of a food cannot be compared to that of a drug. A given food constitutes a complex structure, rich in numerous active ingredients as well as other components. Above all, it has vital biochemical dynamics that interact simultaneously with our organs. A food may thus be used therapeutically, if its properties are known, in patients suffering from dysfunctions and illnesses that have been properly diagnosed.
The term “bioavailability” in nutrition comes from modern research in the field of pharmacology. The Treccani dictionary defines it in the following terms: “In pharmacology and in nutrition physiology, the fraction of a drug or of a nutritional factor, introduced into an organism, that is actually used.”  Naturally, food cannot be equated to a drug. It is thus necessary to have a specific knowledge of the bioavailability of nutrients, necessarily different from that of individual pharmacological substances. In reality, it is food, and not isolated nutrients, that nourish human beings, excluding in cases of possible methodological applications to nutrition of the vast knowledge acquired in pharmacology. In the case of diet, bioavailability is not an absolute value that can be standardized. It depends on several factors: a) the cultivation, place of origin, and conservation of a food; b) the association of a given food in a meal, the various components of which may favor or hinder the bioavailability of the nutrient in consideration; c) the individual characteristics of the patient.
 Translator’s definition. Original in Italian: “In farmacologia e in fisiologia della nutrizione, la quota di un farmaco o di un fattore nutritivo introdotto nell’organismo, che viene effettivamente utilizzata.” “Biodisponibilità.” Treccani. Web.
In Bioterapia Nutrizionale®, one cannot speak of the therapeutic effect of a single food, as it cannot be prescribed repetitively and for an established duration. To nourish itself and maintain health, or recuperate in case of sickness, the human organism must use foods in the framework of a meal. Only by associating different foods, selected on a rational basis, can a synergetic, curative effect be achieved. Strictly speaking, Bioterapia Nutrizionale® calls for a series of meals for a period of time, in which the various combinations of food are modified depending on the subjective and objective response of the patient. The subjective response is monitored through daily contact with the patient who relates his/her symptoms. The objective response would ideally be a frequent blood test. Practically speaking, a more economical solution is a morning urine test, the results of which are likewise indicative of the various metabolic activities of the organs.
Over the course of decades, Dr. Morini’s research has applied knowledge from numerous areas, especially regarding the nutritional content of various foods, which has become increasingly thorough and precise with time. The analysis of typical regional dishes allowed Dr. Morini to decode their effects on organ function. Having survived centuries, they have proven, empirically, to be suited to the life and good health of their corresponding populations. Once the logic behind various associations between foods is understood, new combinations may be composed with different foods that, within a meal, retain the same therapeutic power. At this point, experimentation in vivo may be carried out, verifying results with significant statistical frequency. A codified therapeutic effect may thus be attributed to a specific nutritional combination.
A living organism is programmed to function maximally according to the physiological potential of its various organs and systems. Any stasis or lag, especially of a metabolic nature, may cause dysfunction or sickness. Recovering means restoring equilibrium in organ function. This is possible with a personalized dietary plan based on a precise diagnosis. The great advantage of a therapeutic diet is its flexibility. As nutrition affects the body as a whole, it can be adapted to work on different levels and contribute to the restoration of equilibrium where there is inadequate organ function.